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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #50 on: November 17, 2012, 06:13:49 PM »

TTT

GM, your post of today on the Money, Gold, Silver thread would fit here as well.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #51 on: November 27, 2012, 06:33:52 PM »

Good clip from Michael Janich-- very practical!
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2012, 09:05:55 AM »

 Never heard of this one before but I guess it helped. http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Lost+snowboarder+snow+warmed+hands+with+full+urine/7723573/story.html#ixzz2FZKLaPlt

                                   P.C.  cheesy
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G M
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« Reply #53 on: April 09, 2013, 03:28:50 PM »

America’s Death Zones: Where NOT To Be When It Hits the Fan
Read more at http://investmentwatchblog.com/americas-death-zones-where-not-to-be-when-it-hits-the-fan/
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objectivist1
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« Reply #54 on: May 22, 2013, 02:18:55 PM »

I've never understood why people in these areas often don't have underground shelters for tornadoes.  Hell - I wouldn't own or build a house without one here in Georgia!
See below:


Mike Adams - May 21, 2013 (NaturalNews)

A mile-wide tornado with 200mph winds tore through the suburbs of Oklahoma yesterday, killing 51 people and broadcasting a rude reminder of the fragility of human life and human civilization. Here at Natural News, our hearts go out to the family members of those killed in the storm, and we hope some lessons can be learned from this that will save other lives in the future.

But wait a second, you can't stop a tornado, right?

Of course you cant. But you can prepare for a tornado, and here's where we get into a discussion that the mainstream media won't dare touch because it's not "politically correct" to have an intelligent discussion about any of this.

But here's the question we need to ask if we're going to save lives: How many of those who were killed in the tornado knew there was a tornado warning in place but did nothing to move to a safe shelter? Obviously this question doesn't apply to all the children who were killed, as they are not responsible for their own actions. (Their parents are.) But how many adults actually took the tornado warnings seriously and sought adequate shelter?

Because here's the simple, raw, undeniable truth of the matter: People who seek shelter vastly reduce their chances of becoming fatalities during any disaster. Tornados and hurricanes, in particular, come with advance warnings. They aren't like earthquakes that suddenly appear without any warning at all. Tornados usually give you minutes or even hours of advance notice. Hurricanes give you days of advance notice.

And yet, even when huge hurricanes are approaching their target, many people deny the danger and take no precautions at all!

Survivability vs. tornadoes is 80% preparedness and 20% luck

To be clear what I'm saying here, you can never control 100% of your risk or outcomes in a natural disaster, but through smart preparedness strategies, you can very often control 80% or more.

Taking tornados as an example, there is a reason why Oklahomans have, for generations, built "storm shelters" where they could retreat to survive an approaching storm. The photo on the right, for example, shows a low-tech, high-survivability storm shelter that can easily be installed in almost any yard.

Storm shelters offer almost 100% survivability against tornados. Tornados cannot penetrate underground, after all. If YOU are underground, even in a small, cramped storm shelter that's just two meters wide and two meters tall, you have an almost 100% chance of emerging from the storm completely unhurt.

Most fatalities in tornados happen because people are killed from flying debris. You might even call it "wind shrapnel." Take a bunch of lumber, aluminum siding, bricks and roof trusses and accelerate them to 200 mph and you have a deadly weapon that will kill almost anyone it touches. But put your body just three feet underground -- in a tornado shelter -- and all that debris flies right past you, harmlessly above your shelter.

America has become a culture of short-term thinkers

Investing in a storm shelter, however, requires forethought. It requires long-term planning, and the culture of America has radically shifted away from long-term planning to short-term thinking. This is evident in our national debt spending, national politics, consumer behavior, education system and everything else.

Housing companies that build homes in Oklahoma, Kansas, Northern Texas and other "tornado alley" zones don't even offer storm shelters. Most home buyers don't want storm shelters because they aren't long-term thinkers. But consider the facts: If you live in Oklahoma, you have to realize the area is going to be struck by devastating tornados sooner or later.

People who buy homes in pine tree forests, similarly, would be insane to believe that forest won't one day burn up all around them. (All forests burn sooner or later.)

People who live in Los Angeles have to be aware they're living in an earthquake zone, and folks who have homes in Florida must certainly realize they are sooner or later going to get hit with category 5 hurricanes.

This isn't rocket science. No one who lives in Kansas, Oklahoma or Texas can claim to have been "caught by surprise" when these repeating natural disasters strike. To live in these areas is to live with the ever-present knowledge that such risks will never go away. My hope is that more and more of these people will take seriously the importance of personal preparedness so that more lives can be saved as these repeating disasters continue to unfold.

Americans rarely seek shelter from storms, but they gladly "shelter in place" when government warns them about terrorists

If you really want to get Americans to take cover and seek shelter, tell them there's an armed teenager running loose in their city, tossing pressure cookers everywhere. The people will immediately and obediently follow orders and seek cover in their homes.

But tell them there's a category 5 hurricane about to strike their city, and they'll ignore the warnings while calling a bunch of friends over for a "hurricane party."

Making matters worse, local governments rarely invest in the construction of buildings that can serve as effective shelters against oncoming storms. Many of the children killed in Oklahoma yesterday, for example, were killed by collapsing roofs of schools.

Read this description from Fox News:

Television footage on Monday afternoon showed homes and buildings that had been reduced to rubble in Moore, which is south of Oklahoma City. Footage also showed vehicles littering roadways south and southwest of Oklahoma City. At the Plaza Towers Elementary School, students were hugging and clinging to the walls of the school as the tornado passed over, KFOR reports. An Associated Press photographer saw several children being pulled out of what was left of the school. The school's roof appeared mangled and the walls had fallen in or had collapsed.

Dare I ask the question: Why didn't that school have a basement for sheltering the children?

The answer is devastatingly simple: Because even local governments in Oklahoma -- where tornados are a predictable repeating threat -- often don't think long-term enough to invest in basement shelters for their own children. If they had, those children could have simply been led into the basement and they would all still be alive today. (Tornados don't rip apart properly-constructed basement shelters.)

Sometimes more people die than should have

My message in all this? In every natural disaster, more people die than should have died. I'm not blaming everyone who died for their own death, because there's always that 20% "luck" factor when it comes to storm and disasters. Sometimes people are literally killed due to no fault of their own. Sometimes people who prepare still get caught by unexpected random events. But across the board, at least 80% of your "risk" in a natural disaster is under your own control.

Is the TV news warning about an approaching tornado? Seek out an underground shelter and stay there until the storm passes.

Is the National Weather Service warning about an approaching hurricane? Evacuate early and get out of the way of the storm.

Worried about earthquakes? Carry emergency supplies in your car, in your basement and even simple items on your person (like a flashlight and seatbelt cutter).

No matter what risks you face in your particular geographic area, there are smart, effective ways to drastically reduce your risk of being victimized by disasters.

Nearly all "natural" disasters are repeating, predictable events that occur over and over again in the same geographic areas. People who build homes in flood plains should never be surprised when their homes flood. People who build homes in forests should never be surprised when those forests burn. People who live in Oklahoma should always be prepared for tornados.

Did you know that the simple act of crawling into a roadway culvert can save your life from a tornado? Even lying in a ditch is often a far better strategy than hiding inside a building that can't handle the wind loads. There are many, many ways to protect yourself and your family members from tornados, hurricanes and other natural disasters. But you've got to take the idea of preparedness seriously...

... and most people simply won't do that. It takes too much effort to plan ahead.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/040418_Oklahoma_tornado_shelters.html#ixzz2U39IHQlv
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"You have enemies?  Good.  That means that you have stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Winston Churchill.
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #55 on: May 23, 2013, 12:30:22 PM »

Following up here on the possibility of an EMP from outer space in the near future referenced on a thread today in the P&R forum:  Discussion about what to do in a suddenly non-electrical world would be relevant , , ,
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G M
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« Reply #56 on: May 23, 2013, 02:06:41 PM »

Following up here on the possibility of an EMP from outer space in the near future referenced on a thread today in the P&R forum:  Discussion about what to do in a suddenly non-electrical world would be relevant , , ,

For 99 percent of the population, dying a horrific death is about the only option in that scenario.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #57 on: May 23, 2013, 10:09:42 PM »

Well then, what do we do to be in the 1%?  grin
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G M
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« Reply #58 on: May 23, 2013, 10:24:50 PM »

Don't live in densely populated areas to start.
LA would become "The Road" with Palm trees after about 72 hours.

Rural areas with water and agriculture are the places with the best chances for survival.
 
