The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at the hacker threat to the U.S. power grids.

Iranian Hackers Prying the US Power Grids

Wired reports: Iranian Hackers Have Been ‘Password-Spraying’ the US Grid. JWR’s Comments:  Nefarious access to SCADA systems can result in more than just short-term power interruptions. By intentionally overloading circuits there could be permanent physical damage to transformers. Similarly, water utility equipment could be damaged by repeated or carefully sequenced triggering of solenoid valves, taking advantage of the “water hammer” effect of water–an incompressible fluid. I suspect that these sort of hacking probes have gone on for years. The hackers may be gathering detailed lists of “vulns” that can be scripted into massive Fire Sale hack attack that would most likely be launched over a holiday weekend.  Be ready to survive power grid failure, folks!

Puerto Rico Hoarding Disaster Aid Supplies

Linked over at the great news aggregation site: Leaked Video Shows HUGE Warehouse In Puerto Rico Full Of US Hurricane Aid After Governor There Claimed Trump Wasn’t Sending It.

Virginia Indoor Gun Range Bill Aimed at NRA

DSV sent this: Virginia Indoor Gun Range Bill Appears Especially Aimed at NRA Out of Spite

Wisconsin: Where Dead Men Vote Democrat

Reader H.L. sent us this: Wisconsin Judge Orders Up to 209,000 Listings Purged from Voter Rolls — Finds 3 in Contempt, Orders Fines for Delay

Ontario’s Nuclear Plant False Alarm

Peter sent us this one: Ontario launching investigation after emergency alert mistakenly sent about Pickering nuclear power station. Here is how article begins:

“The Ontario government is conducting an investigation after an emergency alert about an incident at a nuclear facility was mistakenly sent to millions of residents Sunday, causing many to fear a serious safety threat was imminent.

Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones said in a statement the alert was issued by mistake during a routine training exercise by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre (PEOC).

She said there was never any danger to the public or the environment. Training exercises are an important component of emergency management and are conducted “regularly,” said Ms. Jones, who oversees the PEOC.

The province is apologizing for the error and is conducting an investigation to determine what happened and to prevent it from occurring again.”

California: Serial Droughts

Reader C.B. found this: Widespread droughts affect southern California water sources six times a century

California: A Mountain Lion Gang

Five California mountain lions caught on video outside home in rarity for solitary creatures. (A hit tip to Tim J. for the link.)

DEA & TSA Steal $82,000 From 79-Year-Old Man with No Charges

Family Sues After DEA & TSA Steal $82,000+ From 79-Year-Old Pittsburgh Man With No Charges – His Entire Life Savings

Is Whooping Cough Becoming a Superbug?

Reader C.B. suggested this article with some news from Australian medical researchers: Whooping cough evolving into a superbug. The piece begins:

“Whooping cough bacteria are becoming smarter at colonizing and feeding off unwitting hosts, strengthening calls for a new vaccine, according to UNSW researchers.

Australia needs a new whooping vaccine to ensure our most vulnerable are protected from the emergence of superbug strains, new UNSW research has shown.

The current vaccine, widely used since 2000, targets three antigens in the of the highly which can be fatal to infants.”

Fauxcahontas: Zero Carbon Footprint Buildings

G.P. sent us this: Elizabeth Warren: “No new buildings, no new houses, without a zero carbon footprint.”

You can send your news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. How susceptible to failure are modern nuclear plants? Is a cyber terror attack capable of sending a nuclear reactor into meltdown? Texas has a few Nuclear plants and it has me worried.

  2. We believe JWR is right. Iranian hackers have been trying to access US systems for years. They are no doubt working from without, and from within, and on a variety of fronts including the electrical grid. A few well placed terrorists can cause tremendous damage. Strongly suggest reading: Triple Cross by Peter Lance.

  3. Re. Virginia drums of war

    Today’s U.S. Military and today’s Militarized Police are oath-breakers working for blood money. Expecting them to stand down is irrational. They just have too many earthly benefits to lose. Their job is to take orders and carry them out. No questions asked.

    Many citizen-patriots say that civil war is inevitable. Even worse they seem deaf to other options for restoring Liberty. It pains me to admit that they do make a strong rational arguments.

    God works in strange ways. Hope lies there. Pray for the best. Prepare for the worse NOW.

    1. Do not fight the police. Don’t be stupid. This would only play into the hands of the left. If the police show up at your door be polite and cooperative and comply with legal demands. If you are wronged the court is the only place to make that argument. Do not be enticed by fools to make the police your enemy. The anti-constitution politicians and the behind the scenes special interests are the enemy — not your local LEOs. Beware those who advise you to resist the police, they don’t have your best interests in mind.

