Assessing Threat Level

Assessing the Threat Level: Has It Increased

Transitioning from one leader to another may leave us vulnerable. It is a possibility and you must be aware of this, while not definitive, there could be gaps, gaps of which a lone wolf or an organized group could take advantage.

The leader of the United States is not analyzing intelligence data 24/7, is not on the ground gathering Intel from people close to the threats, and is not monitoring cyber threats and intercepting communications for threats.

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Cyber Attacks

Imagine the United States Engaged In a World War: Survival

Some might say a world war is being fought as we speak. As of this morning, a massive DDoS attack is underway. DDoS is A Distributed Denial of Service. A cyber world war is ongoing and it seems we here in the United States are losing. Much of the East Coast it seems is under a cyber attack.

Yahoo claims that roughly 500 million email accounts were hacked and personal information was stolen. Remember the Target hack where millions of credit and debit card numbers were compromised. What is worrisome besides the fact the information was stolen, is that the companies take months, and in some cases, years to admit to a hack.

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US Flag

The United States Response: What Does it Mean for You?

The United States Response

Headlines like the following mean what exactly, “U.S. warns of ‘overwhelming’ response to North Korean nuke use” (Associated Press, 2016).

“Russia taunts U.S. with biggest military offensive since the Cold War” (Ben Farmer, 2016). 

We have heard it before, we heard it about Syria, and the so-called red line, if you use chemical weapons we will do this, they used chemical weapons and we did what exactly, well nothing, the killing continued. We postured and mumbled about the atrocities, condemned the actions using harsh words, but words only, and how do you suppose our enemies viewed this, probably as many of us here did, as nothing more than empty words.

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Russia WW III

Russia Playing Mind Games or Do We Need To Worry?

They have been accused of meddling in our elections here in the U.S., they spiel propaganda to their own people and now they talk about pulling personnel back from the U.S., and then there are the bunker drills back in the homeland.

Do they know something we don’t? All in a day’s work for Russia right, or is it just more propaganda.

Russia launches civil defense drills amid tensions with the US. The Russian Emergencies Ministry has launched a sweeping nationwide civil defense drill set to involve 40 million people. (Associated Press, 2016).

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Public Water Sources

Public Water Sources: Too Far Gone to Save?

Has Our Infrastructure Collapsed to the Point It Is Dangerous Now

According to a U.S. study,( Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston and Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts) the water supply to more than six million Americans contains unsafe levels of industrial chemicals. The toxic chemicals have been linked to certain cancers to include kidney and testicular cancers along with hormone disruption, high cholesterol, and obesity.

The chemicals are known as PFASs (polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl substances). The chemicals are used in fire-suppression foams, food wrappers, clothing, and non-stick cookware to name a few.

According to one researcher that was part of the study, the chemicals have been in use for the past 60 years. Why are we just known finding this out, if the chemicals have been in use for six decades? One possibility is better testing methods and another possibility is that construction for several decades or so has been expanding to where homes are now being built in places they were never intended to be built 60 years ago.

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Power Grid

Just How Bad Is It When the Grid Goes Down: Part 2

There are hundreds, if not thousands of articles on the Internet that describe in detail what you can do, or need to do to survive without electricity. Some of the articles are well thought out, and provide the readers with practical, common sense advice, and are well worth reading in most cases, but, there is always a but when it comes to survival.

It is not a matter of you being able to survive without electricity, it is the fact that the entire grid system in the United States has collapsed. You as an individual or even as a family could survive for an extended period without power if you prepared well, but this is providing the three North American grids have not entirely collapsed.

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Power Grid

Just How Bad Is It When the Grid Goes Down

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. electric grid loses power 285 percent more often than it did in 1984 the year they began keeping track of such things.

The study further reveals that blackouts cost American businesses as much as $150 billion per year in lost wages, spoiled foods, halted production, damage to the grid components themselves and so forth (Clark, 2014). The 150 billion is just what they know about. How much would it cost you as an individual or family if the grid failed and you were without electricity for days, weeks, or even months?

The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2014 gave the electrical grid a D+. They evaluated the grid for security and other vulnerabilities and found it lacking across the board (Geiger, 2016).

