What are the odds of any of this actually happening? Probably low. But not zero, and also probably rising. National-security officials say obliquely that they have detected at least a couple significant efforts to cripple elements of the U.S. infrastructure system, without giving specifics. The Wall Street Journal has run several important stories on a series of mysterious attacks on electrical substations in California that left government officials deeply worried about the possibility of a “coordinated attack” on the grid that could darken whole cities or regions. And now, we’ve just seen the largest known effort to shut down the Internet. Maybe it’s nothing. But maybe it’s something.
Maybe bugging out with your truck is about to become a whole lot easier.
Imagine a 90 second oil change…
But — like other services that Americans used to pay regularly for, such as milk delivery — paying for oil changes soon could become a thing of the past.
Motor-oil maker Castrol, a division of BP, recently claimed its technicians have achieved a breakthrough in engine-lubrication design that makes it easy to change the oil in a vehicle in as little as 90 seconds.
The cleaner and quicker system, called Nexcel, must be integrated into vehicle engines at the design stage. That means it won’t hit mainstream cars for another five years — about the length of time between major model changes for many automakers.
But at 90 seconds, the cost of an oil change may become negligible if the Castrol system is widely adopted. Or the expense may even disappear altogether for vehicle owners who find it easier and cleaner to do it themselves.
If these types of solutions are in the works for oil changes, what’s happening with alternative energy solutions that could free you from the grid?
Imagine finally buying your dream piece of land in the country for you and your family.
You dream about the house you’ll build, the fun times and activities you’ll get to share with your kids.
You have the opportunity to spend the summer on your future 10 acre property. It’s also a chance to share close family bonds with a child who will donate a kidney to his ill mother.
You’re well-prepared and well-equipped to meet the needs of your family’s safety and comfort while camping. You have an adequate supply of water and food, tents set up for tool storage, a clothing closet, and a kitchen. You have a natural gas stove converted to propane for cooking, solar lights, and a generator.
But one day while you’re out doing the laundry and running errands, the police pay a visit to your campsite.
On May 19, the parents left the property to do laundry at a laundromat, as well as to buy food and some fencing for the animals. The younger children were left in the care of their 15-year-old son, who is nearly 16.
“When we arrived back, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department was at the property claiming to have received a report of squatters on the land,” Antonia said. “We provided documentation of our right to be on the land, which was verified the next day by the land owner.”
A CPS representative also was on the property, and had concerns about the living conditions. CPS made four allegations, according to the official court document:
- The family was not in a “stable living environment.”
- The family had no electricity or water source, and was using kerosene as a means of heat.
- The children were playing in the woods, cared for by a 15 year old.
- The youngest child had a diaper rash.
- The 17-year-old girl, who has Cerebral Palsy, was cold.
If you go off-the-grid and live without running water and electricity, the local “Gestapo” is going to swoop in, grab your kids, and force you to get back to living like “normal” folks.
Even on your own land. Even if you’re well-prepared and equipped.
Now that just doesn’t seem right now does it?
For the first time in history the state of California is underneath mandatory water restrictions.
Citing record level drought, the Governor of California has ordered that everyone living in the state must now comply with regulations on water usage for all kinds of household activities.
The New York Times writes:
Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered mandatory water use reductions for the first time in California’s history, saying the state’s four-year drought had reached near-crisis proportions after a winter of record-low snowfalls.
Mr. Brown, in an executive order, directed the State Water Resources Control Board to impose a 25 percent reduction on the state’s 400 local water supply agencies, which serve 90 percent of California residents, over the coming year. The agencies will be responsible for coming up with restrictions to cut back on water use and for monitoring compliance. State officials said the order would impose varying degrees of cutbacks on water use across the board — affecting homeowners, farms and other businesses, as well as the maintenance of cemeteries and golf courses.
While the specifics of how this will be accomplished are being left to the water agencies, it is certain that Californians across the state will have to cut back on watering gardens and lawns — which soak up a vast amount of the water this state uses every day — as well as washing cars and even taking showers.
