Mike: No. And neither did the Bush Administration. And neither did the Clinton Administration, etc., etc. When it comes to grid security, Cyber, EMP, solar flare, errant tree branch or Enron Energy's grid manipulation all of our recent administrations have failed.
Many believe that cyber security constitutes a bigger threat to the grid than EMP. Again, I don't argue. We all agree that the grid is vulnerable. Focus on what we can do to prepare ourselves and our communities if — pick your poison — takes down the grid. So if I'm talking to somebody who does not believe that an EMP is even possible, but says cyber is a threat to the grid — great! I don't argue. The preps are the same. I do believe that cyber security, or lack thereof, is a huge threat to the grid. And there are several Congressional hearings that talk about this. I have them on my website for those who would like to research further.
IQ: Civil unrest, be it from a power grid failure, pandemic, or economic collapse would cause a significant death toll after a nationwide disaster. Do you address civil unrest preparedness in your new book?
Mike: That is a major theme of my book. Without security, little else will matter. This is also why, for the most part, being a "lone wolf" prepper is not a good plan for the majority of people. I'm sorry people, but you cannot protect your family in a WROL (Without Rule of Law) world. This is a major mistake that a lot of preppers make. 'I have guns and ammo, and I'll shoot anybody that tries to take my beans.' That is just not realistic; the bad guys will have guns, too. And more people than you. If you have never thought about this — or even if you have — I recommend that every prepper watch this video by YouTube's"stankmouthcharlie."
I love this video, and he has several others on the subject if that one wasn't enough. This should scare you to death. Here is a guy who is unabashedly unprepared — but he doesn't care. He'll be all right in WROL, but as he points out, most preppers will not. Honestly, we couldn't ask for a better prepper training video than this. Most people are not preppers. What stankmouthcharlie is talking about here is exactly what non-preppers who get desperate are going to be thinking and doing. In my opinion, he is spot on.
So what is 'the long neglected PREP' that we need to focus on — thank you to Prepper Chicks for coining that phrase? It is your community. You can't be a lone wolf for long in WROL, and it will be hard, if not impossible, to pull together a community after the grid goes down. The solution to WROL is not to let WROL happen in the first place. Your community needs a plan for a worst-case scenario. In fact, Congress proposed a resolution advocating just this concept and that concept of a community-based civil defense is what I based this book on. Unfortunately, this resolution died in committee, but a good idea does not have to pass Congress to be a good idea. People and their towns need to prepare themselves — the cavalry will not be coming. And Congress acknowledges this!
IQ: The EMP Commission was disbanded under the Obama administration. Many in Congress have called for the committee to once again have a presence, and the group's last published threat assessments to be reviewed and continued. Do you feel that an EMP attack is possible and should be focused upon more keenly by the federal government?
Mike: I believe, as did the EMP Commission, that an EMP attack by a rogue nation, a terrorist organization or even a "friendly nation" is possible; Russia and China have the capability today. North Korea and Iran will have it soon and talk openly about an EMP strike on the US. Moreover, a terrorist organization could get ahold of a nuke. Do you really trust that Pakistan and India can't have one stolen from them or that North Korea or Iran won't provide one to terrorists someday? If a terrorist organization got hold of a small nuclear device, they could fire it from a container ship off US waters and create an EMP.
Okay, there are a lot of people that argue they don't have the technical know-how … blah, blah, blah. Fine. Don't argue. Those people believe that the sun exists, so talk about solar flares. CMEs are a scientific fact. They have happened in the past, and there is a 100 percent possibility that they will happen again. The preps are the same.
IQ: Do you believe that prepping groups, networks, or a general community preparedness concept offers a greater chance at survival than going it alone with just your family?
Mike: I think the holy grail of preparedness is a prepared community or town, and I talk about this extensively in the book. Going it alone with just your family is a losing proposition for most people. I can't state it more eloquently than stankmouthcharlie did in his video. When 20 people come up your driveway all that stuff you saved up is going to be their stuff.
You cannot provide meaningful security for your family alone. Nothing else is going to matter if you don't have security. A prepared town can have a security plan that will work. An individual family will not be able to have 24/7 security and will not be able to survive long when outnumbered. Preppers: We need our communities and towns. Lone wolf is not going to cut it. A prepared family in a prepared community has a much greater chance of survival.
IQ: There are approximately 3 million prepping families in the United States. Why do you think the preparedness ranks have swelled in recent years?
Mike: There are probably many reasons. More people are aware of the catastrophic threats facing our nation, for one. I also think that 9/11 made us all realize that we are vulnerable. Most of us were not alive when Pearl Harbor was bombed. So we have lived our lives believing we were relatively safe here in the US — with the exception of a global nuclear war where we were all going to be vaporized anyway, so why worry about it? After 9/11, we were shocked; we don't feel invulnerable anymore.
Also, I think more and more people are coming to the realization that the government will not be able to save us. We have seen FEMA fumble disasters such as Katrina, so how are we supposed to have faith that in a national catastrophe, the government will have its stuff together? We can't. So, as I say in the book: What could possibly be worse than a nuclear war where we all die instantly? One where we don't. That's what we should prepare for.
IQ: How is your book different from others focused on emergency preparedness?
Mike: Prepping for a Suburban or Rural Community is different from every other prepping book out there. There are numerous books on prepping for a suburban or rural communityprepping skills, what supplies to store and various aspects of individual and family preparedness. But there is no other book on starting a community civil defense program — or community prepping.
Every American who is concerned about the security of the electrical grid — and especially the ones that aren't — needs to read this book. And after you read it, you need to ask your mayor, fire chief and police chief: "what is our town's plan?" Chances are, they don't have one.
This book should help get that conversation going. I hope that having a book with a template community civil defense plan will help communities prepare. And preppers are the ones who literally can save their towns by getting this going.
In closing, I think that we as preppers need to change our paradigm. Individual and family preparedness are simply not going to be enough in a national catastrophe. Case in point: The "bug out bag." I have these, but they are "get home bags." After the grid goes down, there are going to be a lot of refugees. And some of these refugees are going to be preppers with their "bug out bags." If you do not have a realistic destination, like a family farm, you are now a refugee like all the others.
As I recently said in a tweet: If your plan is to bug out to "the woods" or "the mountains" and your name is not Jeremiah Johnson, you need to rethink your plan. Wouldn't it be a better plan to create a situation where you and your family don't have to bug out? Where you live in a secure town that was prepared ahead of time? So the prep we are all missing is a prepared community.
[Featured Image Via: Shutterstock.com]