 
Well then, what do we do to be in the 1%?  grin

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #59 on: May 23, 2013, 10:27:53 PM »

I am thinking a goodly stock of turkey jerky, beans, dried fruits, etc plus tons of water and gasoline would be a good start as would the firepower to defend it.
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G M
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« Reply #60 on: May 23, 2013, 10:54:28 PM »

I'd suggest you ask some of your military contacts what would be involved in attempting to defend your home and family in that scenario. Especially when the cavalry wouldn't be coming.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2013, 07:14:24 AM »

Oh, I have wink

That said, it seems to me prepping for the no-electricity scenario (btw would cars work without their electronics?) takes more than shooting away the mob looking to loot my finite supplies.
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bigdog
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« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2013, 12:37:10 PM »

[W]ould cars work without their electronics?

This is one of the main reasons that several prepper types recommend an older (but reliable, obviously) vehicle.
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G M
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« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2013, 05:28:06 PM »


http://www.futurescience.com/emp/emp-protection.html

Getting Prepared for an
Electromagnetic Pulse Attack
or Severe Solar Storm

by Jerry Emanuelson



Futurescience, LLC


© 2009-2013 Jerry Emanuelson
The science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke once said:


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
This statement is commonly known as Clarke's Third Law.   Many people have heard this quotation, but few people really think about its implications.

We now live in a world that is so completely immersed in advanced technology that we depend upon it for our very survival.  Most of the actions that we depend upon for our everyday activities -- from flipping a switch to make the lights come on  to obtaining all of our food supplies at a nearby supermarket -- are things that any individual from a century ago would consider magic.

Very few people in industrialized countries do work that is not directly assisted by electronic computers, although that computerized assistance is often quite invisible to the average person.  Few people think about things such as the fact that whenever we buy some food item at a supermarket (and many others are buying the same item), the next time we go to that same supermarket, they still have about the same supplies that they had before.  There are invisible infrastructures all around us that are made up of advanced technology.  Most of us just take the magic for granted.

Few people stop to consider what would happen if, in an instant, the magic went away.  If our advanced technology were suddenly and completely destroyed, how would we manage to survive?  A nuclear EMP could make the magic go away.  I hope it never happens, and I don't think that it is at all inevitable.  It makes no sense, however, to be blind to the danger.  It is both much less likely to happen -- and also less likely to have a catastrophic impact -- if, both as a civilization and as individuals, we are prepared for an attack on our advanced technology.  A nuclear EMP would be a seemingly magical attack upon our advanced technology, the technological infrastructure upon which our lives depend.

Among all of the kinds of electromagnetic disturbances that can occur, though, it is important to keep things in perspective.  It is possible that a nuclear EMP may never happen where you live.  On the other hand, a severe solar storm that will destroy most of the world's power grids appears nearly inevitable at this point.  Protection against the damage of a severe solar storm could be done easily and rather inexpensively by the electrical utilities; however it is not being done, and there are few signs that it will be done.  A severe solar storm poses little threat to electronics, but would take down the most important power grids in the world for a period of years.  This is a special problem in the United States, and is a severe threat in the eastern United States.  So, more important than preparing for a nuclear EMP attack is preparing for all of the ramifications of a severe solar storm which would cause an electrical power outage that would, in most areas, last for a period of years.  Most standby power systems would continue to function after a severe solar storm, but supplying the standby power systems with adequate fuel, when the main power grids are offline for years, could become a very critical problem.

In the mid-20th century, electricity was regarded as a convenience.  By the end of that century, electricity had become something that most people literally cannot live without for more than a few weeks.  This profound change has happened so gradually that very few people have even noticed.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


This is a page about some of the things that individuals can do to prepare for an electromagnetic pulse attack.  I'm an electronics engineer who has been thinking about the EMP problem for more than 3 decades.  I even have an ancient Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4P that has been retrofitted with a complete electromagnetic shield.  It's just a personal antique, useless for anything but a personal reminder of how long I've been thinking about this problem.  That early-model personal computer didn't even have a hard drive.

I've spent much of my career working with radio and television transmitters on high mountaintops where there is a lot of lightning and other kinds of severe electromagnetic transients.  Many engineers who spend their careers working in fairly benign electromagnetic environments don't realize the fragility of our technological infrastructure.  On this page, I'm going to concentrate on a nuclear EMP attack, but much of this also applies to natural events such as intense geomagnetic storms resulting from extremely large solar storms.

The threat of a sudden EMP attack that causes a widespread catastrophe is certainly nothing new.  Consider this Cold War era quotation from a widely-read and highly-respected publication more than 30 years ago:   "The United States is frequently crossed by picture-taking Cosmos series satellites that orbit at a height of 200 to 450 kilometers above the earth.  Just one of these satellites, carrying a few pounds of enriched plutonium instead of a camera, might touch off instant coast-to-coast pandemonium:   the U.S. power grid going out, all electrical appliances without a separate power supply (televisions, radios, computers, traffic lights) shutting down, commercial telephone lines going dead, special military channels barely working or quickly going silent." -- from "Nuclear Pulse (III):  Playing a Wild Card" by William J. Broad in Science magazine, pages 1248-1251, June 12, 1981.

The situation would be much worse today than in 1981 due to our profound and ever-increasing dependence upon electricity and electronics for the basic maintenance of our lives.  In addition, the last remnants of the pre-electrical infrastructure, and the knowledge of how to use the components of that infrastructure, is slowly and completely disappearing.  Some people have said that the long-term loss of the power grid would send us back to the 19th century.  That belief is quite false because we have no 19th century infrastructure and very little 19th century knowledge.  A long-term loss of the power grid would send us back at least 500 years.

 


First:   Another brief note about severe solar storms (and similar natural events), and then I'll get back to nuclear EMP.  Solar storms would primarily affect the power grid, and are not likely to harm things like computers.  Also, solar storms would only disrupt communications temporarily, and would not be likely to cause direct harm to communications equipment (except for satellites).   An extremely large solar storm, though, would induce geomagnetic currents that could destroy a substantial fraction of the very largest transformers on the power grid (possibly over much of the world).  If this happened, electric power loss due to a large solar storm would be out for a period of years and possibly decades.  Unlike nuclear EMP, such a solar storm is an eventual inevitability.

The last solar storm that could have caused this level of damage happened in 1859, before the power grid was in place (although in 1921 a large solar storm, of briefer duration than the 1859 event, occurred which affected a much smaller area of the planet).  The power grid has only been in place for a fraction of one percent of human history, and a really large solar storm (of the size and duration of the 1859 event) has not happened in that time.  There is a general assumption that any solar event that is similar to, or larger than, the 1859 solar superstorm will simply never happen again, although there is no justification for such an assumption -- in fact, we know that this assumption is false.  There is a good possibility that such a large-scale solar storm will happen in this century.  If it happens in the current situation without adequate spares for our largest transformers, a large part of the worldwide power grid (including 70 to 100 percent of the United States power grid) will be down for years.

A 2008 study by Metatech found that the time required to obtain a replacement for any one of the 370 or so largest transformers in the United States was 3 years.  In a solar superstorm that affects vulnerable areas of the entire world, delivery times could easily be much longer.  The United States, which for many years had no capability to manufacture those transformers (and which is just beginning to regain that capability), will be at the end of a very long waiting line.  Since such a expansion of transformer manufacturing capability requires a lot of electrical power, the capability cannot be developed after an electromagnetic catastrophe.  The capability has to be developed before there is an actual critical need.  In the past two years, two United States companies have begun the process of expanding into the large transformer business, but it will take a considerable length of time before a reasonable number of spare transformers can be manufactured.

Because of the inevitability of a large solar superstorm, we have to accept the fact that the current electric power grid upon which our lives depend is only a temporary infrastructure.  This temporary infrastructure has served us very well, and we now have entrusted our very lives to it.

The fact that the electric power grid began as a convenience, but has become a necessity for sustaining life, is both one of the most beneficial, and one of the most dangerous, facts of 21st century existence.  We do not know how long the current power grid will last; but if it not replaced by a robust permanent infrastructure in time, hundreds of millions of people will die when the electric power grid collapses simultaneously in many countries.  How such a collapse occurs is very well known, and the methods to either prevent it, or to have spare transformers in place to fairly quickly repair it, are also well known.  Although these preventive measures would not be terribly expensive, they would take some time to put into place; and those things have never been done.

Provisions for insuring islands of power production within the country that would prevent millions of deaths could be put in place fairly quickly, and much less expensively, but this also has never been done -- or, until recently, even been seriously considered, except by the few scientists and engineers who have seriously studied the fragility of the electric power grid.  There are finally signs, in 2013, that this situation is beginning to change, but the process is very slow.

I am repeatedly asked about "faraday cages" for solar storms and protection of automobiles against solar storms.  I must repeat that this is an area where solar storms and nuclear EMP are very different.  Solar storms only produce something similar to the E3 component of nuclear EMP.   "Faraday cages" are not relevant for solar storms for anyone at ground level (unless you are planning to launch a satellite).  Solar storms will not destroy your car, (at least not any of the solar storms that have occurred in the past million years).  If you own an electric car, though, it may be wise to avoid charging it during an active geomagnetic storm.

