Showing posts with label Disaster Preparedness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disaster Preparedness. Show all posts

April 7, 2019

Bar Mitzvah Speech Page 3

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Bar Mitzvah Speech Page 3."
I wondered to myself how come this bar mitzvah boy didn’t end his speech with the traditional thank you to: my loving mother and father, my dear grandparents, my annoying brothers and sisters, and all my terrific uncle and aunts who came from Israel, Europe, and Canada to be with me here on this special day? There was none of that, and I was puzzled — how can he not thank everyone who made this day possible?
This was a true lesson about always being prepared and resilient, because that is what true empowerment is all about. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 26, 2019

From Chaos to Order

The world challenges us all the time. 

Yes, the world functions based on the "laws of nature," scientific facts, and mathematical formulas, and so you'd think everything in our lives would be orderly and work like clockwork.

But, as human beings, our lives are too a great extend a function of what gets thrown at us and how we react to them, and not the constancy of the world context that these things are happening in. 

It's easy to be surprised, become overwhelmed, or even be stumped by the daily barrage of things that we are new to us or we simply don't know how to handle.

A world governed by Mother Nature thus, often seems more like a world ruled by Murphy's Law. 

In a world that we can often experience as chaotic and disorderly, the answer is not to break down and cry or run and hide, but rather to create our own sense of order. 

Thus, the antagonist of chaos and disorder is consequence and order. 

The way to get to order in your life is through planning and preparation. 

The more you plan and prepare, the better you are able to deal with the challenges you are dealt. 

I believe this is the cornerstone of what a good education and training is--preparing you for real life!

Generally, if you plan and prepare for a broad spectrum of scenarios (especially the worst cast scenarios), you won't be left sitting out there scratching your head when the proverbial "sh*t hits the fan."

Thinking out of the box and ahead of the curve, and using scenario-based planning and preparation can give you the tools and confidence to leave the anxiety behind and move more swiftly to confront challenges head-on. 

Of course, we'll never be able to imagine or be prepared for everything that can happen--but the more you can free your mind to think about the "what if's" and how to mitigate the risks, the better shape you are in to act with determination and decisively when you really need to.  ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Elisa Riva)
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September 11, 2018

17 Years Since 9/11

Today is the 17th anniversary since that fateful day of 9/11 when the terrorists brought down both World Trade Centers and ploughed another plane into the Pentagon.

One of the greatest acts of terrorism in history. 

With almost 3,000 dead and the center of our financial and military strength hit in a flash attack, we as a nation stood naked. 

We've gone after the terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and more, but still, there is the endless drone of world-wide terrorism. 

Yes, we are lucky that nothing major has happened in the U.S. since 2001.

At the same time, we know that anything could happen at any time--from another terror attack to a catastrophic cyber attack that takes out our critical infrastructure, bioterrorism that wipes out hundreds of millions with genetically engineered viruses, or even nuclear warheads wiping out entire cities or regions of the world. 

Forget natural disasters for the moment, man-made disasters are always just around the corner when it comes to planning and execution.

The FBI and our other dedicated law enforcement personnel try to stop them all, but no one and nothing human is perfect. 

So while we try to maintain an elevated security posture to protect this country and even maybe someday build a wall that doesn't leave us with porous borders for everyone and anyone to get in willy-nilly, many don't or barely remember 9/11 and what it meant. 

We said it changed everything forever, but did we mean it?

17 years and we've been fortunate--very fortunate--but are we ready for the next fateful blow to land in the ongoing war on terror. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 11, 2017

Always Be Prepared

It was nice going to a local festival yesterday and seeing a table set up with brochures for the kids and families on Emergency Preparedness. 

Even when we're having a good time, we need to have in mind the possibility that things can go very wrong.

These last couples of weeks with Hurricane Harvey and Irma, we saw again the destructive forces that Mother Nature can bring. 

And today being the 16th Anniversary since the terror attacks on 9/11 and the almost 3,000 murdered at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, we are reminded of the necessity to always be ready for man-made/inflicted disasters as well. 

Now with Axis of Evil nations, North Korea and Iran, continuing to pose alarming threats to the West, the need for preparation and readiness to dangerous WMD--whether from an ICBM or a suitcase bomb--is ever present

Let's just say until the final redemption when peace will reign on earth, we can never just rest securely on our laurels. 

Even on a sunny day, the clouds may be gathering to threaten us.  