“People should realize we are in a new era,” Mr. Brown said at a news conference here on Wednesday, standing on a patch of brown and green grass that would normally be thick with snow at this time of year. “The idea of your nice little green lawn getting watered every day, those days are past.”
Owners of large farms, who obtain their water from sources outside the local water agencies, will not fall under the 25 percent guideline. State officials noted that many farms had already seen a cutback in their water allocations because of the drought. In addition, the owners of large farms will be required, under the governor’s executive order, to offer detailed reports to state regulators about water use, ideally as a way to highlight incidents of water diversion or waste.
It’s not like this is coming out of nowhere.
However, this does illustrate a very important point.
The interconnectedness and the dependency the nation of our nation on just one state for much of its food supply should frighten Americans.
What would happen if California were unable to produce any food at all? How would the rest of the nation react.
If anything this shows us why we should all be as self-reliant as possible to help avoid the possible fall out of massive food shortages.
At least that’s what I believe.
Ever since 9/11, the regulations for what you can take on an airplane have grown ever more stringent.
Many times something only slightly resembling a weapon can be banned entirely.
Well Leatherman has gone and made TSA regulations for a multitool completely inconsequential.
You’ll be impressed with this tool as it packs 25 features into a tiny package.
Not only that, it’s indiscreet, so no one will ever know you’ve got it on you.
Check it out.
I don’t know about you but I’m getting one.
I mean seriously, how cool is that little tool?
It might not be able to help me kill a bear, or fend off an attacker…but it certainly will lighten my load up a bit.
Would you get one of these?
Let us know in the contents below.
Communication After an EMP Do you know how to communicate after an EMP? What kind of gear will you be needing? What will you use after the electronics in your location have mostly all gone down? Have any idea how to protect your electronics from a potential EMP? If you’re interested in finding out, today’s …
The roads in Yellowstone National Park are melting in front of our very eyes, owing to the intense heat generated by the super volcano that sits underneath the park.
Seismic activity in the area over the past year has increased, and scientists warn that we might be witnessing the warning signs of a catastrophic eruption.
While scientists are unsure when it will blow, according to the United State Geologic Survey:
Such a giant eruption would have regional effects such as falling ash and short- term (years to decades) changes to global climate. The surrounding states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming would be affected, as well as other places in the United States and the world. Such eruptions usually form calderas, broad volcanic depressions created as the ground surface collapses as a result of withdrawal of partially molten rock (magma) below.
Do you have a survival plan? If you don’t, you should get one.
The threat of a cyber-terrorist attack on U.S. energy companies is very real according to the cyber security firm Symantec.
Symantec warns of the new “Dragonfly virus,” which comes out of Eastern Europe. This malware virus has the power to utterly ruin large swaths of the electric grid should it manage to infect a power company’s computer systems.
The virus — which targets energy grids, major electricity generation firms, petroleum pipelines operators, and energy industrial equipment providers — has been around since 2011 and has already affected thousands of organizations in over 84 countries.
According to Symantec, the danger associated with the Dragonfly virus is it gives the hackers running the malware software the ability to gain privileged access inside the company’s operations systems.
Once the software is installed, hackers can torpedo the systems with just the click of a mouse.
Security experts are unsure where the virus originated, but believe that since all of the countries that have been affected so far have been part of NATO, that it could definitely be a foreign nation like Russia who is responsible for the virus.
The fact our nation’s power grids are so susceptible to cyber terrorism is frightening.
Should our nation’s grids suffer any cataclysmic attack, it would render millions of Americans defenseless and unable to provide for themselves.
The worst part about the Dragonfly virus is that many of the nation’s computer systems are believed to already have it since the malware is installed with updates for their operational controls.
The Dragonfly group is said to have at its disposal a range of malware tools to disrupt computer systems, especially industrial control systems. Sources believe it operates similar to the Stuxnet malware that the United States and Israel had used against Iran’s nuclear program to disrupt the operation of its centrifuges that enrich uranium.
