How to pack your cyberwar emergency kit

In Germany there have been recent reports that hacking attempts on water and power suppliers have increased. It is not really surprising that such institutions are primary targets in case of a cyber-attack by foreign countries because power or water outage could lead to a very critical situation quickly. Marc Elsberg’s book Blackout describes quite well that a wide-spread blackout could be hard to recover due to to power network instabilities and thus lead to severe consequences only after a few days: shortage of medical supply, fuel, food, heating, communication and so on and thus also a raise of criminal activities due to lack of life-critical resources in many areas. Hopefully this scenario will never occur, but experts consider it a genuine risk and there have been cases like in the Ukraine in 2015 where cyber-attacks led to power outages. Not only the German government published a checklist to prepare for such situations. I agree that you should have the following basic supplies at home all the time:

  • Sufficient drinking water for one week (2 liters per person and day)
  • Food supply for one week (rice, pasta, cans of tinned food)
  • Portable, battery-driven radio
  • Flashlights
  • Candles
  • Spare batteries
  • Camping stove
  • Some way to heat at least one room
  • Always sufficient fuel (in your car or a canister)

You should also be prepared that you might not be able to communicate via internet or phone and that electronic devices like a garage opener will not work in case of a power outage.