Many people who say that they have off-the-grid power systems, however, are interconnected to the power grid in order to sell their excess power back to the grid.  From an EMP or solar storm standpoint, this presents the worst of all possible worlds.  Such an interconnection exposes a so-called off-the-grid system to all of the dangers of the power grid.

Even though solar storms primarily affect the power grid, customers can communicate the importance of EMP and solar storm protection to their local electric utilities.  Devices such as the SolidGround system made by Emprimus can be installed by local electric companies on all of their large transformers that are connected to very long lines.

Although a major electromagnetic disturbance that would destroy large parts of the electrical grid is almost inevitable in the next century, it is important to keep things in the proper perspective.  There is a reasonable chance that people will come to their senses in time, and have the electrical power grid protected before such an event happens.  Although a hardened power grid does not seem likely in the near future, the dangers to the power grid are becoming much more widely known.

Another encouraging trend is the fact that far more people are prepared to be self-sufficient for at least a few weeks than was the case just a few years ago.  The greater the number of people who have made at least minimal preparations for a disaster, the smaller will be the overall impact of the disaster.

Even apartment dwellers on a very low income can have a level of preparedness that will be of significant help.  By buying an extra can of reasonably nutritious canned food every week or two, you can build up a food reserve -- before you realize it -- that will last you for at least a week or two, and probably much longer.  A week or two of "breathing room" after a disaster can give you great peace of mind and allow you to stop and think and plan for a future course of action (while the unprepared are all in a great panic).  It is even possible that some additional help will arrive after a week or two.  The most important thing is to store at least a two-week supply of drinking water.  There are many plastic containers of all sizes that can be stored in a closet that won't take up an excessive amount of space.

One kind of convenient containers for water storage in small spaces are the one gallon polypropylene plastic bottles that are used for Arizona brand teas.  Although these plastic containers are marked with the Resin Identification Code 5 or 7, the Arizona Beverage Company web site states that (at least, as of July 2012 and earlier) the plastic does not contain any bisphenol-A in the container, so they should be safe for long-term water storage.  These one-gallon plastic containers with screw-on plastic lids should be a convenient method of water storage for many people.  Do not keep the water in storage for a very long time without refreshing your supply with new water occasionally, though.  There are larger containers that are made for long-term water storage for those who have the storage space for a longer-term emergency water supply.

 


What just happened???

The most important piece of information you can have after any sort of unusual electrical event is information about what happened.  If there is a bright flash in the sky at the same time that the power goes off, and you've been worried about nuclear EMP, your first reaction may be to assume the worst.  There are many other events, however, that can cause a power outage.

If it is a nuclear EMP, though, you will want to know about it right away, and the local radio and television stations are going to all be off the air.  Most of the internet will also be down.   There might be some telephone service if you are very lucky, but anyone that you would call probably won't know any more than you.  The only way that you will get any timely information will be by listening to broadcasts originating on other continents using a battery-operated shortwave radio.

If you have a shortwave radio, it is likely to be knocked out by the EMP unless it is adequately shielded.  To be adequately shielded, it needs to be kept inside of a complete metallic shielded enclosure, commonly known as a faraday cage, and preferably inside nested faraday cages.  A faraday cage is an total enclosure made out of a good electrical conductor such as copper or aluminum.  (Steel also works well, but it is more difficult to make a total enclosure with steel.)  Large faraday cages can get extremely complicated.  For small portable electronics, though, completely covering the electronic equipment in aluminum foil makes an adequate faraday cage around the equipment.  The foil covering needs to be complete, without any significant gaps.  Wrap the device in plastic or put it in an insulated box before wrapping the covered device in foil.  (Otherwise, the foil may simply conduct the EMP energy into the device more effectively.)  A single layer of foil may not be adequate.  In order to enclose the equipment in a nested faraday cage, place the foil-covered device in a plastic bag, such as a freezer bag, and wrap that bag completely in aluminum foil.  If you really want to protect the equipment against a large EMP, add another layer of plastic and foil.  The layer of plastic needs to be the thickest plastic bags that you can easily find.  (They don't need to be terribly thick, but do try to find some heavy-duty bags.)

Just adding many layers of foil directly on top of foil won't do as much good, due to what is called "skin effect."   I won't bother to explain skin effect here, but you can look it up if you're curious.  Don't worry too much about skin effect, though.  I only mention it here because many people have the misconception that when it comes to shielding, the thicker the better -- and this is definitely not true after a certain thickness is reached.  Layers of shielding separated by insulation works much better.  As a practical matter, though, wrapping with 2 or 3 layers of foil helps to assure that you actually have a good shield around the equipment.

Of course, any antennas or power cords need to be either disconnected or contained completely within the faraday cage.

One question that arises frequently is whether a gun safe or a galvanized trash can makes an effective faraday cage.  Technically, it may not be correct to call either of these a faraday cage because they are not constructed of the best electrical conductors.  A galvanized metal trash can, though, can be a very effective electromagnetic shield.  The interior of the body of the galvanized metal trash can should be lined with some material to electrically insulate items stored inside the container from the metal exterior.  (Cardboard probably works better than any other inexpensive material for this.  Liners such as plastic trash bags may be too thin for this because of the momentary high voltages that could be induced on the exterior during an actual EMP.)  Do not place any insulation at a point where it would interfere with the electrical connection between the metal lid and the metal body of the trash can.  It would be a good idea to wrap items placed inside the metal trash can with a layer of aluminum foil in the "nested faraday cage" manner described above.  It is important to remember that a galvanized trash can, by itself, is usually an imperfect shield.  It may be good enough for many purposes, but the extra layer of shielding provided by aluminum foil on equipment that is stored on the inside may be a critical factor in a severe EMP.

The question about using gun safes as an electromagnetic shield cannot be answered because there are so many variations in construction that would affect the shielding efficiency.  In particular, the electrical connection between the door and the rest of the safe is usually not very good.  Such a safe probably has some shielding effectiveness, but in most cases, the shielding is very minimal.  In general, though, gun safes are nearly useless while properly prepared galvanized trash cans are very effective.

Many people have tried to use metal filing cabinets as electromagnetic shields, but they usually provide very little in the way of shielding effectiveness.

For more about shielding from someone who has spent his career doing electromagnetic shielding, see Donald R. J. White's book on EMP shielding.
You'll need to keep plenty of batteries on hand for your radios.  There are some models of shortwave radios that have hand-crank or solar power, but those "emergency radios" that I've tried don't have very good shortwave reception (although, as explained below, many inexpensive shortwave radios could suddenly become very adequate after an EMP event).  A common complaint about radios that use hand-crank power is that the hand cranks are not very sturdy, however the radios will continue to function by using conventional battery power (or solar power if it is available.)  If you do use the hand crank on an emergency radio, though, do not treat the hand crank too roughly.  I still recommend keeping plenty of batteries on hand.

Energizer makes lithium batteries with a 15 year shelf life.  Although small batteries were not damaged during the 1962 high-altitude nuclear tests, it would be wise to wrap each sealed package of batteries wrapped in a layer of aluminum foil.  Future EMPs may be much larger than the 1962 events.  Also, battery technology is evolving and the sensitivity of newer types of batteries to EMP is unknown (although the cylindrical batteries tend to provide a certain amount of shielding just due to the way that they are constructed.).  I generally prefer Energizer batteries for cylindrical batteries (AA, AAA, C and D sizes) and Duracell for 9-volt batteries.  The 9-volt batteries contain 6 internal cells in series.  In the Duracell 9-volt batteries, the cells are spot welded together, whereas most other popular brands use a simple press-fit interconnect for the cells.  The Duracell spot-weld method generally makes for a much more reliable connection in this type of battery.

The idea behind having a shortwave radio is to be able to directly receive radio stations on another continent that has been unaffected by the EMP.  The radio that I like best of the portable, and not too expensive, receivers is the SONY ICF-SW7600GR.  This model is not cheap, but you can usually find it for at least 25 percent below its "list price."

Another good shortwave radio for the price is the Grundig Traveller II Digital G8.   This Grundig radio is much less expensive than the SONY ICF-SW7600GR.  You can usually find the Grundig G8 for around 50 U.S. dollars.  In using the Grundig radio recently, my only complaint was that it seemed to be much more susceptible to electrical noise than many other shortwave radios.  Electrical noise is always a problem when listening to distant stations, but, of course, in a post-EMP situation, electrical noise would cease to be a problem.

Grundig also makes a somewhat better radio known as the S350DL, that sells for about 100 U.S. dollars.  This radio is larger, and many people find it easier to handle.  It also has a number of features, such as bandwidth and RF gain controls, that are very difficult to find on other radios in this price range.  The tuning on the S350DL is analog, but it has a digital readout.  Some of the annoying aspects of the tuning dial in earliest models of this radio have been corrected in current versions.

The National Geographic Store sells the Grundig S350DL radio, which is pictured at the bottom of this page.

