The damage done in North Carolina has re-energized concerns about infrastructure, including the power grid.

However, local officials appear confident in their safeguards. Even through the fog, the challenge can be seen. Substations all over the country can become targets for someone who wants to create chaos.

“We do monitor intelligence channels and receive intelligence from state police and the federal government regarding any perceived threat,” said Deputy Chief William Marucci, Erie Police Department.

Marucci said Erie Police have received no alerts since the attack against the substation in North Carolina, but what appears to be a singular incident knocked out power to tens of thousands.

He urges the public to stay alert and police will do the same.

“The officers on patrol do always do passbys of those certain areas. They are aware of where they are at.  They see the news and take it upon themselves to may be more vigilant,” Marucci added.

Dr. Jacob Mauslein, department of intelligence studies at Mercyhurst University, said education needs to be aimed at these companies.

“And they need to understand, and they do hopefully understand, that what they are doing is absolutely critical infrastructure to the security, national and homeland, of the United States,” said Dr. Jacob Mauslein, assistant professor of intelligence studies.

A statement provided by Penelec’s parent company calls protecting the energy grid a top priority reading:

Protecting the energy grid and providing our customers with reliable power is a top priority for FirstEnergy. We’re constantly using real-time monitoring to detect any potential physical or cyber security threats to the grid, and we follow rigorous procedures and standards that protect the grid by improving reliability and reducing the impact of potential threats. A wide variety of surveillance, deterrence, physical and technology measures are in place, and we continually invest to ensure our protective measures are robust. In addition, we practice our response in numerous drills throughout the year, partnering with other utilities, response organizations and regulators to ensure we are prepared should a threat materialize.

Statement from Penelec – FirstEnergy