Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Lights Out

I read a book a little bit ago  called "Lights Out: A Cyberattack A Nation Unprepared Surviving the Aftermath" by Ted Koppel.  For anyone with a little extra time on their hands or who likes to read about disaster preparedness or who thinks our country is heading to a cataclysmic event, I would recommend it.

I was intrigued by it because I have often thought how our society has become so dependent on the internet and electricity.  Between staying in third world countries, a early history with camping and even staying a brief time on a farm that operated without modern conveniences as a child, I have come to appreciate electricity, but also understand that one doesn't have to be entirely dependent on it as an individual.

As a society, we are incredibly dependent on it.  From banking to communication and healthcare and more, we cannot exist as a society without it.  Ted Koppel's book is quite fascinating and a little bit alarming too.  The ease with which hackers, especially foreign-government associated hackers could take out our power system, and the lack of protective policy or support from our government that he lays out, is frightening.  I try to block that from my mind.   He stated that, in the event of a catastrophic shutdown of our power grid, it could take two years to get it back online and probably only 2 in 10 Americans would be able to survive a year.   There are just too many things in this world we can't control.

Some of my respect for rugged individualism also was reignited.  Only 2 in 10 of us could survive what our countrymen's lifestyle was just a little over a 100 years ago.  My fear and anxiety over a power shutdown then made me put energy into a disaster preparedness kit and thoughts of what my family would be able to do.  I think my husband thought I was going crazy as I read this book and came up with ideas for survival.  It doesn't hurt to have a plan, right?  I talked with my fellow garden partner about the scenario.  I informed her that both of us would be a desired commodity in this scenario, we both had medical skills, knew how to garden and enjoyed eating vegetables.  Our husbands, in the real estate field and public policy field who were meat eaters might have a hard time.  She joked that we wouldn't have to nag them about eating junk food anymore.

Reading the book made me think a little about disaster preparedness, followed by don't worry too much our fate is in God's hands followed by I look at my every day life and imagine how I would do things without electricity.  I think overall it was a good read for the summer and something we might all benefit from reading and pondering.  Let's hope that it stays theoretical.

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