Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Ted Koppel -- former "Nightline" anchor, in his new book "Lights Out," warns us about a massive cyber attack."

I've thought about that, but shoved it out of my mind. Gee, what can we do? New York City is a prime target. Move out of the city? Go where?

Today, there's a hit TV series, "Doomsday Preppies," that's into its 4th season -- a hero with a popped collar, alligator shirt, sweater over the shoulders, and gas mask. There are rich people who have bought deep underground, Ritz Carlton type of designer bomb shelters, far away from major cities. Now, also, online you can find websites that advise you how on to prepare for small disasters like power outages, as well as big disasters like Super Storm Sandy, floods, fires, and also, the possibilities of jihadist terrorists.

Back in the fifties, after we got the hydrogen bomb, we were encouraged to build shelters by President Truman, then Eisenhower, then JFK.

There was a Civil Defense Department that gave out advice on how to build one yourself for $100 to $200.

During the sixties, fears about the bomb quieted down, as arms-control talks and a limited nuclear test ban evolved. Shelters were converted into wine cellars, mushroom gardens, recreation rooms, or storage areas.

Koppel said, unequivocally, "Now is the time to prepare. The time to panic is if we wait until it happens. Former secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, told me she thinks the chances of a cyper attack are 80 to 90 percent. Though government agencies need to establish some kind of plan -- FEMA, and the Department of Homeland security don't have plans yet.  Even so, every person needs to prepare."

Wow -- what should we do if the SHTF -- Shit hits the fan is the term used in the Modern Survival Blog's 55 ways to prepare. Guys, click on the link and study the list -- make notes, and think about where you could go, and what you might need.

Yes, my husband and I have talked about this more than once, but we have no definite, real plan. We continue to live the way we've chosen to live. Yes, our eyes and ears are ready to receive warnings; yes, we more or less know where tools, important papers, and irreplaceable mementos are stored. But No -- we are not preparing for doomsday. It doesn't feel right to start tearing down, reshaping our life style. It's a do nothing p o v.

In hurricane season, you know there will be hurricanes. Nevertheless, boarding up the windows as the season begins does not make sense if nothing specific is heading your way. You watch the news for trends, and think about plans.

However, Koppel, describing his own plans, says "having a store house of food in your home that will last the family three months, is a very, very sensible precaution."  He explained that he had a store house in Maryland near his home -- with a generator -- one he's had for a few years. "I live in a part of Maryland where the power goes out a lot. I did order and stocked freeze-dried food, enough for my grown kids and grandkids."

Okay Ted Koppel -- I am looking at online videos.

Guys I am advising you as I am advising myself -- feel out what you need to do that makes sense, and make your own list of the major ways -- maybe just 10 ways -- to start preparing. Fear is a fence you can climb over, and check out what's there.

After I watched this video, I put "Water" at the top of the list I've started to make.


Larry Enright said...

Thoughtful piece on a difficult subject, Em.

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily, if the SHTF you and John would be more than welcome in our country setting in upstate New York! I have a plan of action.........though I'm still working on it!!

I have myself given this prepping business some thought. I do think that some go overboard with how much money they spend on prepping, especially when they do not earn that much money to begin with, it is a huge strain on their lives to prep for something that may never happen. I remember one episode where the family was spending I think it was $600 or $1000 a month on prepping. This seemed kind of crazy to me. While you get some seriously wealthy people doing it more as a hobby as they have cash to throw at it.

I feel that starting with the basics is a good plan, not just for preparation for an extreme event but to improve our own lives and other peoples lives on a day to day basis in a so called 'normal' state of affairs. From this I mean to grow some of our own food, upgrade to solar energy perhaps and renewable energy resources and have at the very least a backup plan of the basics. Perhaps even a food store of non perishables and also a store of water. I am not in a situation where I can throw 100k into a an underground shelter or indeed put money towards food stores to feed me and my wife for the next 5 years but I am starting on the very base level....

A dear friend of mine in his late 60's, who with his wife have built a comfortable lives for themselves and are now both retired. They just had solar installed on their house, which will give them almost 100% of their electrical needs. This did not come cheap but with the tax breaks it worked out that the monthly payment was the same price as they were paying for their electricity. Something that could be within reach of a lot of us and makes sense to me in the long term. Having a battery bank set up would cut out the power company altogether. Though it was his other quest in retirement that impressed me, in that he is turning his land into a small farm, and his notion is to feed himself and his wife as much as possible but to also donate to the poor - a local charity uses his donations for soup kitchens. The point I am making here is that if more of us, now this is dependent somewhat on geographical location, grew some of our own food in our everyday lives, leaned towards the use of renewable energy sources and other practices, it would make us all better prepared, more experienced in what we would need to do in case of a national emergency. We would have the experience to grow our own food and have the energy resources needed to sustain ourselves, our neighbors and friends. Instead, and this is me included, most of us would not have a clue about growing our own food, we may be able to shoot and kill and pillage other peoples stores but this would not be a long term plan.

Next year I am starting my own, fairly small growing project, I probably will not get much food out of it but I certainly will get some experience and will learn a fair amount in my first year. I think this is a good first step. My second step is to have a renewable energy source.

Great write up Emily.

Your friend
Kevin from upstate New York.

carola said...

If it's a cyber attack it doesn't matter if you live in NY or elsewhere. I keep offline and paper copies of financial records, etc. In the Pacific NW we all keep extra water and food on hand because of the danger of major earthquake--but it could be needed in a case of cyberattack because of possible shutdown of distribution systems.

Unknown said...

Gosh I would have no clue how to begin something like this:)