Robert Hobart

How much consideration has gone into revisiting the old “Civil Defense” posture and apparatuses? We (the nation) have some institutions and recommendations for preparedness that resemble this, but not in a focused or cohesive manner. A popular approach is to encourage the citizenry to make preparations to “shelter in place” for 24 – 48 hours – of which the list of items to have in your “Home Survival Kit” included an AM/FM battery-powered radio. Consider that subsequent to 9/11 and the catastrophic storms that hit the Gulf states, cellular telephone service was either overwhelmed or critical nodes went down due to lack of power or physical damage. Land lines (telephone) and good old AM/FM radio broadcasts prevail (i.e.: “This a test of the Emergency Broadcast System”). Now that everybody is switching over to digital television, that option is now only via radio. If every municipality had provisions for using AM/FM radio for emergency broadcasts, it would be “low-tech” and reliable – these mechanisms should also be hardened against Electro-Magnetic Pulse attacks, as well.
This discussion is very interesting. I realize that it is intended for localized response but, considering the connectedness of our modern communications systems and the vulnerabilities of those systems, perhaps a look at a broader range of threats will lend to system development that will prevail when national systems fail. China’s current cyberwarfare campaign directed at the U.S. seeks the capability to disrupt/disable critical infrastructure (energy, transportation, finance, water, communications, emergency services/9-11, and the information infrastructure/Internet itself), building self-reliant and localized systems to prevail and maintain services through Recovery should be a priority.