According to Symantec, Dragonfly used two main malware tools – Backdoor Oldrea and Trojan Karagany. The former appears to be customized malware written for the attackers.
Eric Chien of Symantec’s Security Technology and Response Team told Bloomberg in an interview the type of access Dragonfly has indicates something more than snooping.
“When they do have that type of access, that motivation wouldn’t be for espionage,” Chien said. “When we look at where they’re at, we’re very concerned about sabotage.”
“The worst-case scenario would be that the systems get shut down,” Chien said. “You could see the power go out, for example, and there could be disruption in that sense.”
And just to make things clear, this is not the only cyber-threat leveled at the power systems here in the U.S.
Recently the FBI uncovered “Ugly Gorilla, a Chinese hacker who has been targeting utility companies’ systems to cut off heat and damage pipelines.”
Knowing how vulnerable the nation’s grid system is to cyber attack means if you want to prepare for a possible “grid down” scenario, you had better do so sooner than later.
Fortunately for residents in Nogales, Arizona, a bomb that was placed near a 50,000-gallon diesel fuel tank failed to detonate properly. No one was injured by the bomb and crews were able to fix the damaged area quickly.
However, the improvised explosive device illustrates just how precarious the nations’ electrical grids are.
Nogales, which is just outside of Tucson, has been in the news because of the large influx of illegal immigrants over the past few weeks.
The small city would have been devastated by the bomb. It was no larger than the palm of your hand, but had it actually exploded, nearly 30,000 people could have been completely without power for weeks.
Similar cases of terrorist activity carried out on power stations have also occurred recently in Tennessee and California.
These recent incidents highlight three things:
1. The nation’s electric grid is extremely vulnerable to attack.
2. There are real terrorists working within U.S. borders to cripple the power grid.
3. Little to nothing has yet been done to protect the electric grid.
Unless something changes, it seems like it’s only a matter of time before the grid suffers a serious blow.
In April of 2012, the earth barely missed being fried by a massive solar flare.
Now scientists at NASA are sounding the alarm that another such event might soon strike the earth.
NASA scientists observe sun activity on a daily basis through a series of early warning systems. In light of the 2012 event and events in both 1989 and 1859, they warn that earth is just one X-Class solar flare away from a complete shut down of the entire electronic grid.
In 1859 an infamous solar flare known as the “Carrington Event” took place.
The flare was so powerful it caused huge electric spikes in electronic communication lines and even caused some telegraph offices to catch on fire. 140 years later in 1989 a similar event took place in Canada. The flare sent a large number of valuable electronics on the fritz and even damaged parts of a nuclear reactor.
The main reason that NASA scientists are so concerned is because in the summer of 2012, the earth only narrowly missed being totally fried by an X-Class solar flare.
Reportedly, if the sun had been just one week ahead in rotation, the flare would have completely overwhelmed all electronic systems on the planet and life as we know it would have changed dramatically.
According to a report by NASA.
“If it had hit earth we would still be picking up the pieces,” says Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado.
This storm might have been stronger than the Carrington Event itself.
A similar storm today could have a catastrophic effect on modern power grids and telecommunication networks….Multi-ton transformers fried by such a storm could take years to repair and impact national security.”
In light of the very real danger an X-Class solar flare might present, NASA and the U.S. government have begun development of a solar shield.
The shield is not so much an actual shield to protect electric equipment from flares, but a means of using early detection systems to take many crucial transformers “offline” so that they are not fried if the sun sends off a large flare.
Though the warning offered by NASA is serious, the good news is the fact there are solutions that might be available in the near future.
We can only hope those solutions are put in place sooner than later so we can avoid having to deal with the fallout of a catastrophic solar event.
Robin Speronis is facing a possible eviction after she willingly decided to disconnect from city utilities and live off the grid.
After her husband died nearly 3 years ago from a debilitating neuromuscular disease, Speronis decided that her long and expensive fight with the healthcare system was reason enough for her to “unplug.”
Her decision to unplug meant she was no longer hooked up to city utilities such as power and water.