Many people have legitimate complaints about nearly any shortwave radio that can be purchased for less than 300 U.S. dollars.  Those complaints are often valid if the radio is to be used frequently in today's high levels of electrical noise and radio frequency interference.  In a post-EMP situation, or any situation where the regional electric grid goes down, the situation will be very different.

Many people have bought or kept old vacuum tube radios for use after an EMP attack.  Although vacuum tubes are thousands of times more resistant to EMP than transistors (and discrete transistors are much more resistant than integrated circuits), other components of vacuum tubes radios can be damaged by EMP.  In fact, vacuum tube radios actually were damaged in 1962 high-altitude nuclear tests.  Vacuum tube radios also have the disadvantage of requiring much more power than solid-state radios, and electric power will be a rare commodity after a nuclear EMP.  Although a vacuum tube radio would have a high likelihood of coming through an EMP event undamaged as long as it was turned off and not connected to an antenna, a modern solid-state shortwave radio kept inside of a nested faraday cage is the best form of insurance for obtaining information after an EMP event (and it is preferable that the shielded radio also be stored inside a galvanized trash can as mentioned above).

(Many people don't realize that most vacuum tube radios still in existence have an early solid-state device called a selenium rectifier that is quite vulnerable to EMP damage.  Although replacement selenium rectifiers are still sold for old radios, they are difficult to find, and you would probably find them to be completely impossible to get after an EMP attack.)

One important misconception about electromagnetic shielding is the common belief that it should be "all or nothing."  When it comes to critical small spare items like an emergency radio, it is important to go to some extra trouble to insure the best shielding possible.  Simple small nested faraday cages are so simple and inexpensive that you might as well make sure that a few items are very well shielded.  When it comes to less critical items, though, such as items that you use frequently, a less-complete electromagnetic shield could easily make the difference between having equipment that survives an EMP and equipment that does not survive.  It is a very common misconception that certain items must have military-grade shielding and other items are nothing to worry about at all.  Real world electromagnetic disturbances are much more messy than that.  (See the either-or myth on the EMP Myths Page.)

A nuclear EMP will severely disrupt the upper atmosphere for a while, so it could be several hours after an EMP before you get decent shortwave reception with any radio, but that will be long before you could get information from any other source.  If you're in the United States, you may be able to get emergency information from a local NOAA Weather Radio station.  I believe that a few NOAA emergency transmitters are EMP-protected, but most are not.  Repairs to many of these transmitters may be able to be made by military personnel, who can also supply emergency power to them for a while, but that emergency power may not last very long.  If you're in the United States, though, it is important to have a NOAA Weather Radio.  These radios really are inexpensive, and whenever the NOAA transmitters are working, they can provide local information that is critically important.  Like your shortwave radio, an emergency NOAA Weather radio needs to be kept in a nested faraday cage until you need it.  NOAA Weather Radios could be especially important in the case of a large solar superstorm, where the radios would probably continue to work and give information, even though much of the power grid could be out for years.

Many people severely underestimate the need for information in any kind of a disaster.  In recent examples of long-term disasters (such as the breakdown of civilization in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s), many people actually died while undertaking risky activities in order to obtain information.  Many 21st century humans have an addiction to information that (although it has greatly improved their standard of living) would cause them to take even greater risks than people did only a generation earlier.  The important thing is to think about the importance of information well before any sort of a disaster happens.

If you have a spare laptop computer, it can also be stored in nested faraday cages, just like your radio.

LED and CFL lights:   LED lights (and, to a lesser extent, compact fluorescent lights) can be very useful for post-EMP use because of their efficiency at a time when very little electricity may be available.  Both LED lights and CFL lights, though, are very sensitive to EMP.

LED lights are solid-state diodes that are made to conduct electricity on one direction only.  In the case of LED lights, the LED itself has a very low reverse breakdown voltage.  Most LED lights will handle a fairly large voltage spike in the forward direction, but not in the reverse direction.  LED lights are currently the most efficient form of lighting that is available.  LED lights also can last for a very long time.  I know of one case where a device that I built at a television transmitter site in 1980 has some of the older (1970s) type of LED indicator lights that have been operating continuously for more than 30 years.

Compact fluorescent lights can probably be stored without any kind of EMP protection because the base of the light is so small that they are unlikely to pick up enough voltage for the imbedded transistors to be damaged.  CFL bulbs are almost certain, however, to be damaged if they are in a socket at the time of an EMP since they have two switching transistors embedded into the base of the CFL.  These switching transistors, although they are out of sight, would very likely be damaged by high voltages picked up by any wiring external to the CFL device itself.

Although many LED flashlights are likely to survive an EMP simply because of their small size, the sensitivity of LEDs makes the survival of unprotected flashlights less than certain.  Also, some LED flashlights contain additional sensitive circuitry.  Because of the importance of having at least one good flashlight when the power grid is down for a long period of time, it would be a good idea to store at least one LED flashlight in a nested faraday shield.
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« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2013, 11:06:05 AM »

http://www.artofmanliness.com/2012/06/05/survival-tampon/

From the article:
Do me a favor for the next five minutes.  Try to forget everything you know about tampons.  I know, it’s hard.  But pretend that this is the first time you have ever seen or heard of the item below, and it is a new survival product on the market: the Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.).
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« Reply #65 on: July 14, 2013, 11:43:50 PM »

Prepare Your House and Finances for a Natural Disaster
Start by Creating an Emergency Plan and Checking Insurance

By DANIEL LIPPMAN

You may not be as prepared as you think.

When a storm is bearing down or a wildfire or tornado is approaching, you don't want to be thinking about all the things you should have done to protect your family, house and finances.

So with wildfires raging in parts of the West, and hurricane season in full swing, taking some crucial steps in advance—especially if you live in a region prone to natural disasters—can help you minimize any damage.

"It's imperative to make sure you are prepared," says Thomas Kirsch, a member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council and co-director of the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response at Johns Hopkins University. "Get things ready to go," he says, with a disaster kit "and the appropriate financial stuff available to you."

1. Make a Plan

Create an emergency plan, detailing where you and family members would meet up after a disaster and how you'd stay in touch. Also designate an out-of-state contact whom people can call if they're unable to get to the meeting spot.

Next, put together a disaster kit and store it in a place all family members can easily access. The disaster kit should include nonperishable food items and water for your family to last 72 hours, a first-aid kit, a flashlight and batteries. Also be sure to keep some cash on hand in case you can't access a bank or ATM.

Ready.gov, which is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and 72hours.org offer tips and information on creating a disaster plan and kit.

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Rob Shepperson

2. Make Sure You're Covered

The most important financial consideration before any disaster is to find out what your home owners insurance does and doesn't cover—and whether you need to buy supplemental coverage.

Some policies cover replacement cost, meaning the cost to replace your items, while others cover actual cash value, which is replacement cost minus depreciation, says Jeanne Salvatore, a spokeswoman at the Insurance Information Institute.

Roman Suarez, a market claim manager of Allstate's National Catastrophe Team, recommends taking photos or video of the contents of every room. It's also a good idea to keep receipts for valuable items.

Most home owners policies exclude flood coverage. So if you live near water or in a flood zone, consider getting flood insurance. If you have a federally backed mortgage in a Special Flood Hazard Area, flood insurance is a requirement. Other lenders may require it as well.

The majority of flood policies are offered through the National Flood Insurance Program. The average policy runs about $600 a year, according to FEMA, but prices vary depending on the house and an area's risk.

It typically takes 30 days before a flood policy goes into effect, and coverage is capped at $250,000 for a home's structure and $100,000 for contents. If you want additional coverage, you can often buy supplemental flood insurance from a private firm.

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The flood-insurance program pays out lots of claims to people outside of special hazard areas, says FEMA administrator Craig Fugate. On the program's site, FloodSmart.gov, you can plug in your address to see whether you live in a high-risk area and get premium estimates. The site also has information about insurance agents in your area.

Damage from earthquakes is often excluded from home owners policies, but you can purchase a separate policy that covers quakes. An average home quake policy offered by the California Earthquake Authority costs $770 annually, says Chief Executive Glenn Pomeroy.

If you live in a rental, damage to the property itself will be the responsibility of the landlord. But you will be responsible for the replacement of your belongings—from televisions to furniture to clothing.

And renters insurance is often relatively cheap. For instance, a renters policy for the New York area, offered by State Farm, starts at $125 a year for $20,000 in coverage.

3. Store Your Documents

Pedro Correa of Staten Island, N.Y., put documents, jewelry and a list of his home's valuable contents, along with a video documenting them, in a safe in his master bedroom. But when Mr. Correa's house was swept away last October during Hurricane Sandy, the safe was gone.

"We have an apartment now and I have a detailed list of everything I own now, but it's in a safety-deposit box," says the 37-year-old corrections sergeant.