      1. OneGuy, while there are too many keyboard commandos who “talk the talk,” that is where their bravado ends. From what he said, however, I don’t believe that Montana Guy is one of them. He seems to be simply describing a situation.

        Yet, you are absolutely correct about the outcome.There will be only one result when the police come for someone. These law enforcement personnel will be given a plausible reason for doing what they are told to do and, even if they have doubts about the reason for carrying out their orders, for a great number of them, the need to keep their jobs, pensions, and means of providing for their families will trump everything else. If the first few officers are unable to accomplish the task given them, reinforcements will be on the way. The result will be inevitable.

        If anyone believes that I am wrong, please point out one incident in the last 40 years where someone who was the subject of a serious police standoff made a successful escape.

        1. @Survivorman- You are correct about the probable outcome of a ‘standoff situation’, but sometimes something needs to be done to resist , like the Poles did in the Warsaw ghetto, holding off the Nazis for four weeks with just a handful of men and a few dozen arms. I pray that none of us will have to face this reality, but Randy and Vicky Weaver did, and the Branch Dividians did, and others have had to face it. I fear that it is coming again in Virginia and other places. May God help the people who will be facing it this time.

          1. Nathan,

            It appears that we are talking past each other. You are addressing the need to take a stand at times. I am addressing the likely outcome when the police are involved.

            Sure, the Poles (and before them the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto) held out for quite awhile against the Nazis. 300 Spartans held out for quite awhile against the Persians. Roughly 200 Texans held out for quite awhile against the Mexicans, etc., etc., etc. At none of these places was there a happy outcome.

            And, when it comes to police standoffs, it never comes out well for the defenders who refuse to surrender. People who survived Ruby Ridge and Waco can attest to this. Once committed to the task, the police will always win and they will keep drawing on governmental resources until they do.

          2. Don’t forget the Soviet army sat on the other side of the river and watched the fighting for over a week until the Germans prevailed before capturing the city.

        2. @Survivorman99,

          You are referring to the LEOs/SWAT encircling a citizen or a family… but as the Constitution is stated, we as patriots will not be overrun by LEO/SWAT/FBI, due to the sheer numbers if we stand together to “over throw said unpatriotic government members”. Read about the tree of Liberty and its pruning from time to time.

          To answer your question:
          Look at the Virginia gun rights standoff at the Capitol on MLK day this week. The LIBTARDS were so scared they declared the armed National Guard to arrive, overtime for LEOS, hiding in bunkers and a host of other precautions of US PATRIOTS standing united.

          To give you a few examples of standoffs that broke law enforcement…
          1) Bundy Ranch in Nevada – it worked until Ammon went to Oregon to provoke the LEOs.
          2) Trinidad Texas ( look at article and understand that JWR is right about having an off-grid retreat that you don’t have to leave…)

          3) WACO would have worked if they held their ground.

          The issue is the more they LIBTARDS thin out our patriots by teaching them unpatriotism in the public schools, there will be no cry in future generations for free speech, gun rights, and the Constitution.

          Will we have to fight the LEOs/SWAT in our generation..only if we are thinned out and don’t have the bandwidth to push LEFTist lawmakers back.

          1. Mr. President,

            Every rule has an exception, and the cases you mention are exceptions (and, even then, I don’t think that you can say that they had “happy outcomes”). Not one of them involved shots fired by the defenders, however. Once that happens, all hell breaks loose.

            After a confrontation between a citizen and law enforcement turns “kinetic,” law enforcement will continue its efforts until the issue is resolved in its favor, the fear being that to be seen backing down from a confrontation will only encourage others to engage in similar behavior.

        3. Survivormann99, thanks. I apologize if I was unclear to OneGuy and others. I have been preaching FOR the principle of non-aggression for years.

          I agree with you about today’s rules of engagement. Do NOT take on the police. That could change if we have another Lexington/Concord. But as of today it is not a hill worth dying on.

      2. @OneGuy- Unfortunately, it is nor as simple as you say. As the article about the TSA and DEA stealing over $80,000 from a citizen shows, the police and (Federal) law enforcement agencies can be corrupt and operate under color of the law. If the police come to YOUR door and shoot your dog or your wife and children, will YOU heed your own advice and meekly ask them in for a cup of coffee ? Give up and tell them that they are welcome to whatever they want ?
        Do you live in a state that is planning gun confiscation ? Will you quietly march off to the cattle cars (or air-conditioned busses) ? It’s up to you to decide.