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Civil Unrest Anarchy

How close are we to civil unrest or anarchy?

In some cities at certain times, we have advanced from civil disobedience or civil unrest to violence to anarchy. When protesters can shut down major highways and roads and get away with it and then get invited to the White House, you know things are spiraling out of control. What final straw will break the camel’s back, what catalyst will cause discontent and violence to spread to areas in which they are not accustomed?

Will those that created the chaos soon become the ones that will protest when the system breaks down? A system they had strived to destroy. Will they be there with their hands out wanting help once things go past the point of no return? When you cause a system to fail you cannot turn around and then complain about how the system no longer works for you.

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How The San Bernardino Terrorist Attack Changed Security In the US

San Bernardino Attack Security

The attacks on 9/11 had of course, changed the landscape as well. The number of deaths in just a matter of moments was staggering, never again we swore as a country. We went to war because of the attacks, and we heard the government recommend we stock up on duct tape and plastic. Now almost a decade and a half later we are attacked again, and thus, things have changed once again.

What Makes the Most Recent Terrorist Attack Different?

It could be anyone. The government is talking about the so-called lone wolf attacks. About the person that gets it in his or her head to attack people. To attack a way of life, our way of life based on an ideology, which is hard to fathom. The lone wolf scenario is more than likely a fallacy in most cases, a term given, for well, lack of a better term.

The couple in San Bernardino if you think about likely had help, and of course, there were two of them. Once there is more than one attacker then the lone wolf theory goes out the window.

This means that the couple pushing a stroller through the park with a six month old child nestled inside could be plotting an attack, the neighbors next door with the crib and toys scattered about the apartment could be plotting an attack. It could be anyone, or any group of people. We don’t know, and people are hesitant, due to civil liberties, to even wonder if it is possible that it could be a neighbor, a coworker, or a stranger loitering at the bus stop or on the subway platform.

As stated in previous articles the police usually show up after the fact. This is not the fault of the police of course. You don’t know what you don’t know, and so until someone makes their intentions known in such a way as to be considered a viable threat the police have no role, and we don’t judge anyone in this country until they have done something, or express in such a way that they plan to do something.

Once someone acts out then everyone comes forward. Yes he or she seemed quiet, didn’t socialize much, greeted occasionally, but didn’t stop to chat with their neighbors. They seemed aloof at times. They worked late into the night in their garage, and men stopped by and they huddled in the workshop. What was just stated could apply to anyone of us. It could be anyone, any group of people plotting the next attack. This is how things have changed in this country.

So How Do You Protect Yourself

The politicians and others tell us we cannot change the way we live. We must go on, go to parties, go to sporting events, and go to concert halls. Go to a company party in the middle of the day when the sun is shining, and the birds are chirping just outside the windows.

Yes, we all have to carry on with our lives, but we have already changed the way we live, how we see things and how we react to terror even though we may not think we have. Survival is always at the individual level. Even when in a room full of people and there is an active shooter, it is you and the shooter in competition, who will win the game.

When it comes right down to it, sometimes living or dying is all about being in the right or wrong place at the time. How close will you be sitting to the door in which the shooter comes through?

Whom did the shooter first spot as they burst through the door? How close to an exit are you, is there a desk close by, a file cabinet, or wall to get behind. It is about your place, your location in time that often times dictate life or death. You have to change the odds so they are in your favor.

Look for the exits and evaluate the distance as you walk into any room or building. Look for objects that could offer protection and choose one or two. You can no longer spot an attacker. It could be the women with the baby stroller. It could be the man in the expensive suit reading the paper. Remember some of the Paris attackers had purchased expensive suits to blend into their surroundings. It could be your neighbor, who you say hi to as you both head out to work in the morning.

Go over the steps to take in your head, be ready to drop if you hear sounds that are not right. What is the first thing many people say when asked to describe what happened. I thought it was firecrackers going off. Not many assume it was gunfire.

Always assume it is gunfire first, and then after you find out it was firecrackers, then you can dust yourself off, have a good chuckle, and go on. Really though, it has never been firecrackers, if it sounds like firecrackers it is likely gunshots. If it sounds like thunder on a sunny day, then it is likely an explosion of some sort.