Instead her power is generated through the use of solar panels. Propane lanterns serve as her main source of light in the house, and she’s chosen to collect rain water in a basin and purify it using a silver colloidal element.
By all accounts, the 54-year-old widow’s decision to live off the grid was going quite smoothly… until the city stepped in.
According to city officials, Speronis was in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code, a spurious and ambiguous “one size fits all” coding law that attempts to regulate how homeowners should live on their own property in the interest of “public safety.”
City officials “found her guilty of the section which dealt with the water system and maintenance” and threatened to evict her if she didn’t “reconnect.”
Speronis was aware of the provisions that say she must hook up to the water system. But while officials acknowledged she does not have to use any water — just reconnect — she shot back, “What’s the point?”
Even more surprising was the interaction between Speronis and local magistrate Harold S. Eskin. As reported by Off The Grid News:
Eskin spent several hours reviewing the case and admitted that the code might be obsolete.
“Reasonableness and code requirements don’t always go hand-in-hand… given societal and technical changes (that) requires review of code ordinances,” Eskin was quoted as saying.
Eskin’s remarks indicate that he views the code as both obsolete and unreasonable and in need of change. Yet he felt he had to enforce it.
What had started as a measure to help her save some money by disconnecting from public utilities has become a matter of principle for Speronis.
She vows to fight to stay in her home without having to conform to arbitrary policy that is used for no other reason than to keep her in line.
Though the threat of either a natural EMP or one that results from an atmospheric nuclear attack are small, several legislators in the state of Arizona have decided there’s no longer any time to let the issue slide.
Co-sponsors of SB 1476, David Farnsworth and Don Shooter, recognize that it is not within the power of the federal government to help prepare for a disaster of this nature, which is precisely why they introduced the legislation on a local level to help citizens of Arizona prepare for a possible emergency.
As reported by WND.com:
Under the legislation that now is law, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management is to post on its website recommendations such as the type and amount of supplies residents should stockpile to be prepared for an EMP event.
Several democrats voted against the legislation, dismissing it as such a remote possibility of disaster, that it shouldn’t even get any attention considering “we already have a major catastrophe in the state and that’s called our schools falling apart, our roads falling apart and we should be fixing those things.”
The legislation, which was signed into law by Governor Jan Brewer, helps to outline what materials citizens should have on hand in case the grid goes down as a result of an EMP.
The law requires that the state’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs have available a complete list of supplies that normal, everyday people could stockpile in case the electric grid were to be totally knocked out.
The measure is one of the first of its kind, and sets Arizona apart as the only state to take an advanced level of emergency preparedness into its own hands.
Survival gear expert of “Doomsday Prepper Fame” Tim Ralston said:
I think it’s fantastic. I think any time we can take a proactive step to help people become more self-reliant it will help that transition.
The simple fact that top level government officials are recognizing how unprepared the nation is for such a disaster is a good sign.
And it’s even more encouraging to see that real, actionable legislation is making its way into law to help prepare for a possible doomsday scenario.
It remains to be seen how long it will take other states to take a similar course of action, but let it be known that New York, Texas, North Carolina, and Missouri are already beginning to toy with the idea of passing similar legislation into law.
Unless you are completely unplugged or have your head buried in the sand, then you already know an EMP attack could knock out America’s aging electrical grid.
Multiple TV shows have explored the impact of a nationwide grid down scenario. And just last fall there was a major preparedness drill called GridEx II, a multi-nation drill that studied the potential results of a long-term grid outage.
But what most people don’t realize is that you don’t even need an EMP to bring down the grid…
All you need is a well-coordinated attack on a single factory and as few as nine key substations to cause a coast-to-coast blackout that would last 18 months or longer.
In a recently published memo, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concluded, “Destroy nine interconnection substations and a transformer manufacturer and the entire United States grid would be down for at least 18 months, probably longer.”
And this isn’t mere speculation either. Just last April there was a well-coordinated attack on a substation in California. Some people believe it may have been a dry run for a larger future attack.