        1. You missed the point by a mile. Some have this idea that they want to sacrifice themselves, become martyrs and take a cop with them. First it is a crazy idea, if you want to commit suicide please do it in private. Second you will only hurt the cause and all of us will be labeled as white supremacists or worse. Third you still lose, you can’t win that way.

          I only see one way to win this fight and that is to bring enough everyday Americans, the common man Americans, onto to our side. You aren’t going to do that as a dead person in a standoff that took a LEO with you. Your side won’t get told and if it did it would actually make your argument look worse. We have to win this: 1. in court. 2, in the court of public opinion. 3. At the ballot box.

          I know… I know… You really want to shoot someone. But don’t do it. we will all be painted with the same brush. The LEAST you could do if you intend to be that stupid is to wear a Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden shirt…

          1. @OneGuy- If you were familiar with any of my posts, you would know that I am not looking forward to a civil war, nor do I want to shoot anyone. I have stated this numerous times. However, I have also stated that I believe that the left will not quit until a civil war becomes hot and violence erupts. THEY seem to believe that it is the only way that they can impose their will on the rest of us. Therefore, I do believe that it will happen, unless President Trump can restore the now absent rule of law to our beloved nation. As of right now, I see no evidence that the rule of law, the Justice Department, the FBI, or any other part of the corrupt and evil Federal government will be restored to anything resembling a functioning government of laws and not a government of men. I pray for President Trump, as well as his family, and his entire team to restore our nation so that God will once again bless this land.

          2. I am not disagreeing with your prediction of a likely confrontation on our 2nd amendment rights (and even other constitutional rights). What I am saying is I want to win not show off. If there is to be a shooting war than let them be the first to shoot. If we are to win this we must win in the political/legal/public opinion arena and we must do that with better arguments and ideas than our opponents. If this ever does regress to civil war I believe that the U.S. and the constitution will be lost forever. The world is too dangerous for us to be fighting amongst ourselves. I will reiterate my most important point: bravado and talk of shooting LEOs will not play well with most Americans. It may temporarily make someone feel good about how committed they are to the cause but it has a bad look on national TV. And the MSM is not on our side so we cannot afford to give them what they are looking for to label us all as right wing nationalists or worse.

            I absolutely won’t shoot any LEOs or tell anyone else to either no matter what. I will comply with all lawful orders and not run off at the mouth and save my arguments for the judge and jury. Having said that I will also not break any laws or conspire with anyone to do so.

      3. @OneGuy…

        Currently the LEOs are not the enemy, as they just follow the orders–the newly-legislated laws. However, it is the LEFT, Marxists, Liberal, Communists that make the laws for the LEOs to follow. It is true the LEOs have too many benefits, including pension funds which is paid by taxpayer dollars. Remember it is not the LEO/SWAT, it is in fact our complacent positions as conservatives, on politics. We believe in living offgrid, heavily armed, and then do nothing politically. The LEFT will take everything, including our human rights granted by our Creator through the US Consitution, unless the LEFT is no longer voted in.

        The first place to start is the public school system and fight to get the Bible back in for student reading, then ingrain Christian principles into the text books, then allow the US constituional principles taught as they were intended in high school civics class… See a pattern here: It’s all about the minds being shaped in the Public schools… do you think any democrat would vote for socialism, open borders, gay rights, women’s rights to destroy families, and abortion on demand in the 1950s….?

        The LEFT has the media, universities, and public schools…. Get them there. Not get the police/SWAT on your front doorstep.

      4. Comply with legal demands…
        Our government left “legal” authority a very long time ago. As the Supreme Law of the land says, any law found contrary to it is not lawful and a good citizen is duty bound to oppose said “law”.

    2. @Montana Guy – I take great offense at your blanket statement concerning the military. I am soon to retire from the Army National Guard, and would challenge you to give any facts concerning the US military “working for blood money”, “no questions asked.”

      Most of us are aware of the Posse Comitatus Act, and the charge to not follow unlawful orders. “No questions asked” is a large pill to swallow, regardless of what happened during Katrina.

      There are good and bad apples in any organization, but to label us all in such a manner is egregious.

      I generally agree with most of your points, and the rational behind your arguments, but I cannot abide the statement you made. Please defend.

      God Bless.

      1. Miyagi, thank you for your candid views. I would expect anyone in the U.S. Military or LE to take great offense with my beliefs. I get that a lot. I am not offended. For decades vets and LEOs refused to engage and exchange views. To be honest I recently began using the provocative term ‘blood money’. It has been a catalyst for communication.