Remember situational awareness. Do not try to analyze the sounds or start looking for the source of the sounds. Drop, and move away and if you had previously noted the exits or places of cover then you would move toward them.

Your life may depend on where you are standing or sitting when an attack happens, so make sure to put the odds in your favor. There is no magic solution. Some online may tout they know, and they will try to put out articles and information about what you should do, but it really all comes down to you. Comes down to where you are and what actions you take when the SHTF.

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The Doomsday Seed Vault: The Syrian War Prompts First Withdrawal

Doomsday Seed Vault

There is a “doomsday” vault built in an Arctic mountainside to safeguard global food supplies. Now for the first time since the vault was established on the Svalbard archipelago in 2008, seeds have been withdrawn. The original intent or charter if you will was designed to protect crop seeds such as beans, rice, and wheat against the worst cataclysms of nuclear war or disease (Doyle, 2015).

Once you crack the seal, or pop the cork as the case maybe, it is easier to go back to the wine for a sip or two, and sooner than imagined the bottle is empty. The vault has more than 860,000 samples, from almost all nations and of course the seeds are stored so the world or a particular nation can recover from a catastrophe, a catastrophe that threatens the food supply.

The Middle East as a whole could probably qualify as a catastrophe, where disease and starvation account for many deaths, not to mention war. With the refugee crisis and millions leaving the area is there anyone left to plant the crops and harvest them, process them, and then distribute them?

It won’t take long for the terrorist organizations who are trying to take over certain countries to realize they too need to eat and have a reliable food source, so what happens when, because of their actions the seed vault is tapped again, and again, and how long can it sustain itself. Maybe it’s time you started your own seed vault.

The doomsday seed vault is for countries to secure their future food supply, and while you live in a country, you would not be able to call up and order up your tomato seeds from the vault, if disaster strikes. It would take years after a calamity for nations to get the seeds in the ground. It requires people with skills to plant, tend to, and then to harvest the crops, not to mention once you have all this how to distribute the crops. Once again, you realize you are on your own.

We are not going to get into the debate about GMO’s, heirloom, hybrid, and all that. That is for you to decide what is best for you and yours. However, when the SHTF your choices may be limited, so if you want perfection and will not settle for less than perfect, then it is up to you to make it happen now, because no one will do it for you once a crisis is upon us.

Droughts, floods, a volcano, war, or even a major earthquake could ruin crops and crop land for years, and it would take years to recover. This means you would need several years’ worth of food stockpiled, or a sustainable and renewable source of food, your own private source in other words.

What Do You Need

Gathering up seeds is the easy part, and relatively inexpensive. If you only plant heirloom seeds then the plant itself will produce seeds ensuring a renewable source of seeds for every season. However, many heirloom varieties have inherent weaknesses. They are not drought tolerant, pest resistant and in some cases the growing conditions need to be near perfect for a decent harvest. Hybrid plants cannot produce seeds for an identical plant. However, the plant itself has had the best qualities bred into it and so hybrids are more suited for problem soil, and in many cases require less water. This is something to consider as you begin your stockpile, think about a combination of both.

Aside from the seeds, you will need certain skill sets, materials, and above all knowledge of the growing seasons, and of the plants themselves. Knowing how to compost properly will ensure you have fertilizer and the tools needed are not complicated, or all that expensive, but needed nonetheless.

The biggest problem is space and soil. If you live in a suburban area, vacant lots and other areas of the city could be contaminated after years of vehicular traffic and factories discharging contaminates into the soil. One solution is to stockpile your own soil, which would be a monumental task and you could use raised beds virtually anywhere. If you have a backyard suitable in size then that problem is solved, but consider the need to expand when calculating size of area versus harvest.

It takes planning and it can take months if not years to reach the level where your garden could supply you with daily sustenance during the growing season. Keep in mind you need to grow enough so there is a surplus that can be preserved for the off seasons.

Doyle, A. (2015, September 22). Retrieved 2015, from https://news.yahoo.com/syrian-war-spurs-first-withdrawal-doomsday-arctic-seed-143300148.html

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