Early warning system

Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2001 22:09:38 -0800
From: "Eric A. Hall" <ehall@ehsco.com>
Sender: owner-nanog@merit.edu

> Cal-ISO, PG&E, etc have said they don't give warnings because they
> don't have a way of contacting lots of people at the same time.

They could notify radio and TV stations. There's a whole emergency
broadcast infrastructure in place...

They might not want to though, as it would also be notifying thieves about
affected areas.

The outage blocks are announced as soon as they are placed by the
utility, so thieves know that very quickly. That is of limited value
in that the information of who is in which block is NOT public
information. And the "blocks" are not contiguous areas but fairly
small areas scattered all over the utility's service area (and over
other utility's areas which get their power fed through the utility.

the idea behind this is that the crooks will only know that block 'x'
is off, but not what physical locations are in block 'x'. Reality is
that the local news panning over San Francisco after sunset from
Mt. Sutro makes the area without power quite obvious.

Mailing lists would probably be the most effective, but not sure that
spamming all known mailing lists is a good idea when an outage is only
goint to affect a specific area, and nobody will maintain yet another
subscription on a list that never gets any traffic.

A mailing list per block seems a good idea. That way customers could
subscribe to the list(s) in which they have equipment. The problem is
that PG&E has been shutting down PORTIONS of a block. The next
shutdown will be "within block 14". So a notification that block 14 is
going down would only mean that your power MIGHT be going out. :frowning:

R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman@es.net Phone: +1 510 486-8634

Or simply a smarter mailing list which applies additional selection
criteria to the mailings. That might include block number, whether they
have interruptible contract, etc.

John A. Tamplin jat@jaet.org
770/436-5387 HOME 4116 Manson Ave
770/431-9459 FAX Smyrna, GA 30082-3723

I actually asked the CAISO folks to set up a notification mailing list.
This was their response:

Date: Wed, 27 Dec 2000 16:09:26 -0800
From: WebMaster <WebMaster@caiso.com>
Subject: RE: Emailed Market Notices

Thank you for your interest in energy conservation. The ISO is currently
investigating direct notification of the end-user community. There will be a
general announcement if the ISO implements such a program.

Although services such as the one you mention are interesting, the ISO must
be concerned about the security of any system it establishes. We have
already had reports of "sham" notifications of electrical emergencies in the
Sacramento area and possibly in other areas.

I offered to help them set up a PGP-signed system, but got no response.