        I am morally guided by God’s natural laws and God-given rights. The greatest document in the history of man regarding such is our Declaration of Independence. As for the U.S. Constitution, it is a failed document. It should come as no surprise to those who read the opinions of notable figures such as Samuel Adams, Thomas Paine and Patrick Henry, vocal opponents of the Constitution. Jefferson (from exile in France) expressed serious concerns about ratification.

        Let me address the U.S. Military. For decades it has murdered, maimed and/or displaced millions of innocent people in unjust wars. These innocent people shared the same inalienable rights delineated in our Declaration of Independence. And yes, even Muslims. (I can hear the gulps!). Jefferson and our Founders were wordsmiths. They made this clear in our DOI.

        I have asked a simple yet absolutely fundamental question for all Vets, even here, and not one vet has answered it: How and from whom does the U.S. Military get the right to invade or occupy foreign soil?

        1. Montana Guy, During my construction years I ran my own welding business. I occasionally took Foreman or Spread Boss positions for some of the contractors I worked with. Every job, without fail you had guys complaining or displeased about something–working conditions, equipment, process disagreements ect. After awhile, I started every job explaining to every hand, that if anyone has a complaint, they could bring it to me, as long as they also brought along 1 or 2 solutions to their problem—-that cut way down on the hands that just liked to complain. I remember reading your Question a couple of times now “How and from whom does the U.S. Military get the right to invade or occupy foreign soil”—–So I guess I have a question for you. Who do you think the U.S. should get that “Right” or permission from?——Congress?—The president?—The United Nations? An old saying comes to mind, “Freedom Isn’t Free”. Our forefathers had the courage to break away and start this great nation with freedom as their main cause. In all those many years since our founding the U.S. has been involved in numerous conflicts and wars, all of which have had some innocent bloodshed.—Thru those years the U.S has established numerous allies, Maybe you should ask some of those people that were liberated if we should have waited for somebody’s permission. Many we help to this day with financial and military assistance.—-My second question for you, Would these allies be better served with Russia, China, Iran, or Venezuela taking the lead? Some times things don’t work out the best for all involved. I believe world wide, the U.S. has the best intentions. 3rd Question,–What other nation do you believe have better resources, allied backing, the sand, and moral will to try to do the right thing? You, seem comfortable with accusing our military of being murderers. while you enjoy the very freedoms they provide. Every member of my family that has served has always served with protection of family and nation as their primary responsibility. —–I wouldn’t recommend calling them murderers to their face.

  4. Stephen Lee asks, “How susceptible to failure are modern nuclear plants?” Just so you understand… there are no modern nuclear plants. The last power plant built was in the 1970s. All plants are operating well past their expiration dates. Most also have large pools of stored spent fuel because there is not place for it to go. Think… TIMEBOMB!

    1. Point well made… Nuclear power plants are aging, and vulnerabilities may be (and probably are) increasing as a result. Same applies to other types of infrastructure. No one seems to notice until there is an acute crisis. We don’t hear much, as an example, about the conditions of our bridges until one of them collapses, sending innocent commuters to their untimely and tragic deaths. …but the fact that we aren’t talking about the conditions of our bridges does not mean the work to repair and restore or rebuild these has been completed and the danger has been removed. Unfortunately, such an event involving a nuclear plant is one from which we are unlikely to soon recover (or recover at all). It’s a good idea to know the locations of these plants, to build in-place protections and evacuation options into plans, and to know as many evacuation routes as are possible. Be prepared. Be aware. Stay safe.

  5. Ref: Iranian Hackers.
    I’m sure there are daily probes of the power system with the ultimate goal being an all out attack with catastrophic damage to the grid. It is far beyond the government or industry’s ability to stop a major attack.We as individuals must prepare for the worst.

    If our enemies are patient our country will collapse all on it’s own under the crushing weight of debt.The current system of spending more that what is taken in is unsustainable.
    Fiat currency is “money by decree” that being money that the government says is worth something without anything to back it up.
    Countries and central banks around the world are stockpiling gold in historic amounts
    in order fund the inevitable monetary reset when paper becomes worthless.There has not been an audit/inventory of U.S. gold reserves since 1952.
    The numbers you see on the Dow Jones Industrials,Transprtations,and Futures are the result of the Federal Reserve pumping nearly a trillion dollars into the repo market and corporate buy backs of their own stock. If the economy is doing so well why is the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates so often? What will happen when the rates hit zero?
    The threats to our nation are many and they are real.Please do your own research and
    due diligence.Knowledge is a major component of preparedness.