Items that should be kept in a safe-deposit box or other secure location include: house deeds or rental leases, a list of insurance policies and the policy numbers, bank documents, birth and marriage certificates, passports, copies of drivers licenses, stock and bond certificates, powers of attorney and wills, as well as valuable jewelry.

You also should make digital copies of these documents (and family photos) and use a service like Dropbox, Microsoft's SkyDrive or Google GOOG +0.30% Drive to put them on the cloud, a network of servers that lets you access your data from any computer.

4. Prepare Your Home

How you prepare and protect your house and property will, of course, depend on the disaster you are most at risk to experience.

In areas prone to wildfires, you should create a "defensible space" around your house by trimming trees and brush and clearing dead vegetation. You can reduce your roof's vulnerability to fire by removing debris from the gutters on a regular basis. If you're thinking of replacing the roof, keep in mind that materials such as tile, metal and slate are much safer than asphalt and wood.

For homes where tornados occur, it's important to build a safe room that can withstand destructive winds and flying debris.

In earthquake zones, go through the house and secure vulnerable objects (say, bookcases or grandfather clocks) to the walls.

Depending on how old your house is, you may want to consider building shear walls under the first floor, which will absorb the quake force and transfer it to the ground, says Howard Cook, co-owner of Bay Area Retrofit in Albany, Calif. Mr. Cook says such a project typically costs around $6,000.

In hurricane areas, FEMA recommends buying a generator, covering a home's windows and making sure your sump pump works. Greg Nelson, a contractor in Tampa, suggests having plywood panels made to fit all your windows so you can easily slip them on.

Regardless of where you live, consider hiring a home inspector see what parts of your home may be vulnerable. Bill Jacques, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors, says an inspection typically runs around $300 to $400.
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« Reply #66 on: October 28, 2013, 05:08:01 PM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_5P90qIzUw
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bigdog
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« Reply #67 on: October 29, 2013, 06:01:54 AM »


An interesting, and pretty short, discussion of why the Nat Geo program is unlikely to happen and the author's view of why cyberwar is a faulty description:

http://www.whiteoliphaunt.com/duckofminerva/2013/10/duck-and-cover-when-cyber-doomsday-comes.html
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« Reply #68 on: October 29, 2013, 08:39:28 AM »

Well, that was pretty superficial.  Dog Brothers Inc. existed before the internet, but, like most/lots of businesses, we are now highly dependent on the internet.  The internet going out of order would be devastating to our business.
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« Reply #69 on: October 29, 2013, 09:32:50 AM »

It was short, but I disagree that it was superficial. There are plenty of links that add to the discussion. It is worth noting that there is much divide about whether an internet shutdown would dramatic. And it is worth noting that despite all the discussion of cyberwar/terrorism/attacks there hasn't really been much one happen yet.
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« Reply #70 on: October 29, 2013, 11:12:50 AM »

I gather that the Chinese have infiltrated our networks rather deeply. Picture a conflict over the Spratleys or Taiwan or , , , and then we begin having some real mysterious problems , , ,
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« Reply #71 on: October 29, 2013, 01:37:00 PM »

Do you know?
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« Reply #72 on: October 30, 2013, 07:54:53 PM »

http://m.csmonitor.com/USA/2012/0510/Exclusive-potential-China-link-to-cyberattacks-on-gas-pipeline-companies

Exclusive: potential China link to cyberattacks on gas pipeline companies


Those analyzing the cyberspies who are trying to infiltrate natural-gas pipeline companies have found similarities with an attack on a cybersecurity firm a year ago. At least one US government official has blamed China for that earlier attack.

 By Mark Clayton, Staff writer / May 10, 2012


In this photo taken Monday, May 7, sections of pipe are stretched out across the landscape for a new natural-gas pipeline in Converse County north of Douglas, Wyo.


Investigators hot on the trail of cyberspies trying to infiltrate the computer networks of US natural-gas pipeline companies say that the same spies were very likely involved in a major cyberespionage attack a year ago on RSA Inc., a cybersecurity company. And the RSA attack, testified the chief of the National Security Agency (NSA) before Congress recently, is tied to one nation: China.

Three confidential alerts since March and a public report on May 4 by the Department of Homeland Security warn of a "gas pipeline sector cyber intrusion campaign," which apparently began in December. That campaign, against an undisclosed number of companies, is continuing, DHS said in the alerts, which were first reported by the Monitor.

"Analysis of the malware and artifacts associated with these cyber attacks has positively identified this activity as related to a single campaign," DHS said in its public statement May 4. It also described a sophisticated "spear-phishing" campaign – in which seemingly benign e-mails that are actually linked to malicious software are sent to specific company personnel in hopes of gaining access to corporate networks.


RECOMMENDED: Top 5 most expensive data breaches

Along with the alerts, DHS supplied the pipeline industry and its security experts with digital signatures, or "indicators of compromise" (IOCs). Those indicators included computer file names, computer IP addresses, domain names, and other key information associated with the cyberspies, which companies could use to check their networks for signs they’ve been infiltrated.

Two independent analyses have found that the IOCs identified by DHS are identical to many IOCs in the attack on RSA, the Monitor has learned. RSA is the computer security division of EMC, a Hopkinton, Mass., data storage company.

Discovery of the apparent link between the gas-pipeline and RSA hackers was first made last month by Critical Intelligence, a cybersecurity firm in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The unpublished findings were separately confirmed this week by Red Tiger Security, based in Houston. Both companies specialize in securing computerized industrial control systems used to throw switches, close valves, and operate factory machinery.

"The indicators DHS provided to hunt for the gas-pipeline attackers included several that, when we checked them, turned out to be related to those used by the perpetrators of the RSA attack," says Robert Huber, co-founder of Critical Intelligence. "While this isn't conclusive proof of a connection, it makes it highly likely that the same actor was involved in both intrusions."

 
Mr. Huber would not release details about the indicators, because access is restricted by DHS.

Jonathan Pollet, founder of Red Tiger Security, has arrived at similar conclusions.

"The indicators from each source are a match," says Mr. Pollet, whose company has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry. "This does not directly attribute them to the same threat actor, but it shows that the signatures of the attack were extremely similar. This is either the same threat actor, or the two threat actors are using the same ‘command and control' servers that control and manage the infected machines."

Among several DHS indicators with links to the RSA campaign, Huber says, is an Internet "domain name" – a humanly recognizable name for a computer or network of computers connected to the Internet. Scores of computer-server "hosts" associated with that domain were already known to have participated in the RSA attack, Critical Intelligence found.

Alone, the domain-name finding was strongly suggestive. But along with many other indicators he's checked, a link between the RSA and pipeline-company attacks is clear, Huber says.

"I don't think there's much question that the attackers going after the pipelines are somehow connected to the group that went after RSA," he says.

So who went after RSA?

Gen. Keith Alexander, chief of US Cyber Command, who also heads the NSA, told a Senate committee in March that China was to blame for the RSA hack in March 2011.

The infiltration of RSA by cyberspies is widely considered one of the most serious cyberespionage attacks to date on a nondefense industry company. Its SecurID system helps to secure many defense companies, government agencies, and banks. Information stolen from RSA has since been reported to have been used in attacks against defense companies Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and L-3 Communications.

Cyberspies attacked RSA using a spear-phishing e-mail that contained an Excel spreadsheet with an embedded malicious insert. Similarly, the gas-pipeline attacks have seen spear-phishing e-mails with an attachment or tainted link.

Nothing in cyberespionage is for sure, Huber and Pollet say – especially since identifying perpetrators is difficult or sometimes impossible because of the layers of digital obfuscation that’s possible for attackers. But as other security firms check and confirm the findings, it could reveal important things, the two experts agree.

First, it would show that the same group hacking the gas-pipeline companies is also interested in high-tech companies that have a focus on cryptography and cybersecurity.

Second, the question arises: Why did DHS provide the indicators to the industry, but didn’t identify the apparent link between the gas-pipeline and RSA attacks?

Finally, there's also the question of why DHS officials, in their alerts, requested companies that detected the intruders to only observe them and report back to DHS – but not act to remove or block them from their networks. Some speculate that blocking the intruders would have short-circuited intelligence gathering. (A DHS spokesman refused comment on the issue.)

This last point has raised consternation among security personnel at some pipeline companies. For a year now, big cybersecurity companies like McAfee have had digital defenses that could be deployed against the RSA hack. In fact, they might have been at least partially effective against the new pipeline hack, Huber says.

Has DHS’s advice to only observe the intruders come at the expense of allowing the cyberspies to become more deeply embedded on company networks?

Marty Edwards, director of the DHS Control Systems Security Program, which issued the alerts, referred questions to public-affairs officials.

