The term “Black Sky” or “Black Sky Hazard” refers to an event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of our critical infrastructures. A Black Sky Hazard is a catastrophic event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of our critical infrastructures in multiple regions for long durations. Think electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or space weather in the form of a massive solar flare, for starters. Given the interconnected nature of today’s hyper-complex societies, a “BLACK SKY” event would “bring society to its knees” in very short order.
“It is the policy of the United States to prepare for space weather events to minimize the extent of economic loss and human hardship.” That is the language used in Executive Order 13744, Coordinating Efforts To Prepare the Nation for Space Weather Events, signed on October 13, 2016 by President Barack Obama. After years of Congress knowing about the problem and failing to take action, I was pleased to learn that the former President did what he could through the executive office to try and protect the critical infrastructure of our nation. However it is still up to Congress to set aside the funds to follow through and take action in support of the specifics laid out in this order. I’ve read for years about how everyone knows this is a threat, yet no one is willing to take action. Well, the former President did what he could do in response to a lack of action by Congress and now it’s our turn.
In this cataclysmic, blizzard driven romp of a story, Shaw does a wonderful job of world building. I could feel my lungs ache and burn in the frigid temperatures as I stood on the lake shore staring out as wisps of blowing snow spun out and across the body of water’s frozen surface. To further my immersion in this white-bleached, wintry wasteland, Shaw effectively weaves a sense of intimate foreboding throughout the tale as I witnessed Bishop standing like a granite mountain as he shepherds flame-haired, Maeve and her party through the seemingly never-ending storm. Both natural and man made.
I have no doubt that most of you are aware that wildfires raged across eastern Tennessee earlier this week decimating Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas along the way. These fires are not the only ones that have been burning across the southeast in recent weeks, but the they are the first to directly impact large and heavily populated cities. The mountains of eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and northern Georgia are an outdoor lover’s playground throughout the year. If you live in the region, you have probably visited Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, enjoyed the natural beauty of the area and the warm hospitality of their people. We grew up just a few hours away and visited often, never minding the ride to get there, but rather enjoying the magnificence of the view throughout the trip and we always felt right at home once we arrived. It is for this reason and many others that this disaster is personal for us and we wanted to do whatever we can to help.
Just in case you missed it…and you probably did…FEMA Will Hold A Drill To Prepare For A 9.0 Cascadia Subduction Zone Earthquake And Tsunami next week. The United States is a continental country and the Cascadia Subduction Zone represents a North American sized disaster and national threat. Even if you do not live in the great northwest or have family that does, it would be wise to maintain a wary eye cast in that direction. When the CSZ fully ruptures again, even if you don’t feel the shaking, every American will feel the impacts.
I decided to take things to the next level when it comes to the topic of First Aid in my/our personal preparedness kit(s), so I have upgraded my individual first aid kit (IFAK) to a trauma kit. Check out the video to see why I decided to do this and what I decided to build into my kit.
I am thrilled to share that we had a small hand in the creative process for Steven Konkoly’s latest work and soon to be juggernaut of a series, FRACTURED STATE. It is a tremendous honor to be associated with such a quality piece of work and an even better person. Konkoly blends the hard truths of reality that we discuss in this space all of the time like the interplay between natural resources, our environment and the economy into a thrilling, near future dystopian landscape that will surely pull you to the edge of your seat and keep you there throughout the story. Pre-order your copy today!