Documentary: Grid Down/Power Up

By Neenah Payne

The grid is something you probably don’t think much about until it goes out, which unfortunately is happening more and more in recent years.” – John Oliver

In February 2021, the Texas power grid suddenly failed – leaving many people without heat in a freezing cold they weren’t used to – and some without light or water for days. Most Texans didn’t have warm-weather clothing. They couldn’t get gas because gas stations run on electricity. Grocery stores were closed. The power grid outage showed the risks all Americans face when – not if – the grid goes down from a solar flare expected at any time now. It could be the next week or in 50 years.

How Texas’ power grid failed in 2021 — and who’s responsible for preventing a repeat

What Really Happened During the Texas Power Grid Outage? 3/23/21

When disaster strikes, the flurry of political positioning and finger-pointing can make it difficult to understand what really happened. This video provides a summary of the facts of the 2021 Texas winter storm. This February of 2021, a major winter storm made its way through the U.S. central plains, setting all-time records for low temperatures across the country.

One of the biggest impacts of the storm happened here in Texas where people across the state suffered extended outages of electricity and water. It was one of the worst winter weather events in history, creating loss-of-life and economic impacts that will take years to unfold. Many are still recovering from the storm and will be for years to come.

Solar Maximum In 2025

Effects of Space Weather on the US Power Grid
Solar maximum will arrive sooner and last longer than previously expected, say scientists 10/30/23

Preparing for Power Outages in the Face of Solar Storms

“Heads up! Solar Cycle 25 is here. This 11-year cycle of the sun’s activity is expected to reach its peak in 2025, with solar flares and eruptions that can wreak havoc on Earth. Intense currents driven by space weather can have severe impacts, damaging or destroying critical infrastructure, interrupting the internet and other communications and leading to power outages.

The federal government is already making plans to prepare for and respond to the next big solar storm. The Federal Emergency Management Agency even has a handbook on what agencies should do in response to a solar weather event, including recommendations on how to protect data and prepare for lengthy power outages and surges.

Solar Weather Impacts Can Be Devastating

History shows that solar storms can cause real havoc. In 1989, most of Quebec was darkened for more than 12 hours by blackouts caused when a massive solar storm shut down the province’s power grid. Radio transmissions were also scrambled.

The video below explains that we will reach Solar Maximum in 2025.

How Solar Storms Could Knock Out Our Power Grid 6/24/21

Solar storms can hit close to home—and have the potential to affect our power grid and cause widespread blackouts. Watch how researchers and engineers are working to make sure important infrastructure—like our power grid—is protected from geomagnetic disturbances caused by space weather.

Solar Maximum

The sun’s activity is peaking sooner than expected (video link) 7/15/23

VIDEO: Everything you wanted to know about the solar cycle.

Solar superstorm could knock out US power grid – experts 8/3/12

U.S. weather has been lousy this year, with droughts, heat and killer storms. But a solar superstorm could be far worse. A monster blast of geomagnetic particles from the sun could destroy 300 or more of the 2,100 high-voltage transformers that are the backbone of the U.S. electric grid, according to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Even a few hundred destroyed transformers could disable the entire interconnected system.

There is impetus for a group of federal agencies to look for ways to prepare for such a storm this year as the sun moves into an active period called solar maximum, expected to peak in 2013. Some U.S. experts estimate as much as a 7 percent chance of a superstorm in the next decade, which seems a slight risk, but the effects would be so wide-ranging – akin to a major meteorite strike – that it has drawn official concern.

Although the likelihood of this kind of geomagnetic storm, like a big hit from a space rock, is extremely low, its impact would be great. By comparison, the probability of a large meteorite hitting Earth is at some fraction of 1 percent. Power blackouts can cause chaos, as they did briefly in India when more than 600 million people lost electricity for hours on two consecutive days in July. However, the kind of long-duration outage that might happen in the case of a massive solar storm would have more profound and costly effects.

There is disagreement on how costly the damage would be, but experts in the U.S. government and industry acknowledge it is a complex problem requiring a coordinated solution. A report by the NAS estimated that about 365 high-voltage transformers in the continental United States are at risk of failure or permanent damage requiring replacement in the event of a solar superstorm.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, or NERC, which oversees North America’s power grid, disputed the academy’s estimate that hundreds of high-voltage transformers could be lost in a solar superstorm. In a report earlier this year, NERC said a more likely result would be voltage collapse, which would take out power but not destroy transformers. Any power outage would be less protracted in that event.