The shocking details of the event — in the middle of the night six men fired hundreds of AK-47 rounds at critical energy grid components after purposely disabling emergency call systems — rightly piqued the collective curiosity.
The incident happened around 1 a.m. on April 16, 2013. A suspect broke into an underground vault not far from a busy freeway and cut AT&T telephone cables that enabled security response for the substation. Within half an hour, snipers opened fire on the electric grid components.
Shooting for 19 minutes, they surgically knocked out 10 transformers – the size of double-decker buses – that funnel power to Silicon Valley. Just seconds before a police car arrived, the shooters disappeared into the night, according to the WSJ.
Turns out, just a handful of electrical substations play a disproportionate role in the transport of electricity around the country. Knock these out and it’s game over. There is no backup plan.
Jon Wellinghoff, a former FERC chair, believes we need a more distributed electrical system to eliminate these major vulnerabilities. Whether these proactive changes are implemented before the next attack remains to be seen.
Don’t be scared. Be prepared.
It feels like something big is going to happen this fall, doesn’t it?
I was talking about this with a friend yesterday morning. More and more people are becoming aware that all is not right in the land of the good ‘ole U.S. of A.
Maybe it was the government shutdown. Maybe it’s the capital controls being imposed by Chase Bank. Maybe it’s the colossal failure of Obamacare. Or maybe it’s just raw instinct.
But if you do much reading outside of the mainstream media like I do, then over a period of days and weeks your brain begins to connect the dots and find patterns.
Major Preparedness Drill Simulates “Grid Down” Scenario
For example, the U.S. and other countries are going to be conducting a major preparedness drill called GridEx II in mid-November. This drill will attempt to simulate a “grid down” scenario. Off The Grid News reports:
On November 13-14, 2013, the United States; Canada; and Mexico, along with more than 150 companies and organizations in all three countries, will take part in the GridEx 2013 Preparedness Drill — one of the largest preparedness drills in our country’s history. They will practice for an event unlike anything this country has ever seen, one experts fear is only a matter of time away from happening.
The drill will look at how the three governments react to the loss of the power grid, and a crippled supply chain that would inevitably follow the event.
If you’ve done any deep research into 9/11 or the more recent Boston bombing, you’ll discover that major catastrophes happen more frequently than you’d expect while the government is conducting so-called “drills.”
Will the GridEx II drill be used as cover for some yet unknown catastrophe? It’s something to keep an eye on.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that it seems as if the idea of the electrical grid going down has finally reached critical mass. I say this because in the days leading up to the GridEx II drill, there are at least two major TV programs covering the same scenario.
“For The Record,” an investigative show run by The Blaze, just ran a special called “Blackout” on Wednesday, October 23. The advertisement for the show said:
TheBlaze TV’s “For The Record” investigates the most dangerous weapon you’ve never heard of.
Electromagnetic Pulses (EMPs) are the weapon you’ve never heard of that can destroy America in the blink of an eye. What are Electromagnetic Pulse Weapons? What threat do they pose to the U.S. power grid?
For The Record investigates the massive implications that EMPs can – and will – have on our society and our infrastructure.
National Geographic Jumps on the Bandwagon with “American Blackout”
But this isn’t the only program exploring the impact of a nationwide grid failure. National Geographic is airing “American Blackout” starting on October 27.
This show will seek to demonstrate how quickly society will break down following a “grid down” scenario. Rather than offer general prognostications, the show will lay out a specific day-by-day account of what will happen. They’ve even built a slick interactive website to promote the show. You can check it out at SurviveTheBlackout.com.
So we have two different “grid down” TV shows in October and the three-country GridEx II drill in November. Is somebody trying to tell us something? It certainly makes you wonder.
Note also that Chase Bank’s capital controls are set to go into effect just one business day after the GridEx II drill. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Again, just something to keep your eye on.
Remember, the best time to get prepared is always today. It’s not too late to get started. Small steps taken every week can add up faster than you think.
Don’t be scared. Be prepared.