Washington State HLS Region 6

Critical Infrastructure Working Group


Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM PDT
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DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Seattle Airport/ South 
16500 Southcenter Parkway
Seattle, WA 98188

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Steve Myers 
Pacific NorthWest Economic Region 

Region 6 Critical Infrastructure Working Group: CME Long-term Power Workshop 

The threat of a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) could be catastrophic to our electrical grid. Even with a timely warning, few organizations have procedures and equipment in place to protect their electronic systems. Please join us on May 23 at the Southcenter Doubletree to learn more about the impacts of CME, and warning systems in place to monitor this hazard. 

Courtesy NASAAt the workshop you will gain more insight into the Impacts from a CME and potential effects to several critical infrastructure sectors.

Power systems: Widespread voltage control problems and protective system problems can occur, some grid systems may experience complete collapse or blackouts. Transformers may experience damage.

Communications and other systems: Pipeline currents can reach hundreds of amps, HF (high frequency) radio  propagation may be impossible in many areas for one to two days, satellite navigation may be degraded for days, low-frequency radio navigation can be out for hours, and aurora has been seen as low as Florida and southern Texas (typically 40 geomagnetic lat.).

The goals of the workshop are:

  • To educate individuals and organizations who operate our lifeline and other infrastructure systems as to the impacts of a CME event.
  • Understand the consequences of a long-term power outage to our systems and their functioning
  • Assess the level of planning by government and the private sector specifically for CME events.
  • Look for opportunities for infrastructures to incorporate mitigation and prevention measures into their planning and funding to minimize the impacts of a CME event.
  • Prepare a report of the findings coming from the workshop


Washington State Homeland Security Region 6 

King County Regional Critical Infrastructure Working Group event, funded by Homeland Security and implemented by PNWER's Center for Regional Disaster Resilience