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This Storm Shows Just How Easily You Can Be Cut Off During an Emergency June 23, 2017

Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall in the United States on Thursday and left plenty of devastation in its wake. Nine people have died including a 10-year-old boy, and emergencies have been declared in Alabama and Louisiana. Evacuation requests have been issued in several states, and multiple levees have been damaged.

But perhaps what’s most worrisome, is how many roads have been closed due to rising floodwaters.

Meanwhile, authorities in the small town of West Alton, Missouri, urged residents to evacuate Wednesday and shut down traffic along a busy section of the Missouri River as a downpour of rain continued to flood parts of the Midwest.

Authorities said Wednesday that it’s unclear when traffic would be reopened along the closed 14-and-a-half-mile stretch of the Mississippi River. The passageway vital for transporting goods and agricultural products was closed by the U.S. Coast Guard due to high water and a swift current…

…According to Missouri transportation officials, I-55 was reopened Thursday after rising water levels on the Meramec River forced its closure.

A 57-mile stretch of I-44 from central to southern Missouri is closed, along with a 23-mile stretch in suburban St. Louis, according to the AP…

…More than 270 roads remain closed across the state Wednesday, Missouri transportation officials said.

Keep in mind that this storm was relatively small. It was substantial, but it was no Hurricane Katrina. When it made landfall, the wind speeds were significantly less than what you’d see in a category 1 hurricane. And yet it still managed to damage levees and shut down large stretches of roads, as well as vital waterways.

And that’s important for preppers to keep in mind because as you all know when the trucks stop delivering food, medicine, and fuel, everything grinds to a halt. And if blocked roads hinder our transportation system for too long, our modern society will disintegrate. Obviously, most storms aren’t capable of doing that, but it just goes to show how easy it is to disable our transportation system.

Our society is extremely reliant on the “just in time” delivery of goods. Our grocery stores and gas stations aren’t designed to store large amounts of supplies in case of an emergency. They’re designed to supply your immediate needs, and they rely on daily deliveries to remain operable. That’s why when disaster strikes, there are almost always shortages.

So don’t be unprepared for the next disaster, whatever it may be. Have a plan for any situation, and maintain a diverse supply of survival foods. Because when the trucks stop delivering, there’s no telling where your next meal is going to come from.

Read More:

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

When The Trucks Stop Delivering ‘The System’ Will Collapse

25 Must Have Survival Foods: Put Them In Your Pantry Now

Learn How to Properly Sandbag Your Home Before the Next Storm Arrives

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 23rd, 2017
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The Power Grid Is Far More Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks Than Most People Realize June 18, 2017

In December of 2015, 230,000 people in Western Ukraine lost power after 30 substations were mysteriously shut off. Contrary to what most people assumed at the time, this wasn’t an innocuous power outage. The authorities would later admit that the loss of power was caused by a cyber attack, which marked the first time that malware was successfully used to attack a power grid. A similar, albeit more sophisticated cyber attack, occurred one year later just outside of Kiev. Given the current tensions between Russia and Ukraine, it’s widely believed that the Russian government was responsible for these incidents.

However, there’s more to this story than meets the eye. A computer security company has been investigating these attacks, and has discovered the malware that was used to take down the grid. They’ve found that it’s far more dangerous and easier to use than anyone realized before.

The danger of the malware is that it can automatically trip the breakers within a power system that keep the electrical lines from being overloaded. If one breaker is tripped, the load is shipped to another portion of the power grid. If enough are tripped, in the right places, it’s possible to create a cascading effect that will eventually overload the entire system, said Weatherford, who was formerly the chief security officer at the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the regulatory authority for North American utilities.

“In some cases, it could then take days to restart all the plants,” he said.

Two things stand out about the malware, dubbed “Industroyer” by the researchers — it’s an order of magnitude easier to use than previous programs and it wasn’t actually deployed to do any real damage, meaning whoever’s behind the December attack might simply have been testing the waters. 

In other words, this malware can induce what’s often referred to as a cascading failure. This is what caused the massive blackout that occurred in the Northeastern US and Canada back in 2003. An overgrown tree branch in Ohio touched a power line, which caused that section of the grid to overload and shut down. The electricity had to be transferred to other power lines, which in turn also became overloaded. This chain reaction continued until 55 million people were without power.

