Michael E. Beehler & Robert Kondziolka

Customers without electricity for days or weeks? Does that happen in the United States of America in the 21st Century? Increasingly, the answer is yes. Wildfires, hurricanes, ice storms, floods and more seem to come more frequently and with greater intensity. 

It is well past time to accept these devasting and life-threatening outcomes and pursue new approaches to resiliency to protect our communities from high-impact, low-frequency (HILF) or “Black Sky Hazard“ events.  

Electricity is fundamental to the health, safety, and economic vitality of our country. It is the fundamental critical infrastructure that must operate for other critical infrastructure to function.  Communications, water purification and distribution, wastewater systems, fuels, transportation, medical services, financial systems, and physical security do not function when impacted from HILF events without a resilient electric system.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United States experienced 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters events in 2020. Significant and major power outages were associated with these events.

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