It’s a shame, really. When the Continental Pipeline attack happened, many of us warned people to up their preparedness for a serious cyber-attack. Sure, the people directly affected by the gas shortages took heed, but the average American did not.
But, LORD, let Facebook and InstaGram go down for a day and watch chaos ensue throughout a society. Seriously, the way some people reacted; you’d have thought that the entire internet went down. I am afraid of what a long-term outage would do to our youth.
That brings us to today’s topic: What are you doing to prepare for a total loss of communications? Understand that a loss of the internet will take down our entire economic system in short order.
With the ease of the internet, we took what was meant to be a convenient source of information and made our entire system of living 100% reliant on the free flow of electrons. Consider what will happen if the internet is down for a significant period of time:
- You will not be able to access your money stored in banks, even at a branch, because their entire record keeping system is online.
- You will not be able to pay your bills since most financial businesses only take payments online. ACH clearing is done via the internet, so you couldn’t even pay by check.
- Stores will not be able to order goods and the goods won’t get to the store.
- You won’t have the records at hand to rebuild your accounts, because it’s more convenient to store them “in the cloud”.
- And so on….
Before I give you some specific advice, let me remind you of a piece of Tactical Wisdom that is relevant:
First, and do this NOW, is establish alternate means of communication with your key partners/family/friends. Throughout the day, I heard an increase in amateur radio traffic as people shared news of the outage. Various parts of the world, based on my own contacts, had varying degrees of communications failures, including cell phones. For part of the day, I had difficulty in sending texts. You need another method.
Set up other ways that are less reliant on high technology. For example, one security professional out of Germany reported today that analog land lines were the only consistently effective method of communications today.
Radios are another good option, even if it’s just license-free FRS or MURS or CB radio. Whatever it is, have a plan that everyone knows, and everyone should keep that option available. In our current volatile environment, communications could go down at any time. Radio will always work if it’s charged.
Next, back up all your data that is stored in the cloud to some type of thumb drive. You can buy EMP-Hardened drives, or you can store them in a Faraday cage. I keep mine in an old cake tin (tequila cake, delicious) lined with cardboard to protect against EMP. In this way, if the internet goes down, you will still have your documents.
We all have hundreds of photos on old computers and phones that we’d hate to lose. Copy those to USB’s and store them securely like we mentioned above.
Lastly, understand that without the internet, as we learned with the Continental hack, gasoline will not be coming out of the pumps. Yes, you might be able to pay cash once, but gas stations will quickly run out. In the UK right now, a rumor of a gas shortage caused a run on gas stations, which then led to a REAL gas shortage. Plan for how you will deal with this. I keep ten extra gallons stored at all times (treated and rotated). Make sure you fill your car as often as possible and encourage your tribe/loved ones to do the same. Filling daily costs the same as filling once a week.
Most importantly, understand that a major cyber-attack against the entire network is not an “if” proposition, it’s a “when” question. By taking a few extra steps to be prepared, you can avert a lot of the impact on you.
If you haven’t yet, head on over to Amazon and pick up both of my books to help you prepare.
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