The academy’s report noted that replacements for transformers might not be available for a year or more, and the cost of damage in the first year after a storm could be as high as $2 trillion. The most vulnerable areas are the eastern one-third of the country, from the Midwest to the East Coast, and the Northwest, as far east as Montana and Wyoming and as far south as California.

The national grid was built over decades to get energy at the lowest price from where it is generated to where it is used. A solar superstorm has the capacity to bring that network down, the academy’s report said. “Historically large storms have a potential to cause power grid blackouts and transformer damage of unprecedented proportions, long-term blackouts and lengthy restoration times, and chronic shortages for multiple years are possible,” the report said.

Richard Andres, an energy and environmental security expert at the military’s National Defense University (NDU), is helping to coordinate an interagency group to deal with the problem. The failure of the national power grid could be disastrous, he said.

Economist Explains How Solar Storms Could Stun World Markets | WSJ Future of Everything 10/17/23

Power grids and much of our infrastructure are susceptible to solar storms that have a nearly 10% chance of happening per decade. Economists estimate a severe storm could cost billions, if not trillions, in damage. Solar storms often contain a few major components: solar flares, solar energetic particles and coronal mass ejections. These space weather events could knock out satellites as well.

Tucker Carlson’s Interview of Denni Quaid

Tucker Carlson’s interview below is with actor Dennis Quaid who has been in over 150  movies. Quaid has a documentary about our power grid called Grid Down/Power Up.

The Tucker Carlson Encounter: Dennis Quaid 1/12/24

Tucker Carlson explores a critical concern in Episode 64: the inevitable vulnerability of America’s power grid. Joined by Dennis Quaid, the discussion unfolds around a risk seemingly overlooked by the government. Join us for a compelling conversation that delves into the potential consequences and the urgent need for attention to safeguard the nation’s power infrastructure. Don’t miss this insightful episode on a pressing issue that demands our collective awareness. #TuckerCarlson #DennisQuaid #PowerGridVulnerability #Ep64Insights

“Grid Down, Power Up” Documentary

Watch the trailer at GRID DOWN, POWER UP.

In an age where dependency on electricity is at its peak, ‘Grid Down, Power Up’ shines a spotlight on the essential truths we must confront. Our thought-provoking exploration will leave you captivated, and inspired to play your part in securing a resilient power grid for generations to come.

Protecting America’s electric grid from attack | 60 Minutes  12/9/22

Security concerns for the nation’s electrical grid are being raised after a substation attack in North Carolina. This past February, Bill Whitaker reported on the vulnerabilities in the system that provides our electricity.


Dennis Quaid hosts an alarming look into the potential of life without power. A dynamic legion of energy, economic, national security, and infrastructure experts fearlessly expose our most critical global threat: the vulnerability of our nation’s power grids. Together they inform the public of imminent threats and the infinite horrors in store from prolonged power loss. Buckle down and power up with this series of shocking scenarios. To learn more about The Grid visit our FAQ page


Three years ago, Texas resident David Tice discovered a documentary in progress illuminating the grave risks and associated outcomes of a complete power grid collapse. After the initial shock, he took action to carry the production to completion. Grid failure is a real and imminent threat to our modern way of life, a devastating and deadly occurrence that recently “hit home” as outages ravaged Texans in February 2021.

Disaster struck our grid as three severe winter storms swept the United States, triggering the worst energy infrastructure failure in Texas state history. This incident ultimately led to critical, life-threatening shortages of heat, food, and water along with rolling blackouts affecting more than 4.5 million businesses and residences over several days.

A final report released from the Texas Department of State Health Services concluded that a minimum of 246 fatalities occurred with some estimates climbing as high as 702. The documented causes of death included: house fires, automobile collisions, drowning, hypothermia, and carbon monoxide poisoning as citizens desperately fought to survive the loss of power. According to officials at ERCOT, Texas’ power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure with the potential to leave residents in darkness for months.

After much consideration, David took matters into his own hands. When asked why, he stated: “The human brain does three things. It remembers the past, builds connections, and creates ideas for the future.” The shocking realization that humans have become so reliant on power to survive sparked the initiative to release this electrifying documentary while connecting with fellow energy warriors like Senator Hall. “We are here to kindle a movement and fix this problem.”

In the midst of research and investigation, one thing became abundantly clear. Natural disasters and weather phenomena are only one facet in the frightening scope of future failures. An orchestrated physical attack, electromagnetic pulse (EMP), cyber-attack, or geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) could shut down our electric grid for a year; or longer. This is a Global, humanitarian issue, not a political one; if something is not done, we will inevitably find ourselves in the dawn of a new Dark Age. Watch “Grid Down Power Up” for more information to understand how you can help solve this problem and protect our power. WATCH THE MOVIE


The U.S. power grid is aging and already struggling to meet current demand. It faces a future with more people — people who drive more electric cars and heat homes with more electric furnaces.