“DHS’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team [ICS-CERT] has been working since March 2012 with critical infrastructure owners and operators in the oil and natural gas sector to address a series of cyber intrusions targeting natural gas pipeline companies," Peter Boogaard, a DHS spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

"The cyber intrusion involves sophisticated spear-phishing activities targeting personnel within the private companies," he continued. "DHS is coordinating with the FBI and appropriate federal agencies, and ICS-CERT is working with affected organizations to prepare mitigation plans customized to their current network and security configurations to detect, mitigate and prevent such threats.”

But if anything, questions are growing about China's role either directly or through its cyber militia in vacuuming up proprietary, competitive data on US corporate networks – as well as possibly mapping critical infrastructure networks.

Sen. Carl Levin (D) of Michigan queried Alexander about "China's aggressive and relentless industrial espionage campaign through cyberspace" and asked him to provide some unclassified examples. Alexander's first named example was RSA.

"We are seeing a great deal of DOD-related equipment stolen by the Chinese," he replied. "I can't go into the specifics here, but we do see that from defense industrial companies throughout. There are some very public ones, though, that give you a good idea of what's going on. The most recent one, I think, was the RSA exploits."

"The exploiters," he continued, "took many of those certifications and underlying software" from RSA, rendering the security system insecure until updated.

Chinese officials regularly pour cold water on such accusations. A Pentagon press conference on Monday with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie was intended to show US-Chinese cooperation on cybersecurity. But Liang took the opportunity to condemn claims that Chinese cyberspies are the predominant actors in cyberspying on US networks.

"I can hardly agree with [that] proposition," said Liang, as reported by The Hill's DefCon blog. "During the meeting, Secretary Panetta also agreed on my point that we cannot attribute all the cyberattacks in the United States to China."
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« Reply #73 on: October 30, 2013, 07:57:48 PM »

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/chinas-preoccupation-with-asymmetric-war

China's Preoccupation with Asymmetric War:
 
Lessons Learned from the Hezbollah-Israeli War
 
by Ehsan Ahrari
 
Download the full article: China's Preoccupation with Asymmetric War
 
Chinese leaders have decided long ago that, in the wake of a conflict, their military cannot fight and win a battle against the U.S. military on a force-on-force basis. However, that reality was not going to discourage a country whose strategic culture has produced original thinkers of the caliber and reputation of Sun Tzu and Mao Zedong.
 
In answering this question, one has to remind onself of a few famous quotes of Sun Tzu: "All warfare is based on deception." "If your enemy ... is in superior strength, evade him..." and "Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant." One must also recall Unrestricted War, published in 1999, by two senior Chinese colonels, Qiao Liang and Wang Xiangsui. It stated that, when faced with a technologically superior enemy, it is "necessary to dare to completely upset the order of the cards in one's hands and reorganize them in accordance with the needs of war and the interests of a nation."
 
The conventional wisdom regarding China's asymmetric war doctrine is that it is "aimed at finding key vulnerabilities in American forces." In the post-9/11 era, that doctrine is focused not only on military-related susceptibilities, but also on other weak points. In this context, one has to keep in mind Chang Mengxiong's concept of "assassin's mace" ("shashou jian"). Using the analogy of acupuncture for fighting asymmetric wars, this concept argues that even a superpower like the United States has a great number of points of vulnerabilities. If the focus of asymmetric attack is on those points, then the military giant can be brought down by a "weak" power like China.

Download the full article: China's Preoccupation with Asymmetric War
 
Ehsan Ahrari is Professor of Security Studies at the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) in Honolulu, Hawaii. This essay was originally prepared as part of his testimony at the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission in March 2007.
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« Reply #74 on: October 30, 2013, 08:03:18 PM »

http://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/view/35179/25-new-scada-flaws-emerge-in-critical-infrastructure

25 New SCADA Flaws Emerge in Critical Infrastructure
21 October 2013

Researchers have found at least 25 new vulnerabilities in SCADA software, which controls critical infrastructure that, among other things, keeps clean water and reliable heat and electricity flowing to houses.
Critical infrastructure systems – many of them aging and outdated – continue to show fraying around the edges, opening up the power grid, water plants, industrial control systems and more to nefarious activity, despite the high-profile reporting on it and scrutiny from the Obama Administration, which continues to carry out information-sharing initiatives as laid out in February’s Executive Order on the subject.

The problem is that many of the systems are connected in ways that are considered outdated, and often get overlooked as threat vectors. “SCADA systems are potentially more vulnerable to exploitation given that, when they were developed, internet use was yet to explode,” explained Ross Brewer, vice president and managing director for international markets at LogRhythm, in an email. “The focus of control system security has therefore been typically limited to physical assets, rather than cybersecurity."

Researcher Chris Sistrunk and Adam Crain, which are part of a consulting firm called Automatak, began a fact-finding mission last April using a custom “fuzzer” for detecting vulnerabilities in SCADA systems. They have since found 25 flaws that could allow attackers to do everything from causing power outages to blocking operator visibility into substation operation so that, unbeknownst to the NOC, it starts making decisions based on outdated operational information. That, in turn, paves the way for a shielded attack.

While most of the known issues would not render servers completely unable to control utilities, some of them do allow for complete hijacking, they said. A buffer overrun vulnerability is the most serious issue that they’ve found so far, which would allow arbitrary code to be injected remotely, so that attackers would “own” the server.

Automatak has submitted its findings to the US Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control System-CERT, and has notified the vendors. Nine of the potential exploits have been patched so far.

“While cyber-attacks on SCADA systems may be rare when compared to the extraordinary number of incidents involving web applications or enterprise IT networks, the damage they are able to cause is disproportionately severe,” said Brewer. “The software is primarily responsible for critical operations and national infrastructures and, if exploited, could seriously damage the operations of electricity, water and power suppliers. The potential implications of a hack are terrifying and could not only result in the loss of data, but can also cause damage to physical assets and in certain scenarios, the loss of life.”

Some of the most notorious cyber-attacks in recent years – such as the Stuxnet and Flame viruses – have been SCADA breaches. And just last November one researcher uncovered 25 vulnerabilities in just a few hours. But adding insult to injury is the fact that traditional perimeter cybersecurity tools, such as anti-virus software, have proven their shortcomings time and time again.

“The Flame virus, for example, avoided detection from 43 different anti-virus tools and took more than two years to detect,” Brewer said. “Instead, organizations must have tools in place that allow them to identify threats, respond and expedite forensic analysis in real time.”

Brewer advocates continuous monitoring of all log data generated by IT systems in order to automatically baseline normal, day-to-day activity across systems and multiple dimensions of the IT estate – to identify any and all anomalous activity immediately.
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« Reply #75 on: October 30, 2013, 08:08:42 PM »

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/cyberwar/vulnerable/scada.html

What are the special vulnerabilities of SCADA systems?

SCADA systems -- Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems -- were primarily designed to be devices that sat off on their own, looked at a particular thing, like a gas pipeline, or something in an oil refinery, or something like that, and simply report information back, originally over a telephone line. Now, the main vulnerabilities of SCADA systems are built from the fact that we've taken something of very limited control, and we have now connected it up to an Internet that is accessible by many other people. So more people have access to the SCADA system than was ever intended to have.

Also, to make SCADA systems cost-effective in the future, we no longer build special purpose operating systems for them. We put on standard vendor operating systems, with additional vulnerabilities that are well known. So now we have systems that are well understood, connected to the Internet, but still providing a rather critical function in the element itself.

I liken it very much to my own thermostat at home. My thermostat at home is protected, because I keep my front door locked, so no one can come in and change my heat around. If I add a wireless element to my thermostat, suddenly I can control it from my computer. I can turn the heat up when I'm at work, so the house is warm when I get home. I can understand every month exactly what my fluctuations are in temperature.

Unfortunately, because it's wireless, someone could sit outside my house, now, in the car, with a laptop, and at 4:00 in the morning turn off my heat, in the dead of winter. Or I could be away on vacation, and they could turn it off so my pipes would freeze. SCADA systems are a lot like this. We had walls around SCADA systems for a long time, and we have poked holes in those walls to give us more cost effective access to those SCADA systems, with all of the vulnerabilities that that implies.

 
And the trend?

If you follow the financial trend, things are going to get more and more common, not specialized, because then we can reuse all of the things that are commercially available. SCADA systems will control more and more complex operations, because, after all, a SCADA system that you put in place can do something much more easily than an operator, who has to go from place to place, can do that same function. So it's going to be involved more in our critical operations.
 
 
Center for Strategic and International Studies

 
There's a lot made of SCADA systems, that it's a potential target.

Let me use a model here that's a little unusual in answering the SCADA question -- the model of air attacks. Because you saw very similar arguments made by the initial strategists of air power. This new technology would allow them to fly over enemy forces and cripple economies, bring nations to their knees with just a few well-placed attacks. This is what people started thinking in about 1919.

And, of course, in the 1920s, it didn't work. In the 1940s, people tried it. It didn't work. It wasn't until the advent of nuclear weapons that the air power scenario really began to make sense, that you could think about this as a logical way to attack people. That doesn't mean that people didn't experiment with it or that they didn't try it, or that people didn't think about how to defend against it.

