Hurricane Harvey Provides Lessons

Hurricane Harvey provides security lessons
Image: BigStock Photo

The disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey this week are reminders of just how fragile our infrastructure really is.

Things like the electrical grid, drinking water supply and the energy sector are areas that we take for granted. We think they will always be there, or at least, easily repaired. The truth, though, is that each of these systems could be easily disrupted by terrorist attack and be knocked out for extended periods.

Hurricane Harvey

As if to emphasize this point, nature made a bold statement this week when Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast. FoxNews.com reports that much of Houston is underwater due to the storm surge and continual rain. Southeast Texas has been likened to a great inland sea the size of Lake Michigan!

The storm’s impact has resulted in more than just human hardship, though.   It has also revealed some weaknesses in our energy sector. By slamming into Houston, Harvey has knocked out more than 16% of the nation’s refining capacity. That is about 3 million barrels per day!

Revealing Weaknesses

“It does show how vulnerable we are,” said Kevin Freeman, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy. “We’re watching Mother Nature attacking a huge, maybe a quarter of our oil refining capacity that happens to exist in that area.” Freeman was being interviewed by Frank Gaffney for the radio show Secure Freedom Radio.

“Some 2 ½ million barrels of oil are refined a day in the Houston area and turned into gasoline…about a quarter of our gasoline comes from there, so the economic impact…in the energy sector is quite serious.”

Our Infrastructure Needs Secured

Just as previous hurricanes have done, Harvey shows us once again just how vulnerable our energy sector in the Gulf really is. Unfortunately, it is not the only area of our infrastructure that is weak. Providing security for these vital areas should be a priority.

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