News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week (or so) with a dab of commentary:

Security Threat News:

An electromagnetic pulse attack — the ‘other’ Iranian nuclear threat:  EMP is a game changer…a nuclear strike on a major city could be less damaging to the U.S. than a well executed EMP attack on the homeland in terms of lives lost and property damage and financial loss.

Russia says it will not renew arms agreement with U.S.

al-Qaeda-linked group could have advanced weapons after joining Syria rebels in seizing missile defence base: 
Iran Strikes Back:  Iranian cyberattack on the U.S. financial system.  Let’s face it folks, we’re now in a perpetual state of war even when we pull out of Afghanistan.

Enter At Your Own Risk: Police Union Says ‘War-Like’ Detroit Is Unsafe For Visitors:  How did Detroit get here…read this excellent article by Porter Stansberry…there but for the grace of God go the rest of U.S.

Ripped From The Pages of An Ian Fleming Novel:

The Danish agent, the Croatian blonde and the CIA plot to get al-Awlaki:  You just couldn’t make this stuff up! (more…)

News to Know

Situational awareness is a key element of survival and today, situational awareness must be global.  Today we present news to know from the past week with a dab of commentary:

News that could be ripped from the pages of an Ian Fleming Novel:

Security Threat News:

Nature’s Fury, Natural Disasters Today

A few stories involving Nature’s Fury currently in the news…Earthquakes & Droughts & Hurricanes & Typhoons, oh my!

 Earthquake Swarm

“A swarm” of several hundred earthquakes, the strongest measuring a 5.5 magnitude, were centered east of San Diego near California’s border with Mexico on Sunday afternoon but caused little damage, seismologists said.

Sunday’s shaking in Southern California’s Imperial Valley was the most activity recorded there since the 1970s, according to U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Lucy Johnson.

“We are having a swarm,” Johnson said. “We expect thousands of events (like this) over several days.”

via CNN


The insurance industry faces its biggest ever loss in agriculture as the worst drought to hit the US in more than half a century devastates the country’s multibillion-dollar corn and soybean crops, triggering large claims.

…Agricultural economists at the University of Illinois estimate the drought will trigger this year gross indemnities of roughly $30bn, with an underwriting loss of $18bn. Of that, the US government would shoulder around $14bn, while private sector insurers are likely to face a loss of $4bn, they said. Standard & Poor’s, the rating agency, put the losses of the private sector a notch higher at $5bn.

“The US drought is indeed a ‘catastrophic’ event,” Gregory W Locraft, insurance analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York, wrote in a recent note to clients, adding that it “is likely the largest [insurance] crop loss in history.”

via CNN


What Keeps The Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense Awake At Night?

Ever wonder what perils and threats keeps senior defense officials up at night?  Well you don’t have to guess anymore what keeps the Department of Defense’ Assistant Secretary for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs (how does that title even fit on a business card?), Paul Stockton up because he told us.


Why Prep, Part 2 Historical & Current Examples

This entry is part 2 of 3 in the series Why Prep

Note from Andrew: The complete Why Prep Series has now been consolidated HERE.

Last week in Why Prep, the Introduction we briefly discussed the fragility of the status quo and clarified that preparedness is not about getting ready for the ‘end of the world’… it’s about building the skills, resources and resilience to endure the transition periods following dramatic financial, environmental, societal or individual life changes.  If you haven’t read the introduction yet, I recommend that you read it before continuing by clicking on the hyperlink near the start of this paragraph..

Today we’re going to take a look at some current and historical situations and events that are/were much more survivable (financial and otherwise) for those that took the time to prepare.  For brevity’s sake I have chosen a small sampling of the historical examples available and have chosen not to include many areas of perpetual warfare (Cyprus, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Palestine/Israel, Northern Ireland, etc.).

Note:  The links included go to articles or preselected internet searches (to make results more timely) in case you’re interested in doing additional reading on that subject.  For convenience, these examples are listed by continent although many of the events/situations spanned multiple continents. (more…)

Earthquakes Hit 22 States in 30 Days

In the past 30 days earthquakes (with a magnitude of 1.0 or greater) have been detected with their epicenters in the following 22 states:  Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming

While the U.S. quakes this past month have not been particularly damaging (only 11 of the quakes in the lower 48 states were 4.0 or greater) the sheer number of quakes is a reminder that the Earth isn’t particularly quiet and as you can see from the list above this isn’t a peril you only have to worry about if you live in California, Alaska or Hawaii.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a number of tools to allow you to assess the earthquake risk in your backyard or make cool maps like the one below.  This map shows the epicenter of 900 of the 2,066 earthquakes (mostly in California & Baja Mexico) that have occurred in the map area in the last 30 days.  It also shows through color coding (dark blue to light blue to yellow to red) from the least risk to the highest earthquake risk.


Looking at the past 12 years of USGS data (not including 2012) shows us that the U.S. is hit by 2,261 to 8,497 earthquakes per year with an average of 3,823.  Eight of these earthquakes have been 7.0 or greater and there have been 2 deaths.

In case the statistics above have given you a false sense of security take a look at the following Map of magnitude 6 or higher earthquakes the lower 48 states have suffered from 1750 to 1996.  The USGS also has a tool where you can check out the earthquake risk by state. (more…)

114 Years of Earthquake Epicenters

Map Shows Earthquake Activity Since 1898

Earthquakes Since 1898

via Map Shows Earthquake Activity Since 1898 | Video |

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