Now, at a much different level, we're looking at the same thing with SCADA systems and the Internet and computer networks. Right now, we aren't that interconnected. People use SCADA systems, but they use them in a whole variety of idiosyncratic matters. They buy different systems. They connect them differently. They connect differently to the physical structure. So understanding how a SCADA system works for one company doesn't give you a benefit in attacking another company. It's very difficult. And we just aren't as vulnerable as some people would make up.

Could that change over time the way air power changed over time? I think it will. And that's why we need to pay attention to what the defenses are, how we build secure networks now. But that doesn't mean that terrorists are going to be able to turn off the water supply tomorrow or that they're going to be able stop the U.S. from moving forces to Iraq. SCADA is just not as interconnected with either the physical infrastructure or with other companies' networks as people make out. So the vulnerability isn't there.

Let me give you a concrete example? People looked really hard with this Slammer worm that came up a couple weeks ago -- it came up in early February -- to see if it had affected any SCADA systems or if there were any reports of attacks on SCADA systems that led to infrastructure being crippled. Today, no reports of any successful attacks. So I'm kind of doubtful about the ability to penetrate a SCADA system, and then turn that to some real-world advantage. People can penetrate SCADA, but they have a hard time turning off the lights. ...
 
 


 
The reason that SCADA is particularly dangerous is that SCADA is a standard approach towards control systems that pervades everything from water supply to fuel lines. The problem is that most SCADA systems are running Microsoft operating systems, and if you are running a Microsoft operating system, you have a target painted on your forehead.

 
What do you mean?

Out of the box as a basic install or even with a sophisticated system operator, making Windows secure, any of the Windows varieties, Windows NT or Windows 2000, which are your common SCADA platforms, is an incredibly sophisticated and complicated task. It is not the kind of thing that you can do easily or simply, and it is not the skill base normally available to a low-end infrastructure job. It is the kind of skill base that's available at the high end of the transnational. It's the kind of thing that we bring to the table and that Joe Power Supply Company doesn't have available to them.

The National Security Agency, the U.S. agency responsible for protecting the cyber infrastructure, has many, many hundreds of pages of how to close the security holes in Windows NT. I mean, it's a huge volume of material. But the knowledge it would take even to follow their step-by-step instructions is very, very high. And so the number of vulnerabilities are extreme and the knowledge base necessary to protect it is too much for your ordinary group.
 
 
Security expert, KEMA Consulting

 
My very, very, very strong feeling is if and when we get hit, we will never know why we were hit. All we will know is breakers are opening, valves are closing, certain things are happening. But we won't have a clue as to why.

And I'll give you an example. This is not a cyber attack but just an example. I believe it was July '99, there was a pipe break in Bellingham, Washington. A backhoe was digging, hit a gasoline line, broke the line, spilled a couple hundred thousand gallons of gasoline in a creek, caught fire and killed, I think, maybe, about three people. I remember even seeing it on the news. As an industry, I'm not trying to belittle the industry, those things happen. We haven't marked things well enough.

It was either late November or early December of 2002, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a final report on the pipe break in Bellingham. Turns out the backhoe didn't break the line. The backhoe weakened the line. There was a gas SCADA there. The gas SCADA had about 18 to 20 minutes to take action to keep that line from breaking. It didn't. This wasn't a hack. Here was a clear case where a control system played a part in a major catastrophe. For whatever reason, I cannot tell you, for two and a half years, the industry for whatever reason was kept oblivious of the fact that a SCADA could have played a part. This wasn't a hack.

How can we, as an industry, do anything when information like that is available and we're not even made aware of it? Like I say, it was not a hack but it's obvious the control system was involved.

There are an awful lot of not just control systems suppliers, but system integrators, people that offer courses in how to use control systems. You don't have to be an owner of a company or a utility person or a refinery person or anybody else, to take these courses. You have to just pay. Because very easily, you could just be somebody who's going to be a contract engineer to do it.

 
What's the worst case scenario?

Don't know. The ability to get unauthorized access to these systems is well proven. I won't say well documented, because this is not something you're going to pick up a magazine and say, "Here it is," but it's well proven.
 
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« Reply #76 on: October 30, 2013, 08:16:21 PM »

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/9880195/Chinas-cyber-war-machine-threatens-us-all.html

China’s cyber-war machine threatens us all

 It’s good news that India has signed a new security pact with Britain – Beijing’s power in cyberspace grows by the day
 


By Con Coughlin

8:06PM GMT 19 Feb 2013

233 Comments

 



When David Cameron agreed a new cyber-security pact with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh yesterday, he was not just seeking to protect the highly sensitive personal data of millions of British households that is stored by Indian call centres and computer servers. He was looking to establish a vital strategic alliance that will help to protect our shores from the mounting threat posed by China’s formidable cyber-warfare machine.
 

Of course, protecting individuals’ private information is vital if Britain is to maintain its enviable position as a world leader in online services. Untold damage can be done to our personal finances, and reputation, if access to such information falls into the wrong hands: it is estimated that a significant proportion of the £73 billion Britain loses to fraud each year is down to fake internet activity.
 

Yet the threat to our wellbeing caused by internet crime is relatively manageable when compared to the havoc that would be wrought if Britain were to fall victim to a sustained attack by China’s growing army of cyber-warriors. In the unlikely event of a deterioration in relations between our countries, experts believe the Chinese have the capacity to launch a “clickskreig” against the British mainland, knocking out vital elements of our national infrastructure, such as power stations and cash machines, simply by pressing a button. Even in today’s more amicable climate, Chinese firms and state agencies have been implicated in a host of hacking attacks, on targets ranging from leading industrial and technology firms, to the Pentagon and other US government agencies, to the New York Times and Coca-Cola.
 

So the threat posed by Beijing’s growing expertise in this unprincipled art is certainly deserving of the Prime Minister’s attention – and that of the rest of our security establishment. For the truth is that China is now firmly established as the world’s leading perpetrator of cyber-attacks.
 

The origins of the country’s love affair with this unprincipled form of warfare can be traced back to the Nineties, when the Chinese military, realising that it could never match the Americans in purely conventional terms, developed the concept of unrestricted warfare, whereby its enemies could be defeated without recourse to direct military confrontation. The two People’s Liberation Army (PLA) colonels who produced the new manual, whose title literally translates as “Warfare Beyond Bounds”, initially envisaged resorting to tactics such as economic upheaval and terrorism to achieve their aims.
 
 
From the late 1990s, however, this doctrine has been rigorously applied to cyberspace, where the Chinese have become adept at using the internet to defend their interests, as well as using their expertise for industrial espionage, by stealing technological know-how from Western competitors. Such is the official obsession with maintaining the country’s position as the world’s pre-eminent power in cyberwarfare that the PLA regularly holds national hacking competitions, in which the winners are rewarded with an immediate commission into the organisation’s highly secretive cyber-command.
 
Maintaining supremacy in the dark of arts of industrial espionage has almost become a national obsession, with frequent accusations that state agents have resorted to blackmail and murder. The family of Shane Todd, a 31-year-old Californian electronics engineer, are convinced that his unexplained death in Singapore last summer is related to sensitive research he was conducting for a Chinese company into hi-tech chemicals.
 
What is beyond doubt is that, whether through fair means or foul, hardly a day passes without the Chinese being implicated in a high-profile hacking scandal. Major American defence contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon’s main supplier, have been attacked on numerous occasions; in Britain, Chinese hackers have been accused of creating a new “spyware” program codenamed Beebus, which has been used to attack companies involved in the development of the next generation of drone aircraft.
 
William Hague – who as Foreign Secretary oversees the work of Britain’s intelligence agencies, including the GCHQ listening post at Cheltenham – is said by Whitehall insiders to be incensed by China’s conduct, and has told Cabinet colleagues that Britain must make its displeasure known to Beijing, even if it means upsetting the lucrative trade ties between the countries.
 
Mr Hague’s ability to claim the moral high ground will have undoubtedly have been helped by a report this week in the New York Times (which saw its computer network come under sustained attack after publishing an investigation into the financial affairs of the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister). It has identified a 12-floor office building in Shanghai as the headquarters of the PLA’s Unit 61398, which is said to be responsible for launching hundreds of cyber-attacks against US government institutions.
 
Whether Mr Cameron’s agreement with the Indians will help to counter this threat, only time will tell. But the gravity of the situation has become increasingly clear. For years, China has consistently denied any involvement in such skulduggery. Today, those protestations of innocence ring less true than ever.
 