So have a plan.  Be prepared.  You and your families lives across our beautiful and free nation depend on it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 9, 2017

Nuke Fear Turning To Action?

What sane person would not be afraid of the incredibly destructive power of nukes (and other weapons of mass destruction)?

Currently, there are about 15,000 nukes either stockpiled or poised to strike around the world. 

Enough deadly weapons to kill the entire planet!

After a frightening series of 5 nukes tests since 2006 plus 18 technologically progressive ballistic missiles tests over the last 6 months, things are escalating after new sanctions imposed to try to contain the threat--with North Korea rattling it's nuclear arsenal with a shrill threat of attack moving to "physical action" and the U.S. shooting back "fire and fury,


As to further North Korean mad progress, it was reported that they are developing a powerful new H-bomb with immense destructive power, especially towards our density killing fields:

- If such a weapon would strike, G-d forbid, Washington D.C., it could mean 500,000 dead and another 900,000 injured--let alone what this would mean in terms of a destructive decapitation to the very functioning and continuity of our government and country. 

- Even worse fatalities would occur should it strike our financial capital, New York City, with estimates of 1.7 million dead. 

Hence, the news that this is no joking matter anymore (as if it really ever was). 

Fears typically first get expressed in rhetoric, but then with greater and ever potent means for them to become reality, the risks increase for them to actually make the horrific leap. 

What happens next with the ever menacing dangers from rogue Axis of Evil nations, North Korea and Iran--and will we ever feel and be safe again, absent any meaningful social progress while they continue to absolutely and speedily advance their ever more deadly weapons programs and the means to deliver them, first class. ;-0

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 6, 2017

What A Nuclear War Looks Like


Wow, wow, wow!

Great job Hashem Al-Ghaili on this video depicting the implicit horror of nuclear war.

16,000 nuclear weapons...2,000 ready to launch at a moment's notice. 

Wake up world!

It just takes one numbskull to kill it for everybody.
"Few people laughed. 
Few people cried. 
Most people were silent. 
Now I am become death.
The destroyer of worlds." 

We need to pray to G-d and do everything to protect this amazing world and our people for the future. 

There has got to be a tomorrow! ;-)
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July 6, 2017

Driverless Cars - New Beginning or Part of The End

Driverless cars are exciting to so many.

But doesn't it also seem so boring?

There is a lot to be said for being the driver and doing the driving. 

We control the destination, trajectory, speed, etc.

Occasionally, there is even time to stop and enjoy the view. 

We've given up on doing or even knowing how to do so many basic things.

Probably 90% plus of us would fail at any sort of basic survival test. 

You can't hunt, you don't know how anything really works, and you don't even have a green thumb.

You'd be dead in under a week or max three

The only thing you do know how to do is sit at a desk, push papers, go to meetings, and post endless nonsense on social media--congratulations you're an imbecile!

When Axis of Evil North Korea, Iran, or Russia decide to hit us with an ICBM, EMP, or a massive cyber attack your gonna wish you knew something (anything) real, let alone how to drive a simple automatic. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 31, 2017

Always National Security

Here is a link to my short video on national security thoughts that keep me up at night.

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March 2, 2017

Culture Intersects With Preparedness

Just really loved this emergency preparedness poster by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

It builds off of the #1, hit TV show, The Walking Dead that films in Atlanta where the CDC is. 

The show is about a zombie apocalypse and the story of how people survive (or not) amidst a global pandemic and the murderous awakened dead that feast off of the living. 

Here's a link with what the CDC recommends you have in an emergency preparedness kit. 

The CDC also has a comic book with a zombie outbreak theme that further drives home the importance of a preparedness kit and what to have in it. 

I think it's great when government thinks outside-the-box in ways that appeal to everyday citizens to serve them, help them, and especially keep them safe from disasters. 

(Source Photo: here with attribution to CDC)
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August 28, 2016

Preppers Preparing

A very interesting article in the Washington Post on the prepper movement.

People are concerned about the inaction, misdirection, and chaos of where things are going, and they are preparing for a potential post-apocalyptic America and world.


Grave worries seem to be coming from a multitude of concerns whether about an eventual bursting of the bubble of our national debt and the downfall of our economy and associated good jobs, an outbreak of ebola or a deadly influenza, a dirty bomb by Iran or North Korea, a cyber attack or EMP that takes out our critical infrastructure including electricity and anything with computer circuits, or a devastating natural disaster, many of which are considered "overdue."


The preppers are moving to the American Redoubt (pacific northwest--Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Washington and Oregon.


