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Bracing for the Internet Apocalypse: Challenges and Strategies

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Bracing for the Internet Apocalypse: Challenges and Strategies

As society increasingly relies on technology for daily life, the fear of an “internet apocalypse” triggered by events like a solar storm looms large. Concerns about foreign powers hacking the power grid and natural disasters causing extended power outages further complicate things. Our survey explores people’s thoughts on these issues, revealing valuable insights for organizations like governments, power companies, and emergency response groups.

Perceptions and preparedness for an internet apocalypse.
Perceptions and preparedness for an internet apocalypse.

Key Takeaways

  • Over 80% of people lack confidence in their government’s ability to handle a major power outage. U.K. respondents (89%) are less confident than Americans (81%).
  • 50% of U.S. and U.K. residents believe a solar storm could cause an internet apocalypse.
  • People were over 40% more likely to believe a foreign power would hack the power grid than a solar storm would cause an internet apocalypse.
    • Foreign powers most feared of hacking the power grid:
      • Russia (86%)
      • China (84%)
      • Iran (36%)
  • Over 90% of people have taken no preparatory measures to mitigate the impact of an internet apocalypse on their personal or professional lives.
  • In the event of a power outage emergency, people have approximately only $200 in cash readily available.
  • Americans were almost 15% more likely than Brits to say they would support a NASA initiative to send a probe into space to prevent an internet apocalypse.
Power outages and contingency plans.
Power outages and contingency plans.

Key Takeaways

  • Americans are over 80% more worried than Brits about unpredictable natural events and their potential impact on society.
  • 65% of Americans have encountered extended power outages, while only 17% of U.K. residents have.
    • On average, extended outages last 5 days in the U.S. and 3 days in the U.K.
  • U.K. residents believe they can endure up to 10 days without power, while Americans are confident they could last 16 days.
  • Respondents’ top strategies, resources, and contingency plans for a power outage are:
    • Securing emergency lighting (72%)
    • Stocking up on non-perishable food and water supplies (58%)
    • Using battery-operated radios to stay updated with emergency alerts/news (33%)
  • Natural disasters account for more than 85% of the reported cases of prolonged power outages in the U.S. and the U.K.
  • Respondents believe these areas of disaster preparedness need more attention and improvement:
    • Early warning systems (68%)
    • Emergency response resources (58%)
    • Community education and awareness (57%)

Safeguarding Against the Unknown

Our survey findings serve as a wake-up call to the prevailing unease surrounding our governments’ ability to handle power outages in this digital age. The fear of an internet apocalypse, concerns about power grid hacking, and worries over natural disasters highlight the complex challenges we must address to ensure the resilience of our interconnected world.

As we reflect on these insights, it’s clear that a concerted effort toward disaster preparedness and education is essential for individuals and organizations. It’s our best chance at navigating the uncertainties of our rapidly changing world, while fostering a more secure and confident society.


Payless Power surveyed 800 U.S. and 200 U.K. residents to gauge their perceptions concerning potential threats to the power grid. The average age of respondents was 44. Among them, 43% were male, 55% were female, and 2% were non-binary. As for the generational breakdown, 18% were baby boomers, 27% were Gen Xers, 43% were millennials, and 12% were Gen Zers.

About Payless Power

Payless Power offers Texans reliable, pay-as-you-go electricity service at a low cost. Whether you live in a large city or a small town, we can save you money today.

Fair Use Statement

Are you concerned about the power grid? Feel free to share this article for noncommercial purposes only. You must provide a link back to this page so readers can access our full findings and methodology.

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