by Major Van Harl
Review of Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath by Ted Koppel
United States -(AmmoLand.com)- I do not sit around worrying about simultaneous nuke strikes on D.C. and Los Angeles. Nor do I worry about a pandemic outbreak of influenza that kills a third of North Americans.
Yes the above crises could happen. However, what really keeps me up at night or more likely messes with my sleeping mind and wakes me up way too early, is the US dollar crashing or the US power grid crashing. In case you think this might be an either-or situation, if the power goes, so goes your dollar, and if the dollar goes, very quickly the unpaid employees of the power system stop coming to work,,, then no electricity.
I do not care how much money you think you have. If your perceived personal dollars are not in paper money, non-silver coins, real silver, gold coins, ammo or some other first world country’s currency, when the electricity goes down you have no dollars. If you think because your last bank statement says you have one million dollars in the bank, remember it is only one million blips on a computer screen.
If you have a stack of US paper money stashed in your mattress do you have the foresight to figure out when the power first goes off that there is a good chance it may not be coming back on anytime soon? Are you predisposed to spend your cash real fast and maybe get ahead of the long term disaster effects? Take every bit of your soon to be worthless paper money and buy as much as you can in hard assets.
If someone tells you that they have to have a nice crisp $100 bill for a five gallon can of gas, give them the hundred dollars. By day two of no power you will be happy to pay $200 plus for the same five gallons of gas.
If you have not already acquired the guns and ammo that you will have to have to even attempt to survive, you will quickly discover that that was your number two worst mistake in your life (and it may be a short one). The number one mistake in planning to prepare for the dollar or the power to collapse, is not storing any water.
It takes electricity to pump, to make safe to drink and to distribute water. Without electricity the water stops. You may have a day or two if you know what to do when the lights go out, to capture some of the last few gallons still in the water lines.
Do you remember Ted Koppel from his forty two years with ABC News and his twenty five years as the anchor of the Nightline late evening TV show? Koppel was the son of German-Jewish refugees who fled the Nazis one step ahead of the gas chambers. He spent his early days living in England as it was being bombed by Hitler’s air force, bombings that cut off normal supplies of electricity, gas and water sometimes for months on end.
Koppel has a new book called Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving The Aftermath
He asked the question in his book, what if a cyber attack takes out the US power grid in part, or the entire electric system is shut down? What is a nation like the US, the richest country on earth, with the highest standard of living going to do, since it is so unprepared for the total loss of the power grid?
Unless you live in a mud hut in Africa, a cave in Afghanistan, or under a palm tree in the south Pacific no matter how poor or rich your homeland is, you lose your electricity and you just plain lose—and maybe lose your life.
Because of his broadcasting notoriety Koppel had access to Homeland Security senior leaders, FEMA management, Federal leadership, State leadership, the US military, and private preparedness organizations. No one could provide an iron clad plan on how to stop an attack on the US power grid that could shut the nation down. No one could tell what would happen if the power did not go back on after a couple of days off line, throughout the entire country.
One fatalistic prediction was that if the grid went down and did not come back up for a year, only one in every ten Americans would still be alive. The inability to move water to a thirsty nation would kill much faster than the discovery that the grocery store shelves were empty on day two of the crisis.
Nothing in Mr. Koppel’s book surprised me, but I have been researching and writing about this issue for the past ten plus years. I have however been recommending Lights Out to almost everyone I have been speaking with this past couple of weeks.
Koppel has done good work and asked a lot of very important questions in his book. The problem is there are very little in the way of reassuring answers on what to do when the power is finally cut to the masses. Expect the worst, expect cruelty, expect death and hold out for some hope. If you are holding out for some hope, and you did nothing to prepare, skip the hope part because you will go directly to the cruelty and death part very quickly. It may not be your death, but you will find it all around you.
First thing, read Koppel’s book, and then buy a gun if you do not own one. Buy lots of fresh ammo.
As Eugene in the Walking Dead TV series stated last week after the world was in its second full year of the zombie apocalypse “Not only are bullets vital for defense”—“A full cartridge is the coin of the land.”
Even if the US only looses power for 30-60 days you can figure (extrapolating from Koppel’s 12 month power outage death figure of 9 out of 10 dead) you will have 2-3 out of every 10 Americans dead by start of month three. The sick, the old, the lame and the lazy will go first and evil will rise up to take as many as it can. Water, firearms & ammo, food, a rocket stove, and the will to survive no matter what will be needed.
More importantly learn–learn how to do things to survive without electricity now before the power is gone.
No your government will not come and save you—do not even ask that question.
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About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:
Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School. A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI. His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training. He believes “evil hates organization.” [email protected]