2014

National Geographic Channel Teams Up With Prominent Government Agencies And Nonprofits To Offer Preparedness Tips In Advance Of Two-Hour Movie Event, American Blackout

Joint Effort with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Council on CyberSecurity, and the Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign Will Encourage Viewers to Get Prepared

American Blackout Premieres Sunday, October 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- What would happen if a cyberattack shut down the entire American power grid, causing a catastrophic 10-day blackout? No electricity. No cell phone service. No gasoline. No fresh food or clean water. And no way out. Is your family ready? As proven by recent blackouts and other disasters, anyone, anywhere can face incredible odds if caught unprepared.

To this end, the National Geographic Channel is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); the Council on CyberSecurity; and the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign to provide the public with preparedness tips to survive in a blackout, or prepare for a cyberattack. Additionally, the network has partnered with The ONE Campaign, an international advocacy organization, to help support the fight against energy poverty (in sub-Saharan Africa alone, 7 out of 10 people don't have electricity). This comes in advance of the network's two-hour movie event, American Blackout.

The film imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. Gritty, visceral and totally immersive, the film captures what it might take to survive, day by day, until the lights come back on.

Though the film is a dramatization of the extreme, the show's message of being prepared for a crisis is one nobody should overlook. To encourage viewers to have a plan of their own, the film will showcase tips drawn from the partner organizations online, in social media, in blog posts and on air.

These tips may include:

Preparedness for a Blackout:

  • Have basic emergency supplies on hand, such as water, food, flashlight, and backup power.
  • Use a power surge protector, as well as a battery-backup or your primary computer system.
  • Preserve digital data offline; store external hard drive in a fireproof safe.

During a Blackout:

  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. First use perishable food from the refrigerator. Then use food from the freezer.
  • Turn off and unplug all unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
  • If the power stays out for a long period of time, stay close to home.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic lights will be out and roads will be congested.
  • If you are fortunate enough to have a generator and the fuel to run it, make sure you run the generator safely (beware of carbon monoxide poisoning).

Minimizing a Cyber Incident:

  • Set strong passwords, change them regularly, and don't share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your friends, family, colleagues and community about Internet safety.
  • Use privacy settings and limit the amount of personal information you post online.
  • Be cautious about offers online — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

"American Blackout is a dramatic thriller that makes you think twice about how prepared you might be if, or when, a cyberattack or major blackout happens. We are thrilled to work together with such esteemed organizations to offer the public preparedness tips for these scenarios," said Courteney Monroe, chief marketing officer for the National Geographic Channels.

The partnership announcement follows a panel discussion at the world premiere event of American Blackout that featured:  Scott Aaronson, Senior Director, National Security Policy, Edison Electric Institute (EEI);  Dr. Robert Bristow, Medical Director of Emergency Management, New York Presbyterian Hospital;  Michael Hayden, Former NSA and CIA Director, Ret. U.S. Air Force 4-Star General; Jane Holl Lute, Former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security;  and Richard Reed, Senior Vice President, Disaster Cycle Services, American Red Cross. To watch the panel, please click here.

About American Blackout
On Sunday, October 27, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, National Geographic Channel's two-hour, edge-of-your-seat movie event imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. To capture the reality of a catastrophic blackout while telling a dramatic feature-length story, filmmakers used actual disaster footage alongside user-generated video blogs and scripted material. The result blends the three sources seamlessly, telling one tale of America in the dark that will leave you breathless.

For more information on American Blackout, please visit survivetheblackout.com

National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC works 24/7 saving lives, protecting people from health threats and saving money through prevention. Whether the threats are global or domestic, chronic or acute, curable or preventable, natural disaster or deliberate attack, CDC is the nation's health protection agency. http://www.cdc.gov/media/index.html.

The American Society of Civil Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 145,000 members of the civil engineering profession worldwide and is America's oldest national engineering society. ASCE provides essential value to its members and partners, advances civil engineering and serves the public good. Through strategic emphasis in key areas, including infrastructure renewal and development, policy leadership and professional development, ASCE delivers the highest quality publications, programs and services to its worldwide membership, demonstrating a daily commitment to sustaining the profession. http://www.asce.org/About-ASCE/About-ASCE/

Council on CyberSecurity
The Council on CyberSecurity is an independent, global organization committed to an open and secure Internet. It contributes to this vision by mobilizing a broad community of stakeholders who are willing to bring their knowledge, experience and commitment to common goals: to identify, validate, promote and sustain the adoption of cybersecurity best practice — by people, with technology and through policy — to create a world in which best practice becomes common practice. http://www.counciloncybersecurity.org/

Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign
Stop.Think.Connect. is a national public awareness campaign aimed at increasing the understanding of cyber threats and empowering the American public to be safer and more secure online. The Campaign is an unprecedented effort among federal and state governments, industry, and non-profit organizations. Stop.Think.Connect. was launched in October 2010 in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in partnership with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), leads the Campaign. http://www.dhs.gov/stopthinkconnect and http://stopthinkconnect.org/

ONE
ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than three million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease ... because the facts show extreme poverty has already been cut in half and can be virtually eliminated by 2030, but only if we act now. ONE is deeply involved in advocating for a dramatic increase in energy access in sub-Saharan Africa because they've heard directly from African leaders, business owners, hospital workers, teachers and countless ordinary citizens that reliable electricity is one of their most urgent needs. http://www.one.org/us/

SOURCE National Geographic Channel



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