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« Reply #77 on: October 30, 2013, 08:30:38 PM »

On point to the conversation between BD and me yesterday GM, thanks.  Would you please post this on the Cyberwar thread as well?  TIA.
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« Reply #78 on: November 04, 2013, 08:26:12 AM »

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/detail/american-blackout-a-real-life-nightmare-nearer-than-you-think?f=must_reads
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« Reply #79 on: December 05, 2013, 05:40:17 AM »

I first saw this on the Huffington Post, so I apologize for once again for making a mistake, but this may interest you:

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« Reply #80 on: December 05, 2013, 08:48:01 AM »

I would not have thought of that  smiley
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« Reply #81 on: December 09, 2013, 09:59:03 AM »

If you were stuck in this,

http://m.ksl.com/index/story/sid/27951404?mobile_direct=y

would you have some of these in your vehicle?

http://dogbrothersgear.com/Survival-Gear/
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« Reply #82 on: February 05, 2014, 09:50:38 AM »

I was astonished to read that anyone could survive 16 months at sea (the first report I read).  Now it is 13 or 14 months and I was even more astonished to see his picture a few days after he was rescued.  I don't recall ever seeing someone look so good after over a year at sea eating fish turtles and birds.

This is definitely a Ripley's believe it or not story:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/marshall-islands-castaway/castaway-gets-haircut-n22586
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« Reply #83 on: July 07, 2014, 10:42:59 AM »

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2675798/Hundreds-European-US-energy-firms-hit-Russian-Energetic-Bear-virus-let-hackers-control-power-plants.html
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« Reply #84 on: July 07, 2014, 12:13:33 PM »

Please post on Cyberwar thread as well.  TIA.
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« Reply #85 on: August 06, 2014, 03:48:02 PM »

The REAL Pandemic Threat: BioBombers
Hope for the Best -- Prepare for the Worst
By Mark Alexander • August 6, 2014     
"A universal peace, it is to be feared, is in the catalogue of events, which will never exist but in the imaginations of visionary philosophers, or in the breasts of benevolent enthusiasts." --James Madison (1792)
 

The 24-hour news recyclers have lately devoted a lot of airtime to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and concerns about its spread to the U.S.
In recent weeks, more than 1,300 Africans have been infected with the deadly virus, and most of them have died. There would likely not be much coverage of this regional epidemic if not for the fact that two "humanitarian workers" (read: heroic Christians), an American doctor and nurse, are infected with the virus and have been transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has assured Americans that, while Ebola is deadly in each of its variant forms -- it is much like AIDS or HIV -- transmission requires substantial direct contact with an infected person. Of course, given that in the last three months the CDC's stellar status was tarnished by reports that its personnel were very careless with some deadly pathogens -- including anthrax, avian flu and smallpox -- it's understandable many Americans question CDC's assessment of the Ebola risk.
The fact is, CDC's risk assessment regarding the threat of an Ebola epidemic in the U.S. is correct. There is, however, right now, a very real pandemic threat posed by what we can call "BioBombers."
BioBombers are Islamist "martyrs" who, instead of strapping on a bomb and detonating themselves in a crowded urban area, become human hosts for virulent strains of deadly contagions. Once infected, they fly into the U.S. legally and park themselves in major airport hubs around the nation for days, where they can infect others traveling across country whose symptoms may take days to manifest -- which is to say others unknowingly become hosts and spread the virus to a much wider circle in their communities and work places.
For historical background, the greatest mortal threat to indigenous American populations when 15th- and 16th-century European explorers arrived was not from armed conflict with other native peoples; it was from European strains of diseases for which they had no immunity. The reverse was also true -- many Europeans suffered from American diseases.
In the 19th century, of the estimated 620,000 deaths recorded in the War Between the States, more than 430,000 died from "camp diseases." When soldiers and support personnel from different regions of the country congregated in camps, those who arrived with a virulent strain of influenza or other contagion quickly passed it on to others, and the consequences were devastating.
In the 20th century, there were 5.1 million combatant deaths in the four years of World War I, but the 1918 H1N1 influenza virus, commonly referred to as the "Spanish Flu," infected an estimated 500 million people globally, including even those in remote Pacific and Arctic regions. Indeed, as many as 75-100 million people died in that pandemic -- up to five percent of the world's population, in two years.
In World War II, disease in the Pacific campaign claimed far more casualties than combat.
So how have we avoided another devastating Spanish Flu pandemic?
 

We've learned how to restrain the spread of these diseases because of our notable early detection of outbreaks and well-rehearsed preventive measures to contain and isolate the infected. (Early detection and containment is critical when dealing with bacterial and viral infections.)
We have learned a lot from managing outbreaks. In 1976, a bacterial contagion called Legionnaires' disease claimed 29 victims in Philadelphia. More recently, a viral SARS outbreak killed 775 people in 37 countries, most of them in Asia. There have also been recurring concerns about "bird flu," which has been spreading worldwide since 2003 and claimed its first victim two years ago in Canada.
There are also inoculation programs that have helped eliminate the spread of disease, and treatment is much better now than it was in the early part of the 20th century.
But pathogens such as these are decimating if health care providers are slow to recognize the symptoms and correctly diagnose the disease. They can spread quickly if not properly reported to the CDC for entry into its early warning and response protocols. Fortunately, dangerous strains of H5N1 influenza and other flu viruses have not adapted, or mutated, into dramatically more virulent and deadly strains.
But there are plenty of artificially engineered bio-warfare viral strains that, if released into urban population centers, would overwhelm medical facilities and claim millions of casualties. The prospect of bio-terrorism, particularly a simultaneous attack across the nation from a cadre of BioBombers, would quickly overload health care service providers and exhaust pharmaceutical reserves. In the event of such an attack, the CDC's epidemic early warning detection map would not merely blink with one or two markers -- the entire board would light up, and the probability of containment would be lost.
In fact, the possibility of such an attack was the impetus last week for the largest bio-terrorism drill in New York City's history.
So, how real is the threat?
The primary symmetric deterrent to weapons of mass destruction in warfare between nation states is the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. But in asymmetric warfare, where Islamic martyrs serve as surrogates for states like Iran, the MAD doctrine is of little deterrence.
 

The prospect of another catastrophic attack on our homeland by asymmetric terrorist actors is greater now than it was in 2001, and the reason is as plain as it was predictable. But the impact of BioBombers on continuity of government and commerce will be far greater than 9/11.
In his first annual address to the nation in 1790, George Washington wrote, "To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." The eternal truth of those words is plainly evident today.
Indeed, as our nation's erstwhile "community organizer" leads our nation's retreat from its post as the world's sole superpower, the inevitable consequences have been dramatic. Of greatest concern now is the resurgence of the enemies of Liberty, most notably al-Qa'ida jihadists in the wake of the Middle East meltdown (AKA, Arab Spring) in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Jordan, and now the disintegration of Iraq and the conflagration in Gaza.
At present, all eyes are on the unabated rise of the nuclear Islamic Republic of Iran, a major benefactor of worldwide Islamic terror. Iran could eventually put a compact fissile weapon into the hands of Jihad surrogates with the intent of detonating that weapon in a U.S. urban center.
But the scope and consequences of a coordinated attack by Islamic BioBombers is far greater than that of a nuclear attack. The impact on continuity of government and commerce will be far greater than the 9/11 attack.
So if the threat of a catastrophic bio-terrorism attack has increased, and if the CDC and our homeland security apparatus are not properly prepared to respond to such an attack (the response to Hurricane Katrina comes to mind), then what can be done?
Fact is, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and your family in the event of a biological attack on our nation with a little knowledge, preparation and not much expense -- and that preparation will also suffice for other types of emergencies.
 

The bedrock foundation of survival is individual preparedness and being prepared is not difficult. The primary means of protection in a pandemic is sheltering in place. But the Web is flooded with all kinds of preparedness and overwhelming advice from doomsday preppers. But your Patriot Post team has prepared a one-stop reliable reference page with basic instructions and advice.
As a resource to communities across the nation, we convened a knowledgeable team of emergency preparedness and response experts in 2012, including federal, state and local emergency management professionals, and specialists from the fields of emergency medicine, urban and wilderness survival, academia, law enforcement and related private sector services. They compiled basic individual preparedness recommendations to sustain you and your family during a short-term crisis. The result is a Two Step Individual Readiness Plan that enables you to shelter in place in the event of a local, regional or national catastrophic event, including a pandemic.
The most likely scenario requiring you to shelter in place would be the short-term need to isolate yourself from chemical, biological or radiological contaminants released accidentally or intentionally into the environment. (This could require sheltering for 1-7 days.)
But in the event of a bio-terrorism attack setting into motion a pandemic or a panic, you must be prepared to isolate yourself and your family from other people in order not to contract an illness. The best location to shelter in place during such an event is in your residence, and the length of time required could be 1-6 weeks.
Be prepared.
1.   Link to our Disaster Preparedness Planning resource page.
2.   Link to our Two Step Individual Readiness Plan
Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis
 
Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post
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bigdog
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« Reply #86 on: August 24, 2014, 10:25:59 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ObupY-pVFs&app=desktop
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