They are buying and building defensible homes (bunkers and "fortresses"), stockpiling food, weapons, and ammunition, and preparing for life off the grid with water sources, solar farms, and secure storage.


While survivalists have always existed, the numbers of concerned, disaffected, and generally disgruntled citizens seems be growing exponentially along with prepper network shows, books, blogs, websites, and sales of survival gear.


Many people seem to either feel insecure, fearful, uncertain, or that we are simply going in the wrong direction, and that it is only a matter of time until there is some sort of major earth shattering, society destabilizing disaster, and not everyone will survive.


So from home shelters to luxury underground bunkers, preppers are putting their money and efforts where their mouths are, and are preparing for potentially the worst.


If as all agree that an important part of the government's job is to ensure the national security of the country, and protect life, liberty, and property, then something seems to be going very wrong that many people are feeling so insecure and unprotected physically and in terms of their human rights.


From corruption to divisiveness, dependency, and dirty dealing, communication and trust between government and the governed is being needlessly undermined.


Why can't we get some decent leaders with a solid moral compass, and a real plan to bring us back from forever walking the brink to a nation of strength and unity, prosperity and health, and a superpower not only today, but for the future, once again. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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May 19, 2016

Bird's Nest Surveillance

I took this photo today of a bird's nest on top of a surveillance camera. 

I find this fascinating!

The pure irony of a bird finding safety and shelter in a nest atop a surveillance camera looking out for bad things like criminals and terrorism. 

On one hand, safety and security.

And on the other hand, the fear and insecurity of it all. 

A bird may find a peaceful nesting place there.

But for the rest of us, the world continues to be a very dangerous place. 

Often walking the streets of a major urban city, I think to myself the chaos and danger that could so easily ensue if events took a sudden and serious turn for the worse where society as we know it can completely start to unravel, and as they say, "the sh*t hits the fan!"

I believe that many, if not most people are worried about this, hence the incredible popularity of shows and movies far and wide such as:

 (Fear) The Walking Dead
Containment
The 100
The Last Ship
Jericho
Mad Max
Road Warrior
I am Legend
The Book of Eli
The Postman
World War Z 
Waterworld
Children of Men
Outbreak
Armageddon
Oblivion 
The Day After Tomorrow 
and more. 

The camera is surveilling and the bird is watching from their perch. 

We go about our days like the post apocalyptic zombies that wander the Earth.

But not so deep down, in our minds and hearts is the terror of what can happen at any moment and what is likely destined to happen eventually. 

This is not about doom and gloom, but about what the threats are out there, what is being done or not done about them, and who will ultimately survive and would you even want to. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 8, 2015

Internet Divide And Conquer

Remember in the old Western's when the Indians were about to attack the town, and before they rode in with knives and flaming arrows--what would they do?  

The Indians would cut the telegraph lines--no calls for help out, and no communications in--the town and its people were completely cut off.

The very next scene would be the slaughter of everyone in the town including a bunch getting scalped. 

How have things changed in the 21st century?

Not so much so, as the New York Times reports today on the constant threats to our underground Internet lines being cut--with 16 cuts to the lines in the San Francisco Bay area alone in the last year. 

Similarly just a couple of weeks ago, the media was reporting about the U.S. being worried about Russian subs cutting the undersea Internet cables.

But isn't the Internet built like a spiders's web (i.e. the World Wide Web) with redundant routes so that it can withstand even a nuclear attack?

Apparently, if you take out key Internet Exchange Points (IXP) or major international cable lines then the Internet can be seriously disrupted. 

Similar to the impact of an EMP weapon that fries our electronic circuits...poof no more communications. 

If you can cut off our core communications ability--then it's a simple strategy of divide and conquer.  

Divided we are weak and can't communicate and organize ourselves to either know what's going on or to effectively respond. 

Like sitting ducks in the Old West surrounded and cut off--it was a slaughter. 

This is why it is so critical that we not only build redundancy in the cable lines, but that we create alternatives like satellite Internet or Google's Project Loon for balloon Internet access.

It's not just the military, law enforcement, and emergency management not that needs to be able to communicate--we all do!

With excellent communications, we can unify ourselves and we are strong--but if we are left in the dark, then divided we fall. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 6, 2015

Are We Ready For Anything?

So contingency planning is a critical part of risk management.

You never know what can happen in life...

So you must have a solid business continuity plan (BCP) and disaster recovery plan (DRP). 

That way in case of natural disaster or terror attack--we are prepared!

