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Was in town last night and spoke to the manager of the local Sam’s Club (a wonderful lady from Puerto Rico whose husband is retired Army). Just as is the case with a portion of my own family by marriage, her family back in Puerto Rico is still without power (as is almost the entire island). The pre-existing corruption is horrible, and Maria simply put the entire island down for the full count. Even much of the food/water/building supplies/etc., aid is still being diverted by the same corrupt people, and the many truly decent people simply don’t get the goods or services.

Perhaps the biggest preparedness lesson there is not the obvious food/clothing/shelter/heat, etc., but what Selco has so often stressed – the danger from our fellow inhuman beings either in formal political power, or in the informal criminal environment that emerges and rapidly grows in such situations. Our recent new addition to the Forum this morning mentioned that he’s particularly interested in urban preparedness issues – spot on!

The Sam’s Club manager mentioned a night time satellite photo she’d seen just the other day – the island is virtually invisible in the dark ocean around it, just like North Korea – no lights due to no power. And most of the running water still isn’t. “Normal” services like trash pickup? LOL! (And that’s only a situational comment, not a reflection of anything truly funny. It’s tragic beyond words.)

Consider the three attached images. First is a night satellite image of North Korea, compared to South Korea or China. Next is Puerto Rico before and after Hurricane Maria (and conditions today are little different than the “after” image taken 4 days after the storm hit). The third image needs no explanation, other than the fact that it shows the impact area of a high altitude nuclear burst at various altitudes. Keep in mind that North Korea currently has two satellite orbiting over the US – it’s potentially just a matter of time. Regardless, whether EMP from a high altitude nuke over Iowa, or a major coronal mass ejection from the sun (several of which we’ve just missed just in the past couple of years). Either way, we’re just a millisecond away from becoming North Korea or Puerto Rico as a reasonable possibility, with conditions very suddenly becoming what Selco experienced in what had been a thriving, modern city just days before. Those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, let them see and hear – and prepare. I have to keep reminding myself what we learned flying high performance aircraft, and what I drilled into my students as an instructor pilot: complacency is probably our biggest enemy – and we control that. We cannot ever forget that it CAN happen to us, and is happening to other very real people that are otherwise just as intelligent. There is widespread fundamental evil in this world, and we dare not ignore it.