No, a government drill isn't going to take down the power grid t - WSMV News 4

No, a government drill isn't going to take down the power grid today

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(Meredith) -- Just as Facebook testifies in front of Congress over misinformation spreading on their platform during the 2016 presidential election, a new claim is spreading through the social network like wildfire.

Numerous videos, articles and Facebook posts referencing a planned training exercise by the Department of Defense claim that a simulated “very bad day” scenario will take down the U.S. electrical grid, plunging millions of Americans into the dark for days.

In the announcement from the DOD about the planned exercise, the program manager for Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) was quoted saying a “massive” event “will impact the national power grid.”

"This exercise will begin with a national massive coronal mass ejection event which will impact the national power grid as well as all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cellphone, satellite, and Internet connectivity,” Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, explained in an announcement."

What the rumor mill seems to have missed was that the exercise is a simulation, so any impacts to the power grid or communication systems won’t happen in real life.

The claims of a national power grid shutdown are false, English told well-known myth-busting website Snopes.com. He told Snopes.com:

“The coronal mass ejection scenario is simulated…notional. Resulting from the CME is the simulated…notional power and communication outages. These events are all notional…simulated. There is no actual power or comms outages that will occur in conjunction with this exercise.”

The timing of the exercise also caused some to draw a connection to rumors of planned Antifa protests on November 4.

Army MARS took to their Facebook page to clear up any misconceptions, directly addressing concerns about the power grid being affected. As of this writing, their Facebook page was inaccessible due to a server error.

b. No we will not **actually** be turning off the electrical power grid. While I strive for realism when planning exercises, turning off the electricity all across the US is way above my pay-grade, so we just have to simulating that.

English told Snopes.com the main objective of the exercise was to stress test their system of amateur radio operators to collect operational information in the unlikely event of a failure of the communication system or power grid.

There is no actual power or comms outages that will occur in conjunction with this exercise. We have done this exercise every quarter since 2013. Our primary focus is to work with the amateur radio operators to collect real world county status reports…basically are the lights on…is water still running…how’s the medical situation at hospitals…etc.

Help inform your friends and family that the power grid won't be compromised by a government training exercise and fight the spread of fake news and rumors.

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