Addressing the Bear in the Room
Should we discuss the giant bear in the room?
For weeks before Russia invaded the Ukraine, the US was giving out satellite intel on troop movements. These could've been nothing more than "exercises" as a means to intimidate, or as a false flag to make people think Putin was going to do one thing then do another.
But Russian forces did in fact move in at 4:30am local time.
A large chunk of the world ostracized Russia for the act, calling it a pariah. Others were quiet. Most of the quiet ones are getting (or hoping to get) Russian weapons for their 'friendship'.
China amuses me though. I suspect they're paying careful attention to how this is playing out since they too have eyes on a land prize of their own.
All that aside, what can we do to keep our families safe?
Even though Russia is attacking only the Ukraine, there are ripples.
Russian cyber attacks can be life threatening if they attack our infrastructure--and they can attack anywhere that is run by computer.
Another vigilante, the collective, "Anonymous" has announced that it's officially in a cyber war against Russia. They've claimed certain attacks that have put annoying, (but not life threatening) monkey wrenches into the Putin plan.
BP Oil and Shell Oil have cut ties to Russian oil. You know what that means.
Even though the US only gets 7% (some sources say 10%) of our oil from Russia, oil companies here were hiking prices long before the Russians fired the first shot. They do the same thing every time a hurricane is spotted in the Gulf--whether it hits us or not. It's just another excuse to raise prices.
If the price of gas goes up, so will transportation and manufacturing, and in a domino effect you'll see it at the cash register. This on top of the super high inflation we were already fighting.
Everything that happens in the world has a trickle down effect. How close you are to the epicenter decides how hard it will hit you.
Finally, let's not forget nukes. I never thought Putin dumb enough to use nukes, but the man has a planet-sized ego and right now it's taking a major bruising. There's no way for him to save face. That makes him very dangerous and unpredictable.
So what can we do to keep our families safe?
- If you own your own home, start making preparations in case you lose power for an extended time. This includes solar, gas and wind generators
- If you live in an apartment, have a back up plan on where you can go if necessary. It might mean you'll have to leave the city.
- If you're staying put, have enough food and water to last at least three months. If the computers are hacked, filters and pumps won't work and water might not be safe for drinking.
- No matter where you live take out enough cash to live on for the short term. Remember, if banking computer systems are attacked you might not have access to your funds, and this includes credit cards.
- Keep your gas tank filled up.
- If you store gas/diesel, keep your containers filled up.
- Keep your computer backed up. This is really important. If you get hacked, you'll still have your files in another safe location. If you get nuked or suffer an EMP, you want your back-up in a Faraday cage, or at the very least covered in plastic wrap then aluminum foil. Here are some simple instructions.
- Keep an emergency radio. These too are subject to EMP attack though experts claim it might be temporary for small and simple electronics.
- Keep a mask and goggles within reach if you are anywhere near a likely target.
- For the uninitiated, fallout is radioactive dust. If it lands on you, you can wash it off, but don't let it get inside your body. For more information about radiation fallout, check out the CDC guidelines.
I pray to God that nukes are off the table, but it doesn't hurt to prepare for the possibility.
My main concern are cyber attacks which will disrupt our day to day living. It most likely will be short term until facilities can recover, but it could make our lives very uncomfortable, or at least, expensive.
So let's pretend it's March 2020 and stay close to home with enough food, water, and cash. Don't forget your meds and pet food.
I suspect Putin has another few weeks to decide how far he wants to take this. If he doesn't retreat (or is pulled from office), he's going to make us see how small the world really is.
My prediction is that this conflict will not go nuclear, but it will cost the world economically. The only thing Putin will accomplish is make everything more expensive for everyone all around.
Like we needed anymore of that.
In the end, only us plebeians will get hurt.
So what do you think will happen? Do you think you live in a safe place?