The writing is on the wall. It couldn’t be more clear.
Our power grids are critically vulnerable.
“As an almost 30-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force with leadership experience in intelligence and cyber warfare, and as a current member of the U.S. House of Representatives Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Protection, I know we are highly vulnerable to a cyber-attack on our electric grid.
Such an attack could have devastating, long-term consequences for our economy, our national security – for our very way of life.”
Those are the recent words of Don Bacon (R-NE), a retired Air Force Brigadier General who was in charge of the Air Force’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) strategy program.
This “news” about the power grid shouldn’t be news to anyone, but it drives home a very good point…
If you care about your wife, children, family, and neighborhood, you should spend some time preparing for the effects of a cyber attack like the one Rep. Bacon describes.
The emergency preparedness community is so quick to focus on “bullets, beans, and band-aids” that they often overlook the value of local intelligence gathering.
Intelligence is probably the single-most overlooked aspect of preparedness, yet it should be a central part of your preparedness plans.
I’ll state the case:
If you’re concerned about a cyber attack or a grid-down event, you’re not actually preparing for those events. You’re preparing for the effects of those events.
But how do you know what the specific local effects will be, and how can you be sure?
Only intelligence can inform you of the second- and third-order effects of an event of this magnitude.
Only intelligence can inform you of very specific threats you may experience in the area.
Only intelligence can inform you of the likelihood that your neighborhood will suffer from looters, even worse criminals, and further systems disruption.
Bullets, beans, and band-aids will get you through periods of emergency, but they can’t inform your expectations of what will happen in the future.
That’s the value of intelligence…
Done properly, it reduces our uncertainty about the future. Intelligence can ‘satisfy’ our intelligence gaps — all those things you don’t know, but should.
We know that on any given day, a cyber attack on the U.S. power grid is unlikely.
But an escalation of conflict with Iran, Russia or China could change that. When considering nationalist hacking groups in those countries, who operate with and without the backing of their governments, we know attack like this could come without warning.
And once we pile on the likelihood for natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes) and local emergencies (systems disruption to fuel, gas lines, etc.), the likelihood that we’ll need local intelligence increases, too.
I’m just about to publish an ebook entitled, “Intelligence & Community Security,” my quick start guide to understanding the basics of intelligence collection and analysis for emergency preparedness.
I’m going to send it out to my email list one time: this Friday morning, 28 September.
Feel free to print it, forward it to your friends, post it on social media or in forums, or where ever else people may be interested.
And then use that knowledge.
Build an Area Study.
Perform a basic threat analysis for your neighborhood and surrounding area.
Build a local information-sharing network of like-minded individuals.
When a disruptive event occurs, you’re going to need these three things.
Keep your guns and ammo, your food and water, and your medic bags. Those things are important…
… but they can’t replace local threat intelligence when you need it.
You can sign up to receive my latest ebook below. I’m emailing it out on Friday morning, 28 September 2018.
Always Out Front,