  6. Power plants have “air gaps” and pretty good firewalls on their cyber systems, so hackers will have a hard time getting inside. That’s not to say they CAN’T get inside using alternative routes such as importing a thumb drive or tapping into data cables.
    For a thorough description of the precarious and vulnerable nature of the grid, you might want to read the 2008 report from the Congressional EMP Commission about infrastructure. After reading it, I am amazed the power is up and running as reliably as it is. It’s a balancing act in real time, all controlled by a maze of computers and communications.
    While our nuke plants are all quite old, they do receive system updates from time to time. The concern over storage pools is valid, but the fallout from fires would be rather short-ranged, say a hundred miles for the bulk of it.
    Like everything real estate, Location, Location, Location. Fallout from a nuclear surface burst begins to decay rapidly in the first few hours….fallout from a reactor breach (or rod fire) is a gift that keeps on giving. Contaminants continue to spew until contained.
    We all live in interesting times.

  7. Guaranteed that there are foreign actors testing and checking anything computer related ,that is available to be checked, for vulnerabilities. Almost certainly they are building a library of items that are subject to attack via internet. If there is an attack, almost certainly it will be a staged attack, probably against the financial industry: EBT, banks, ect, followed closely by any systems with vulnerable SCADA units: power, pipelines, and anything else to sow chaos. It would be so easy, cheap, and deniable to send a dozen people with pre-programmed memory sticks into this country and use them in coffee shops, libraries, anywhere free computer access is available. To win, they only have to push the US down for an extended time. Would there be followup physical attacks? Probably, depending on their goals. I would also guess that they read much of the prepper fiction and blogs for ideas that might work. We are an inventive people and quite often, too open.

    1. Re: “To win, they only have to push the US down for an extended time.”

      …and the amount of time won’t have to be nearly as much as most people imagine. “Just in time” subscription based lifestyles are a serious problem. Our guess is that most people are in real trouble within 2 days.

  8. If we are going to take a hit on the grid I would prefer this to an EMP. Taking out the grid would be a catastrophe and cause a great deal of death. What it wouldn’t do is wipe out all the other devices. Generators would still work, off grid solar systems would still preform, and transportation would not be ruined, and computers would still function. We would not be completely up the creek.

  9. Defenders of the grid using firewalls, or whatever defensive computer systems they have, will tend to be only as up to date as the last computer attack experienced, and blocked. Given that enough innovative attacks occur over time, the probability that one of these attacks will be successful increases. PV panels have never been cheaper. A small system will be needed to power radios, and the same system can pump water for gardens, two critically important reason to have ‘solar’.

  10. An EMP hit is the least of my concerns, and most likely the most easily recovered from, my concerns are for a CME. Even with the hours of warning most would not understand how to protect and prepare for the event, as for a nuke strike that’s simple, look where you live? What are the wind patterns?

    Bottom line, if you are in harm’s way, WHY??

    We are off grid and might not know if the above happened if we were to forget to turn on the radio that day, or the computer. On second thought that might be nice and result in some real peace and quiet.

    Who is John Galt ?

    1. Ben at Suspicious0bserver has several videos on the subject of CME and micronova events, and you may already have seen these. He talks a lot about existing tunnels and caves, but we aren’t so sure this is the best survival strategy IF there are good alternatives. How to prepare? This is a question my husband and I are studying in earnest. The best solution may be family sized subterranean shelters with provisions for air filtration, water supply, waste removal, and more.

  11. I believe we are past the point of no return in any case. We can neither fight tptb in the streets, in the courts, or in the court of public opinion. We simply do not have the numbers anymore. We haven’t for a while. If you take a stand and try to deny entry, you will eventually be overcome by irresistible force. If you try to make your case to the public, the media will vilify you and nothing you say will then be taken seriously by anyone, and the numbers supporting socialism are gaining, while we are losing. If you try to fight it in court, even if you have a sound case, they will simply beat you through attrition. They have played all the cards right. They have taken control of all the mechanisms through which our forefathers provided failsafe, so that now not even the president can get a fair shake.

    It is now just a waiting game. That, and trying to remain less conspicuous than the next guy. Gray man and hiding your stash for a time when power and control are less tangible for all might be the most prudent path, and just hope then that you don’t draw the short straw.

    1. Benjamin,,,,,, the only way to win is not play ,read Atlas shrugged. What will happen if we go on strike? All you have to lose is stuff that the state will take from you anyway ,slip away and leave ashes ,you come in to this world with nothing ,leave with nothing,

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