So what was really sad-funny this week was when I became aware of an annual contingency planning exercise that was being conducted as a table-top exercise--that's legit. 

It was well-planned, scripted to really challenge the participants, and I heard it went very well.

But then just that evening as it turned out there was a real contingency.

What happened?

Everyone was working well to address what happened and how to fix it and kudos to some super great people. 

The only problem was no one seemed to really know or was following what to do from a contingency plan perspective.

In the end everything turned out fine, but it was incredible how planning and training can deviate so far from real life. 

It's like in school, when administrators conduct fire drills for the teachers and students and everyone gets up like good boys and girls and goes out in an orderly fashion, maybe even in a nice buddy system, but then when G-d forbid there is a real fire, everyone starts screaming and running crazed for the exits. 

Perhaps table top exercises should be thrown out the window and testing should be conducted with realistic scenarios and under mandated lifelike circumstances. 

Instead of smoke and mirror planning, we need serious preparation for the day when it isn't child's play or cool drawings on the whiteboard only. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Sharyn Morrow)
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October 21, 2015

The Times and Events Of Gog And Magog

So I have never ever heard so much talk about doomsday as I am these days. 

Earlier in the year (January 2015) the Doomsday Clock moved up to 3 minutes to midnight--that was a full 2 minute move or 40% advance to the end of times. 

The cited reasons by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists:

- "Unchecked climate change"

- "Nuclear arms race"

Essentially, these "pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity."

But on a daily level now--

Islamic extremism showing through post 9/11 mounting turmoil and unbelievable terror in the Middle East, including seeming non-ending ISIS brutality, Iran's march towards nuclear weapons and advanced ballistic missiles, the Sunni vs. Shiite war for dominion centering (lately) in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen but with much larger geopolitcal overtones towards a return of a powerful caliphate to challenge the West, fighting between Muslims and Christians in countries like Nigeria, ongoing terror threats to the democratic State of Israel, and a rising tide death, casualties, and refugees.

Russian aggression in multiple countries and regions including Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria, air and naval military incursions and encroachment towards Turkey, the countries in the Baltic Sea region, the Arctic, and even a Russian military satellite parking itself between 2 U.S. satellites yesterday. 

China's militarization including greater military spending on advanced weapons, Island/posts building in the South China Sea, and ongoing threatening overtures toward Taiwan and other neighbors, and cyber warfare conducted against the U.S.government and the private sector. 

Frightening new military capabilities are coming online with advances in weapons of mass destruction--nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological--colonization and militarization of space, laser weapons, satellite killers, swarms of drones, armies of robots, and cyberwar.

The drumbeat of climate change and environmental deterioration (unsustainable practices of deforestation, overfishing, pollution, and the extinction of countless species) is being felt in changing weather patterns, global warming, glacier meltdown, alternating threats of flooding and drought in various part of the world, major storms and lightening patterns, and an uptick in natural disasters (tsunamis, hurricanes, and tornadoes), and an overall trend towards shortage and conflict. 

An ailing global economy after 2 major recessions in the 21st century so far, booming national debts, stalling economies, slowing innovation, and scarcity of stable, good paying, full time jobs in an outsourcing, short-term, freelance, contractor culture, and automaton and robotization advances. 

Dysfunctional political systems that are bogged down with endless indecision, infighting, bickering, finger-pointing, stalemates, shutdowns, pork barrel spending, catering to special interest groups, short-term wins at the expense of long-term goals, corruption, and a lack of strong capable leadership at the helm. 

An article I read recently from Russian Times, I believe, said how the U.S. teeters just steps from potential collapse by just relatively easy societal interruptions (presumably that they could facilitate) and that with farms/food production far from major metropolitan areas, people hooked on drugs that they could not get supplies for, and other severe disruptions in our critical care needs, we would be in big trouble--the message was clearly watch out, you are extremely vulnerable. 

That these tactic threats and overtures are already being made explicit is not a good sign. Just politicians and countries throwing around their weight or jockeying for position on the world stage--who knows?

But people are frail, countries are vulnerable, budgets are limited, and bad things can and do happen if we are not careful in a world ticking closer to very dangerous times and events.

The coming realization of the prophecy of a devastating world war--of Gog and Magog--is what people are saying to me.  

In conversation about deteriorating world events, my wife innocently asked someone this week--"Can we avoid a major world war?" Their unequivocal response, "No, it's inevitable!" ;-) 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 13, 2015

Rescue Yourself


This is an awesome potential lifesaving solution for getting out of a burning multi-story building. 