Cascading failure is the perfect example of just how fragile our power grid can be. Because our grid is so interconnected, something really small can have a huge effect on the wider system. Though the power grid in the US isn’t as vulnerable to humble tree branches as it used to be, it’s still quite vulnerable to the type of malware that was used to shut down parts of the grid in Ukraine.

Industrial control networks of the type used in power systems use communications protocols that are much less secure than the kinds of computer networks used by banks, retailers and businesses.

“They were developed years ago, without security in mind. They weren’t designed for smart grids or interconnectedness,” said Robert Lipovsky, a senior malware researcher with ESET…

…Industroyer’s ease-of-use is so disturbing because industrial systems are still playing security catch-up, said Raheem Beyah at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

“I knew we were going in this direction but I didn’t think it would be this soon,” said Beyah, who teaches a course on infrastructure hacking and protection for graduate computer science students.

Bayah says the software needed to take down an electrical grid no longer requires the resources of a nation to create. Adding a module to the malware is now “something that a strong computer science graduate student could do,” he said.

This “Industroyer” malware represents a new threat that people need to accept and prepare for. The power grid, which is the linchpin of our standard of living, is now vulnerable to software that is relatively easy to use. Though it seems likely that the Russian government was responsible for developing it, it could have just as easily been made and deployed by non-state actors on a shoe string budget.

This is a dangerous new reality that we live in. Now, someone with a modest education and a small budget can inflict billions of dollars in damages, and leave us all in the dark. Obviously, that makes widespread blackouts far more likely in the future.

And that potential is probably just the tip of the iceberg. It’s very possible that multiple cyber-attacks could keep us in the dark for weeks rather than just days. That would be more than long enough to cause society to disintegrate.

Fortunately, you’re not helpless in the face of this threat. You can prepare yourself now before it’s too late.

Additional Resources:

Are You ready Series: Rolling Blackouts

Could the Latest Solar Storm Warnings Bring an End to Civilization as We Know It?

The Big Blackout: Why I’m Going Lot-Tech to Prep for an EMP

4 Critical Components to Getting Prepped for a Blackout

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 18th, 2017
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How Preppers Can Use Music to Train for Emergencies June 17, 2017


ReadyNutrition Guys and Gals, we’re going to discuss how the use of music can be beneficial to you as a training tool.  When we are talking about “training,” this is an all-encompassing category to include all of the tasks you need for proficient survival readiness.  Such tasks include (but are not limited to) exercise and weightlifting, hiking, meditation/relaxation, mental preparation before an event (such as a sporting competition), and while you’re writing or studying.

Music is proven to help increase focus and concentration, as well as improve your physical coordination, especially where you’re incorporating the music in the timing of your tasks.  For a good introduction to the different beneficial effects of music, I recommend visiting this website:  http://www.emedexpert.com/tips/music.shtml.  Pay close attention to these different categories, especially #4, “Music helps to work more productively.”  This is the category that describes a great part of what you will need in terms of helping you accomplish physically demanding tasks.

You can increase your physiological and psychological ability to perform, as well as resist the drawbacks associated with pain, stress, and fatigue.  You’ve heard the term “psyching yourself up,” right?  The music will help you.  Select the type of music you need for the task at hand.

When I write, I like to listen to light classical, just as a slight “background” sound, to help me relax without taking my mind’s focus off of the task at hand.  When I lift it’s with something such as “AC/DC,” that kicks out a fast, strong pace with lots of energy and “pumps” me up mentally to do that extra set or that extra rep.  When I am going to do some kind of sporting event or a challenging exercise for time, such as a run or a road march, I always listen to stuff beforehand that gets me in the mood to perform, and something I can think of while I’m performing the exercise.

The way to quantify if this works for you is to see it work: to make gains, to feel better about yourself and what you’re doing.  There are times to relax and meditate, and you can accomplish this with light classical or instrumental music, or maybe even soft singing.  Sounds of nature can be an excellent thing to listen to if you live in an urban or suburban environment, but believe me, I do have those types of CD’s to use in the “off” season in the dead of winter and such.  It is just as important to learn how to relax and wind down as it is to work and train.

Find out for yourself what it is that works for you in these categories, and then set the music aside so that you will incorporate it into your routine and use it when you need it.  You will see good results (especially when you lift weights or exercise).  Music is a powerful tool in these areas.  Don’t neglect any tool that will help you to perform and train even better.  So, turn on those tunes as you fight that good fight, and find what works for you.  JJ out!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published June 17th, 2017
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