Our electric utility companies have not implemented sufficient precautions to protect our grid and are well aware of the dangers. Numerous readily-available grid safety solutions exist. These viable innovations must be rapidly instituted to protect our grid against known threats and hazards. As the demand for grid protection expands, brilliant minds will undoubtedly develop even more innovative ideas to secure our grid and protect our power.

Promising fortification concepts have been developed by wise executives and utility engineers who understand that strict guidelines and protection measures may (hopefully) become required by law. Consistent citizen pressure must continue to pass legislation requiring utility companies to implement existing protective protocols while encouraging them to forge further state-of-the-art safeguards. Our goal at ‘GDPU’ is to ensure the grid never goes down! We’ve taken the time to list examples of immediate/interim solutions and sensible steps to secure our existing grids while we push for developing reliable, resilient microgrids… Help Resolve This


Our state and federal officials understand the dangers of grid failure but haven’t successfully passed legislation to remedy the problem. Unfortunately, the current cybersecurity standards designed by “the industry” and “approved” by the federal government are dangerously insufficient.

Their security standards lean towards negligence and apply only to the “bulk power system.” The current cybersecurity standards clearly state: companies are NOT required to seek detection, mitigation, or even removal of malware (like the virus Russia employed to terminate electricity in Ukraine and then implanted in our systems).

Even more shocking: these standards do not protect against catastrophic cyber-physical threats such as “Aurora” and don’t apply to imperative systems that allow grid operators to control the flow of electricity. Federal regulators have long been warned about these severe deficiencies. We must continue to push and encourage the federal government, state legislators, and public service commissioners to mandate upgraded cybersecurity standards to protect our power grid…Help Resolve This


Recent attacks on substations in Washington and Carolina have put everyone on high alert as we have seen firsthand how easily and quickly things can go awry. The grid has become a popular news topic as many states, like California, have continued to report rolling blackouts during heat waves. In recent months, government officials and reporters alike have urged citizens to refrain from excessive usage, even suggesting people forgo charging electric vehicles to reduce stress on the grid. See the most recent news about grid attacks and the grid in the media check here.

Grid failure is a real and imminent threat, a devastatingly deadly occurrence leading to life-threatening shortages of heat, food, and water. If protective measures are not taken, we will experience catastrophic failures leaving citizens in states of starvation, death, destruction, and darkness for months.

Reports released from Texas’ 3-day “snowmageddon” indicate a minimum death toll of 246, with some estimates climbing as high as 702. An outage of 1-2 years would lead to 10,000,000+ deaths. One thing is evident: the clock is ticking, and if nothing changes, the power may go out for good…

In an age where dependency on electricity is at its peak, ‘Grid Down, Power Up’ shines a spotlight on the essential truths we must confront. Our thought-provoking exploration will leave you captivated, and inspired to play your part in securing a resilient power grid for generations to come.

Grid Down Power Up

Grid Down Power Up Complete Documentary

Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath

Amazon Description

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

“Fascinating, frightening, and beyond timely.”—Anderson Cooper

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyberwarfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon. Several nations hostile to the United States could launch such an assault at any time. In fact, as a former chief scientist of the NSA reveals, China and Russia have already penetrated the grid. And a cybersecurity advisor to President Obama believes that independent actors—from “hacktivists” to terrorists—have the capability as well. “It’s not a question of if,” says Centcom Commander General Lloyd Austin, “it’s a question of when.”

And yet, as Koppel makes clear, the federal government, while well prepared for natural disasters, has no plan for the aftermath of an attack on the power grid.  The current Secretary of Homeland Security suggests keeping a battery-powered radio.

In the absence of a government plan, some individuals and communities have taken matters into their own hands. Among the nation’s estimated three million “preppers,” we meet one whose doomsday retreat includes a newly excavated three-acre lake, stocked with fish, and a Wyoming homesteader so self-sufficient that he crafted the thousands of adobe bricks in his house by hand. We also see the unrivaled disaster preparedness of the Mormon church, with its enormous storehouses, high-tech dairies, orchards, and proprietary trucking company—the fruits of a long tradition of anticipating the worst. But how, Koppel asks, will ordinary civilians survive?

With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.

For More Information

Easy Ways To Prepare For Weather Emergencies

Neenah Payne writes for Activist Post

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