In an emergency...

Put on and fasten the SkySaver Rescue Device..

Attach it securely to a pre-installed anchor.

Now for this next part, you need some guts...exit and lower safely via an automatic mechanical breaking system for a controlled descent (hope this works). 

Carries up to 300 lbs from as high as 260 feet (and apparently a story is approx. 10 feet although this varies). 

I am not endorsing any vendor or product or giving advice on how to survive in an emergency like this, but I really like the thinking behind this product:

Self-Help

Portable 

Compact

Life-saving

Great idea! ;-)
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June 18, 2015

Ready To Explode

So have you ever had to deal with someone at work and they are NOT exactly acting the consummate professional?

They may be volatile, angry, raising their voice, intransigent, threatening, acting the a*s, maybe even a little meshuga.

Yeah, unfortunately it happens (although it absolutely shouldn't)!  

People have crap going on in the office, at home, and sometimes they come in and they just can't cope.  

G-d forbid, they should never really "go postal" as in real violence--but you never really know what you are going to be dealing with. 

One colleague said some people are just "hypervolic"--a new word for someone who is excessive, over the top, and emotionally volcanic!

Yikes--scary enough. 

Another colleague I know who is excellent with people and has decades of experience dealing with a cast of characters told me, "I just look at everyone as a bomb ready to go off."

Ugh, not exactly how I would want to perceive people around me, but the point is well taken--you never know (and you can almost hear the ticking now). 

With some people we sort of know from dealing with them that they have some marbles loose, and while others may appear calm, cool, and collected on the outside, on the inside they may be a volcano ready to blow. 

Heck, you can't read everyone right and even if you do, you can try to calm them down, listen to them, work with them, talk sense to them, suggest some counseling or other outside assistance, but even then they may go off the deep end. 

Lots of personalities out there, lots of people with problems and stresses, and sometimes we in our best intentions may make mistakes or unknowingly say the wrong thing and it only inflames the situation.

Of course hopefully, calmer heads will prevail, professionalism will take front seat, and people will get some perspective and do the right thing...chill man!

But also keep in mind what my colleagues said, some people may  just be ready to go explode--like a volcano--and we need to be ready for that too. 

How do you prepare for this?

Yeah, I don't remember them covering that subject in leadership training--maybe with the exception of listen, show empathy, and if worst comes to worst you can either head for the exits to get away or shelter in place before the human stress bomb goes big boom! ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Camilo Rueda Lopez)
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May 5, 2015

Freak Accidents, Illnesses, And Events

Dave Goldberg, the CEO of Survey Monkey (and the husband of Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook), died suddenly in a freakish accident falling off a treadmill and hitting his head. 

Poof...dead at age 47!

Unfortunately, we hear all the time about these type of tragic occurrences to people.

And of course tragedy knows no bounds--so while sh*t happens everyday to people from all walks of life, we tend to pay more attention when it's someone we know and love or when it's splashed wildly in the news about fabulously successful people we admire and follow. 

- Entertainer, Michael Jackson (50) dead from drug intoxication after suffering cardiac arrest.

- Actor, Robin Williams (63) dead by hanging suicide. 

- Singer, John Lennon (40) shot in the back by someone he had autographed an album for.

- Martial Artist, Bruce Lee (33) died on a movie set from a cerebral edema.

- Model, Marilyn Monroe (33) dead by drug overdose.

- President, John F. Kennedy (46) dead by assassination.

Whether by a plane crash or car accident, drowning or fire, poison or electrocution, a criminal or animal attackterrorism, war, or natural disaster, a heart attack, stroke, or cancer, through suicide, punishment, or mercy killing...regardless of the probabilities and statistics, many people never make it all the way to "a ripe old age." 

We feel bad, shake our heads, say a few words of sympathy perhaps, when we hear of these lives cut short.

But like the TV shows, Six Feet Under (HBO) or 1000 Ways To Die (Spike)--there are a near endless number of horrible ways to go--and they can take you at literally any time.

While we can't stop living and just sit around worrying all the time about all the bad things that can happen, we do need to remember that anything can happen at any time (and these things are not so freakish after all)--no one is beyond the Angel of Death, no one should be arrogant, and we should make the most of every single moment that G-d lovingly grants to us.  ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Military Health)
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December 16, 2014

Chaos On Metro

Sheer chaos on the Washington, D.C. Metro this morning. 

