Back Stories: This Disruption Was Not Unexpected

"Have faith, but tie up your camel." - Arab Proverb

As of July 11, 2022 - there's a new Shift the Country website here

This page and the rest of this current website remains active for legacy and reference.

This website at and the new Shift the Country website were created for this moment in time.  It's not an accident that it was here, built, and structured to help us find our way through chaos when the great disruption started.  That disruption began with the pandemic, and has intensified since for the US, in so many ways (legacy 2020 page).  Didn't know exactly what the great disruption would look like, or what would set it off; but it wasn't unexpected.  Here's some of the backstory to all of that.  Much more in The (Original) Blog, sortable by tag, but these are a few of the key pieces.  New blog posts from 2022 on are on Substack.

The updated 2022 Shift the Country approach is on a new website at 5 Ways To Make Shift Happen, and some of the original material is further down on this page.

We can get through this time of transformation, help people through, hold civil society and its institutions together, get people engaged with everything, and make some shift happen along the way.

Back Stories & Context

Here are some of the back stories and context for the journey that got us to 2020, with quick blurbs on what each post covers. Here is the founder's experience & bio and the founder's public LinkedIn profile for more context on the stories below.  Someday maybe there will be a bookShift the Country is the phoenix rising from all of this:

  • The Great Transformation:  The great disruption happening in 2020; the potential for a great transformation.  System science too.
  • Why:  The coming great disruption (which we're experiencing now).  System science.  What this site is about and what inspired it.  How we don't have NIMS or a national coordination system; high-level analysis on why.
  • There Is No National Coordination System - There Are 12:  This is the only known public summary of this major issue.  Here's the same story on YouTube (Big Picture for US Disasters) in 47 minutes.  This is not published or written elsewhere in disaster management, emergency management, incident management, homeland security, national security, mutual aid, or related publication.  This piece is about disaster response resource, mobilization, coordination or lack thereof, mutual aid, logistics, and so on.  Only it's a lot shorter than it sounds.  Also extra bonus stuff about other response mechanisms the current administration is not using, a bit of the lay of the land for disaster response, and why it matters to know some of this stuff for finding our way through.
  • Creating the Space - Coronavirus Version:  A long look in the dark behind the scenes of government to conclude that there's no secret solution behind the scenes.  Also the POTUS is actively making all of this worse.  And we're going to need to create the space to Shift the Country and do civic engagement at scale to get through all of this, survive, and turn it around.
  • Disappeared Government Disaster Docs:  UPDATE 9/27/20: the FEMA documents referenced in this video have been restored on the FEMA website.  This video remains relevant for the big picture story of how the pieces are supposed to fit together.  ORIGINAL: A 40-minute video that goes over much of what the US government had in place for a pandemic, for catastrophes, and for disasters - and which documents have disappeared from the FEMA website.  Includes info on the actual operational US pandemic plan that was still on the FEMA website at the time the video was made.  NOTE: in case there is a future issue with availability of the US government's pandemic plan referenced in the video, a copy is stored on this website here.  Backup copies have been downloaded of the other referenced documents.
  • Urgency & Risk (2020): Okay, this is not a back story blog post, but part of the Shift the Country white paper.  It is a risk landscape summary for the time that's now, and for that reason fits this list.
  • Be the Storm - Channeling Intensity:  The political risk landscape; figuring out how to navigate this moment in time with tools for navigating wicked problems; process for the creation of the 25 focus areas for navigatinig disruption; process for focus.
  • I Took the Red Pill - Why I'm on the Counterfear Path:  Whistleblowing the NIMS; super-short summary.  Resilience.  Long-term plan for work to do during the next catastrophe (which is the disruption we're now living).
  • Launching An Idea - What is Counterfear?:  The maiden-voyage-inaugural blog post, about how we can counter fear by building resilience, connection, community, and the lives and vision we want to live.  Addressing risk with action to mitigate it, being ready for it, and problem-solving when it happens.
  • Light From the Darkness - The Day After 15 Years After 9/11:  We didn't build what we had planned.
  • Disaster Emotion - On Heartbreak & Resilience:  More on how we didn't build what we planned.
  • Terrorism  Accepting the Unacceptable:  Semi-random reference piece on the absurdity of a southern border wall especially when using maps for critical thinking and risk analysis; the pursuit of security versus resilience.
  • Behind the scenes in the US wildfire world:  A 20-minute YouTube video on the systems and structures between the big wildfires in the US.

Legacy 2020 Framework For Making Shift Happen

The updated 2022 approach is here at 5 Ways To Make Shift Happen.

The legacy 2020 approach content is readable via mobile in the links below:


LINKS.  || Shift the Country || I'm In! Sign Me Up || Donate || 2022 Shift the Country 5-Part Approach || Facebook || Twitter || YouTube || Events on FB || Events on New Website ||