“Information is Power” and other truths about SHTF Intelligence – Forward Observer Shop

“Information is Power” and other truths about SHTF Intelligence

Bottom Line Up Front: How are you going to gather intelligence during an SHTF scenario? I’m going to share four of my SHTF Intelligence gathering methods on Thursday, 07 February 2019 @ 7pm Central. The link to register is below.


In January, the World Economic Forum was held in Davos, Switzerland. I watch it every year because these are the world’s political and financial elites talking about their ideas and perspectives.

As far as strategic intelligence value goes, it’s about the best you’re going to get via open source.

In the past several weeks, I’ve been writing down a list of “fundamental truths”. These are statements that are consistently and undeniably true.

Here’s one that was especially relevant:

Information is power.”

Blackstone Financial is a private equity firm with nearly $500 billion in active management.

Here’s what the firm’s CEO had to say about information:

“Interestingly for us, we keep getting better as we get bigger because we know more. There is nothing more desperate than a few people in a room trying to figure out the entire world with almost no help.”

Blackstone’s clients trust them to invest and manage almost half a trillion dollars.

We’re talking about some SERIOUS knowledge management.

And here’s another fundamental truth:

“The more complex the scenario and the more you have at risk (say, $500 billion), the greater the need for timely and accurate information.”

Understanding this statement right here is what will separate the “best prepared” from the “least prepared”.

You can have food, water, guns and ammo, medical supplies, water filtration systems, a $20,000 solar panel array, and lots of other “stuff”…

But if you lack the ability to maintain real-time situational awareness, then you are sabotaging all your efforts at being prepared.

You will be at the mercy of the unknown.

You will experience a major “fog of war” that will slow down or corrupt your decision-making.

A lack of information — and the inability to produce intelligence — is likely to lead to a poor outcome.

Because you’re not really prepared to operate in the environment that you’re going to inherit.

It’s time for some self-reflection:

What’s your plan to gather intelligence information in real-time during a disaster? Be specific.

How, specifically, are you going to maintain situational awareness on things happening beyond your line of sight?

How are you going to accomplish this in a grid-up and grid-down scenario?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, or there are parts of your plan that are hazy, then you’re one step closer to solving this problem — first, by admitting that you need a solution.

Is this topic worth a doing webinar? If I took the time to put together a 30-minute presentation, would you sign up to watch it?

If you would, here’s how you can let me know. Register for the webinar. If there’s enough interest, then I’ll move forward.


It costs nothing but your time.

If it’s not interesting, you can turn it off.

If it’s not helpful, you can leave.

But if you learn something (and you will), then I ask one favor: do something about it. Take notes. Learn. Then make a plan.

You can learn four methods of SHTF Intelligence gathering here. I’ll see you on 07 February @ 7pm Central. (You can also sign up to receive my latest thoughts on intelligence, security, and defense via the Forward Observer Dispatch below.)


Always Out Front,
Samuel Culper



Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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