Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 15, 2013

Does your all-hazard plan include meteors?

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Arnold Bogis on February 15, 2013

Maybe it should.  Or at least Russians will think so after today:

Nearly 1,000 people have sought help for injuries caused by a meteor that exploded in the sky, blasting out countless windows, a Russian health official said Friday.

Chelyabinsk health chief Marina Moskvicheva, said that 985 people in her city had asked for medical assistance. The Interfax news agency quoted her as saying 43 were hospitalized.

The Russian Academy of Sciences said the meteor — estimated to be about 10 tons — entered the Earth’s atmosphere going at least 54,000 kph (33,000 mph). It shattered about 30-50 kilometers (18-32 miles) above the ground, releasing several kilotons of energy above the Ural Mountains.

Apparently, Russia is due such an event about once a century:

The arrival of the meteor provoked comparisons to the Tunguska event of 1908, when an apparent meteor exploded over a remote part of Siberia — more than 1,000 miles to the east of Chelyabinsk — and flattened nearly 1,000 square miles of forest. Studies suggest that that meteor was on the order of 300 feet across when it exploded — far larger than Friday’s visitor.

This serves as another reminder that whether it be a flood of molasses or a rock falling from the sky, unless you’re Bruce Willis there will be events that cannot be prevented and are often not included in planning.  I can’t think of a better argument for flexibility and resiliency than rum and meteors.

One of the many videos of the meteor that can now be found on the internet:


Bruce Willis describes a common theory of homeland security in the following clip (from the 1:30 to 2:00 mark):

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Comment by William R. Cumming

February 16, 2013 @ 12:12 am

So do we go with science or faith? Either way the meterorites will continue to hit earth and perhaps an asteroid.

Better get to MARS fast and find out why we needed to have EARTH as the backup plan?

With 2/3rds of the blue planet water what were the odds of hitting Siberia?
Odds on the Northern Hemisphere?

Comment by Donald Quixote

February 16, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

Of course, our all-hazards emergency operations plan addresses this threat in Chapter 23, Section 15, Subsection Q entitled “Space Weather and Debris in the Former Soviet Union”. My community has already submitted our grant application and congressional requests to procure three (3) fire rescue vehicles, two (2) mobile command centers, one (1) armored vehicle, one (1) UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and 8.33 million dollars for overtime to respond to this incident (in the United States). To our shock and surprise, there is not a current homeland security grant program to cover this incident in a foreign land. We have been lobbying for a Stafford Act declaration (in Russian, of course) or a supplemental funding bill to reimburse us for our costs and homeland security needs. We have also requested another two million dollars for the Smithsonian roof for this incident surely damaged it more than Hurricane Sandy.

This is truly the newest bright and shiny object to fixate on in the homeland (motherland) security enterprise.

Comment by Michael Brady

February 16, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

Are you prepared for:

Non-structural Damage – Glass breakage? CHECK

Structural Damage – Masonry collapse? CHECK

Personal Injury – Laceration from flying glass and falling bricks? CHECK

Cellular Network Disruption – a million Russians posting to YouTube all at once? NOT SO MUCH

Tornado, car bomb, or 300 kiloton equivalent meteorite disintegration airburst 20 miles away…the similarity of the effect is striking.

Comment by William R. Cumming

February 17, 2013 @ 8:52 am

And how many know the difference between a meteorite and an asteroid?

Comment by Christopher Tingus

February 17, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

It is certainly obvious that few know the difference between being “entrusted” by precious vote to represent the People and their own self-serving ways so given this me-me attitude, unless the meteorite or asteroid directly affect folks, they could give a care….it is truly a shame that so many are out of touch and allow such partisan ways among the two political parties….

As Frderick Douglas stated:

“Find out just what people wull submit to, and you have found the exact amount of injustice which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both” –

God Bless our beloved Republic!

Christopher Tingus
Harwich (Cape Cod), MA 02645

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