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I do not “get” that announcement at all, even ignoring the fact that they’re not mentioning the nuclear high altitude EMP blast scenario looming over us and sugar coating it as a nice, natural solar event.

“This exercise will begin with a national massive coronal mass ejection event which will impact the national power grid as well as all forms of traditional communication, including landline telephone, cellphone, satellite, and Internet connectivity,” Army MARS Program Manager Paul English, WD8DBY, explained in an announcement.

During the exercise, a designated DOD Headquarters entity will request county-by-county status reports for the 3,143 US counties and county equivalents, in order to gain situational awareness and to determine the extent of impact of the scenario.

I can just hear the SITREPS coming from each county (that bothers to even participate): “Well, none of our vehicles are being used to simulate not going anywhere, we’re pretending the stores are looted, empty, and closed so we’re not getting needed supplies, we’re pretending looting is REALLY bad when the lights are out so we’re getting our weapons out but can’t see because our night vision devices aren’t working. Yep. Basically, we’re just sitting around doing nothing except foraging the forests for roots and berries. That’s our report.”

They’re simulating an event that will take down the grid as well as all unshielded electronic equipment (a more difficult task than many internet “experts” apparently realize – probably not as simple as putting things in galvanized trash can). Yet they’re using radio frequencies with electronic equipment to communicate about it. How does THAT work? That’s like saying we’re going to simulate that every bridge over every body of water is out, but we’re going to use motor vehicles to get back and forth everywhere during the exercise without crossing the bridges. This would seem to be somebody’s idea of a “feel good” exercise that confuses absolutely useless activity with meaningful accomplishment of something that could not be be accomplished under the real world scenario they’re simulating . What am I missing here?!?

The article itself has some decent informational resources at the bottom, but even some of those are absurd – like the one that discusses using diesel fuel because it doesn’t require an electronic ignition system – as if there are no other electronics in diesel vehicles (uh – can anyone say “fuel pump?”). The bottom line is that we need to think through life in the middle 1850s, except add concentrations of populations that didn’t exist back then. Lead will potentially be at the very top of the precious metals chart! As for equipment: shovels, rakes, hoes, and plenty of stored heirloom seeds, plus a couple of books on companion planting, Square Foot Gardening, natural pest control, yada, yada. (But hey – at least some DoD employees are justifying their pay by creating these simulations of nothingness! :-) )