Lights Out on America

Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

You probably noticed you did not receive your weekly dose of must-read articles on Tuesday. That’s because I was in Baltimore recording an exclusive event with former Navy SEAL Cade Courtley hosted by Spy Briefing director Doug Hill.

In this interview, Cade and I address the top four concerns among readers — from preparing for a potential attack on the power grid to securing your home against home invasions. We divulged tons of our absolute best black ops-level self-protection and self-reliance secrets.

This information is absolutely essential. But there is one catch. It’s only available to lifetime members of my Spy & Survival Briefing.

To upgrade your membership to a lifetime subscription, simply call our in-house customer care team at (844) 414-4055 for the lowest available rate.

Once you’re a lifetime member, you’ll have immediate access to this event — and all future events — giving you the most up-to-date information on the growing threats facing everyday citizens.

Speaking of Threats…

One of the biggest threats we will face in the near future is an attack on our power grid. I can say this with certainty because our enemies are already looking for weaknesses in the system.

Case in point: At the end of last year, a privately owned energy grid in Vermont detected an unauthorized user in their system. The grid alerted authorities to the hack and investigations quickly ensued to determine how the unwelcome party joined the system.

Rumors that the perpetrators were Russian proved true when the malware used in Vermont matched code associated with the Grizzly Steppe operation. The Obama administration created Grizzly Steppe in response to Russian cyberactivity against the U.S. A public report of the Russian threat was posted to alert other energy grids.

The malware was shut down before any damage took place to the Vermont grid, but the infiltration exposed sensitive information on the communications and weaknesses of our power grid systems. This is one of many reasons Obama recently issued an executive order sanctioning Russia for its malicious cyberactivity, and ejected 35 Russian officials from the U.S.

But Russian hackers aren’t the only danger to the power grid. Domestic terrorists, metal thieves, weather and disgruntled employees are just a few other hazards that threaten our power grid’s physical safety. According to the Department of Homeland Security, physical attacks threaten the power grid once every four days.

Read that again: Physical attacks threaten the power grid once every four days. And these threats don’t just come from abroad.

An Inside Job

A few years ago, the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call about gunfire at the Metcalf Transmission Station. The call wasn’t placed until 10 minutes after the station was attacked, because multiple snipers had cut the phone lines prior to the shooting. The culprits also damaged 17 transformers, resulting in $15 million in repairs.

Borrowing power from neighboring substations, power was quickly restored to the area, but repairs took 27 days to complete. If nearby substations were rendered inoperable too, their entire energy grid would have been without power for almost a month.

If a coordinated group of terrorists attacks multiple stations at once, they could disrupt a huge portion of the grid. Hitting several stations close together would limit the ability to get people back online quickly, because the capacity to borrow power from other stations is critical in the aftermath of such an attack.

Even more critical, however, is the need for a stronger physical defense of our energy system.

But you and I can’t rely on energy companies to spend the necessary money to protect our power grid, so it’s important to establish emergency plans with your family. If you and your spouse are at work when the grid goes down, who will pick up the kids? Will you be staying put or bugging out? What is your plan?

Mentally go through a disaster situation and figure out what you can do now to prepare. The most important thing you can do now is put aside enough food, water and medicine to survive for 30 days. Also, be sure you have a basic first-aid kit and a survival radio. Without power, emergency services will communicate via radio. A small, battery-operated radio allows you to listen for updates on any relief efforts. These preparations require little time and effort for the potentially lifesaving benefits they offer.

One last thought: A chairman of a blue-ribbon congressional task force estimated that if a large area of the country were without power for more than a year, nine out of 10 Americans would not survive.

Thankfully, the energy grid in Vermont continues without disruption — along with the rest of the country — for now. But without better physical and cybersecurity measures in place, our power grid is extremely vulnerable to attack.

It’s time to put security first. Our lives depend on it.

More importantly, it’s time to prepare.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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