In an apocalyptic world, what would you do? Are you prepared for the multiple types of disasters which could result in the loss of power, water, sanitation, money, communication and even your home? The causes of such a horrible scenario could include disease, war, extreme weather, solar flares and even attacks on our power grids by hackers from here in the US or from other countries. The US has experienced power outages with extreme weather like tornado’s, hurricanes, winter storms, flooding and wildfires in the past few years which left too many Americans stranded.
How would you survive if the unimaginable happens tomorrow, in six months or a year from now? If you lost your home, do you and your family have plans to get to a safe place? Do you have food, water and the basic necessities to survive a prolonged period of time without access to them? What if there is widespread looting, rioting and violence, how are you going to keep yourself and your family safe? What if you are left stranded with only the clothes on your back after a disaster and there is no safe place to go? Would you be better off staying where you are or should you leave to find a safer place? Can we wait around for our government or FEMA to come save us?
“Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find, and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items, consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets, babies or seniors.
After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own food, water and other supplies to last for at least 72 hours. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.”
When contemplating the possibility that you and your family may someday be the victims of a disaster you must of course be aware that the power/electric grid will most likely go down for an extended period of time. This will affect almost every aspect of your life. Water, sanitation, heating/cooling,transportation and communication.
What is a Power Grid? Wikipedia says that:
An electrical grid, electric grid or power grid, is an interconnected network for delivering electricity from producers to consumers. It consists of:
- Generating stations that produce electrical power
- High voltage transmission lines that carry power from distant sources to demand centers
- Distribution lines that connect individual customers
- Power stations may be located near a fuel source, at a dam site (to take advantage of renewable energy sources), and are often located away from heavily populated areas. The electric power which is generated is stepped up to a higher voltage at which it connects to the electric power transmission net.
- Electrical grids vary in size from covering a single building through national grids which cover whole countries, to transnational grids which can cross continents.
- Electrical grids can be prone to malicious intrusion or attack; thus, there is a need for electric grid security. Also as electric grids modernize and introduce computers, cyber threats also start to become a security risk. Particular concerns relate to the more complex computer systems needed to manage grids with a large proportion of intermittent renewable energy sources in the electricity mix.
The December 12, 2018 Utility Dive’s article, “US unprepared for ‘catastrophic’ power outage, presidential advisory report finds” by Robert Walton states:
“The U.S. utility sector has been focused on cybersecurity for several years now, as the industry grasped the full extent of the threat it faces — and how unprepared most companies really were.
The effort to get up to speed has progressed on several fronts: This year, the U.S. Department of Energy created the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, and is now funding tens of millions of dollars in projects and research.
GridEx, a biennial security event hosted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center, draws thousands of participants and allows them to run through their cyberattack response protocols. And the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has been strengthening its Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Reliability Standards to respond to more sophisticated threats.
In the face of these enhancements, a recent survey found almost half of power and utility CEOs think a cyber attack on their company is inevitable.“
Will our government come to our rescue if the unimaginable happens? How long can we wait before we pack up and leave our homes to find help? Can we depend on FEMA arriving in time to prevent the deaths of ourselves or our families?
Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018
“On Oct. 5, 2018, President Trump signed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 into law as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. These reforms acknowledge the shared responsibility for disaster response and recovery, aim to reduce the complexity of FEMA, and build the nation’s capacity for the next catastrophic event.”
FEMA“The IPAWS National Test” “The EAS is based upon the War Powers Act provision of the Communications Act of 1934, which provides for Presidential access to commercial communications during “a state of public peril or disaster or other national emergency.” For WEA, the Warning, Alert, and Response Network (WARN) Act of 2006 provides that subscribers may opt out of receiving any wireless alerts “other than an alert issued by the President,” and that wireless alerting service should allow wireless subscribers the capability of opting out of receiving WEA alerts, other than an alert issued at the direction of the President and/or his/her designee.”
The President may declare a State of Emergency only when,
“the life of the nation is threatened by war, invasion, general insurrection, disorder, natural disaster or other public emergency” and if the ordinary laws and government powers are not sufficient to restore peace and order.
“Martial law is the imposition of direct military control of normal civilian functions by a government, especially in response to a temporary emergency such as invasion or major disaster, or in an occupied territory”
The U.S. government has contingency plans in place in case of, not only for nuclear attack, but for other disaster scenarios as described in History.com’s “Inside the Government’s Top-Secret Doomsday Hideouts” by Christopher Klein
The continuity of our government is central to restoring order after not only a nuclear attack, but also of any other type of war including bio-warfare, invasion and insurrection. Perhaps we also should take a page from their book and prepare a safe place ahead of time where we can ride out the storm.