A water main break suspended the running of the Orange, Blue, and Silver lines.

The Metro spokeperson told me pointing with his hand up to his the neck that the water was filling the tunnels and getting way up there--nice!

At the same time, disabled trains on the Red line brought things to a "Major Delay," followed by the offloading of crowded trains because the conductors couldn't get the doors shut.

At the stations themselves, numerous escalators were out of commission, you can see them at boths ends of the station here, and the people were backed up all along the platforms. 

At one point, I got caught on the edge of a platform with a huge crowd pushing up against me, and had to tell the person behind me to please take a step back (that I didn't want to end up on the tracks, why thank you, and believe it or not, some not-so-nice people actually laughed at that!). 

Ufortunately, it didn't take much to see how most of the city can be brought to a snarl or taken right out of commission. 

After 9/11, one has to ask, what have we learned as the Capital of the nation that our basic infrastructure and support systems cannot endure the ups and downs of weather and age, let alone G-d forbid another attack on our soil. 

Hopefully, someone will wake up and step up the planning and preparations here, rather than just spending trillions abroad and with what results. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 22, 2014

Dire Warnings On CyberSecurity

This week Adm. Michael Rogers, the Director of the National Security Agency and head of U.S. Cyber Command issued a stark warning to the nation about the state of cybersecurity:

With our cybersecurity over the next decade, "It's only a matter of the 'when,' not the 'if,' that we are going to see something dramatic."

The Wall Street Journal reports that he gave " a candid acknowledgement that the U.S. ISN'T yet prepared to manage the threat!"

China and "one or two others" [i.e. Russia etc.] are infiltrating our SCADA networks that manage our industrial control systems, including our power turbines and transmission systems,.

The cyber spies from the nation states are "leaving behind computer code that could be used to disable the networks  in the future."

Can you imagine...you must imagine, you must prepare--not if, but when. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 26, 2014

Don't Worry About It--Yeah Right!

Lately, with the Ebola outbreak, primarily in Africa, but unfortunately also spreading here into the U.S., we are hearing refrains from politicians and pundits, not to be afraid.

- It won’t come here.
- It’s hardly contagious.
- Out health care system is superior.
- It’s all under control.

But what we are finding is that the reassurances are mostly empty words to calm a growing restless public, who are justifiably afraid, and see little to no action from their leaders.

- Ebola has come here to Texas, Maryland, and New York.
- Experts now admit that you can even get Ebola from sweat on the bus, and they blame broken protocols (as yet to be identified) that inflected 2 nurses in Texas.
- Yes, our health system is superior, but we are mostly inexperienced with dealing with a true pandemic.
- Define, “It’s under control” as the CDC is now projecting 1.4M infected by January (and growing exponentially)!

This is like the old adage that we are always trying to fight the last war, and not preparing with an open mind for what the next one will look like.

Similarly, we fail again and again to predict the threats and risks that confront us...Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Depressions/ Severe Recessions, ISIS, and much more are evidence of this.

FDR said “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” but this is dead wrong.

I am afraid that we are not fearing enough (or that even worse, we are afraid to fear)--when this is perhaps of as great, if not of greater importance to adequately preparing ourselves to the immense challenges ahead of us.

Fear can cause paralysis or even chaos, but fear can also drive intelligent preparation, innovation, and life-saving measures.

Lately, many have said to me that unhealthy eating or gun violence is what we should fear and act on, and I think this is truly narrow vision.

We can’t live with heads in the sand, because there are multiple issues that we must confront.

True, we don’t have unlimited resources to address everything 100%, but as I’ve been telling people, we can worry about multiple issues (and I certainly do), work to address them with common sense—in other words, walk and chew gum at the same time!

Everyone seems to have their pet peeve issue that they want politicians to address, but we don’t have the luxury of paying attention to those that big mouths, lobbyists or politicians elevate to fear factor status, and ignoring others that may pose real significant threats to us. 

Frankly, I would rather be a little needlessly afraid, but more thoughtful, prepared/protected, and ahead-of-the-curve in addressing issues, than fearless, foolhardy, not ready, and extremely sorry later. 

While Ebola may or may not be catastrophic to us, when you hear coldly, almost matter-of-factly, “Don’t worry about it,” while thousands are dying and many more horrific deaths are at hand, and we are told by the U.N. that there is no real plan if things continue to go south, then be afraid, be very afraid--and let that guide you to creative problem-solving, and not deer in the headlights inaction. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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