Wednesday, December 28, 2016

One for my fellow Emergency Managers

My career field in the US Air Force was emergency management and I am a sucker for disaster books. Ted Koppel was a name I could trust to give me some really thought provoking long-form journalism.

Book Review
Lights Out: A Cyber Attack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath
Ted Koppel
Penguin Random House, 2015
Read December 2016
4/5 stars

A pretty easy, but sobering, read about how a cyber attack on the U.S. power grid could take place and how the country (government, civic organizations, and individual people) would respond/react to the situation. Answer: everyone's response will be piss poor, except for the Mormons and survivalists (aka "preppers"). The biggest loser is the DHS; they don't seem to know how to get themselves out of a paper bag much less planning and supplying for a major terrorist incident via the Internet. FEMA is at least thinking things through and planning accordingly, that is when the head of the department and his deputy can agree on anything (not likely). It seems if the individual is hoping to make any headway in discovering how to plan and respond to such an attack, s/he should look to local and state governments. Also, Koppel's advice in the epilogue is to get back into community-level preparedness as well as individual/family unit-level preparedness. Overall, a solid read I would recommend to anyone, but especially my fellow emergency managers.

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