I'm a Marine, veteran of Oper. Desert Storm and Oper. Just Cause, in Panama. For fifteen years have worked in law enforcement. I am suppose to be a first responder, protecting my community in a time of crisis. A copy of Dr. Forstchen's book "One Second After" came through my department since he lives nearby and reading it, I am deeply shaken.
He has hit the target dead on. Early in the book, the day after our nation's power grid is destroyed by an unknown enemy via an EMP strike, a police officer in his story laments that in all the years up to this moment, NOT ONCE had there been a single drill in their department as to what to do in the event of an EMP attack. NOT ONCE.
Forstchen hits it dead on and that is why the book disturbs me and I hope is a wake up call to the nation. Since 9/1 1, my fellow officers and I have received hundreds of hours of briefings, drills and instructions as to what to do in the event of any number of scenarios. . . chemical attack, bio, terrorist threats to our schools, and after Katrina closer attention to preparing for natural disasters. But not one hour of training or discussion about EMP which I can see from Forstchen's book is by far the most serious and potentially catastrophic event of all.
I hold little hope in the near future of a "top down" approach, of our federal government initiating proper safe guards and procedures to deal with this threat. Maybe it is time that those of us on the ground floor, those of us out there every day protecting our communities and at the same time trying to plan for every emergency that might threaten us, acted directly instead.
If you are a police officer, fireman, EMT, any kind of first responder I urge you to read this book the moment you can get your hands on it and start thinking about what you can do locally to prepare.
As I read this book I found myself thinking. . .what do I do to better protect the citizens of my community. What can I do now to get the word out to my fellow officers. How easy it would be for us as a group to read the book, and think out our own plan for survival. Just a few hours of such planning, a few hundred dollars invested locally for safe guarded communications gear for example, every officer trained to recognize when we are struck by an EMP and what to do IMMEDIATELY could save hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives in my town. . which is my sworn duty to protect and defend. And frankly there is a very personal side to this as well. In doing my duty I protect my own family as well in case of this nightmare.
Forstchen's book is a wake up call to all of us on the "front line." Read the book as soon as you can, get the word out that we can act locally to be prepared, and then pray it never does happen, because if it does, it will be a nightmare. And finally, as you prepare locally, press the issue up the chain of command that we want something done at our state and national level. Starting from the bottom up, rather than waiting for orders from the top down just might help save this country.
I'm a bit of a student of World War II. I've talked with guys who fought at the Battle of the Bulge and on D-Day and brother marines who were at Iwo and Okinawa. When all hell broke loose and the chain of command disintegrated, those guys didn't wait for orders from above. They knew their duty and on their own they went out and did their duty, orders or no orders and won the battle. We need to do the same if we want our communities to be ready incase the unthinkable that Forstchen writes about does happen.