This blog is a dynamic tool. As stories unfold and content builds, you can use the buttons below to search for blog topics you are interested in. Each Focus Area has a tag. All blog post entries are original unless noted. Contact us to ask about posting as a guest. All blog post comments are moderated and may be delayed until approved.
Friday, June 12, 2020
Way back at the beginning of all of this before this Administration even came into office, I hoped that the US intelligence and national security... Read more
Thursday, June 11, 2020
There is a lot of tragedy around.
That is an understatement
It's going to hit all of us at different times and in different ways. From all the things.... Read more
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Some Big Picture Parts
Hey! It's another super long post! This one puts some of the pieces together in one place that we're not all talking about as a big... Read more
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Folks it's time to think deeper resilience.
Put your contingency plans in place. Write down the phone numbers you need. Have backup plans for meeting... Read more
Monday, June 1, 2020
Here's a random data point for all the trippy stuff happening today out of the White House and in DC: Trump and Putin talked today.
Heaven knows what... Read more
Monday, May 25, 2020
Lots of helplessness, worry, frustration, anger, and rage on my feed today. I've got it too.
I'm going to say some uncomfortable stuff here as a disaster... Read more
Sunday, May 3, 2020
In a 2012 keynote speech at the Smithsonian, I heard a renowned system scientist say:
"The challenge of our lifetimes will be to manage the decline of civilization."
It felt like every single person in that auditorium stopped breathing. Like time paused; if only for a moment. I've never been in... Read more
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Three Huge Things The US Government Is Deliberately Not Fully Activating That Could Help Keep You Alive:
1 -- The Defense Production Act.
2 -- The... Read more
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Disasters can be dream-killers. We don't really talk about them that way. Yet they wipe out people and neighborhoods and livelihoods.
There's another... Read more
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The federal coronavirus response, being touted by the media as something that will be lovely and helpful, is ramping up way later than it should have.
One... Read more
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
I feel like the US is slowly catching up to what I've known for years.
I knew we were not ready for a catastrophe - especially more than one at a time.
I... Read more
Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Today's word is "devolution."
Yesterday I talked about two fairly dark subjects... pandemic planning, and continuity of government / continuity of operations... Read more
Monday, March 9, 2020
The darkest areas I've ever worked in in disaster management are continuity planning, and pandemic planning. The worst-case scenarios are usually too much... Read more
Saturday, June 22, 2019
Late night commiserating, here.
I am super frustrated lately with a) judgment and b) unnecessary meanness. Oh, and c) dismissiveness.
These... Read more
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
I wish I could say I was surprised about the attempted bombings and/or suspicious packages today that were sent to political figures in the US.
It sounds brazen to say I was not surprised. It might sound callous. It’s... Read more
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Overwhelmed by social media? The thing is, people were ugly before. What's changed is that now we are seeing it. We are in a more open world. We can see... Read more
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
I like the space on social media because we can see how much other people really very deeply care about this country. What I see here is some very thoughtful... Read more
Saturday, August 4, 2018
If you are under the impression that the United States government can do nothing to fight Russian cyber actions and attacks, to help states with election security, to help with detection of cyber threats to states or companies or federal systems, or to take offensive cyber... Read more
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Active shooter again today. This time it's at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School (#StonemanShooting) in #ParklandFlorida.
Every time there is an active shooter incident, it is a chance to think and talk about how you would react. It is a chance for... Read more
Monday, October 2, 2017
This quote is from a witness in the Las Vegas mass shooting.
His name is Anthony, filmed with his girlfriend Dillon. He was interviewed by Jo Ling Kent, NBC News Correspondent at 8:05 p.m.... Read more
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Today I’m fired up. I get in a state when there are impending catastrophes, especially given the fact that we’ve already got one or two well underway.
Years ago, I committed to living my life well within my own integrity. For me, this means loving people, giving folks a chance, and embracing... Read more
Monday, August 28, 2017
Hurricane Harvey aka Tropical Storm Harvey is unfolding as the largest US catastrophe since Hurricane Katrina. Rain and flooding are expected to continue this week.
What can you do to help?... Read more
Saturday, August 26, 2017
There is no doubt that Hurricane Harvey is a natural disaster already underway. We don’t know yet if it will become a catastrophe – time will tell, as flooding persists over days. First, this post will note how to help in a... Read more
Monday, August 21, 2017
Woohoo! Up early for eclipse viewing! Drove south yesterday from Iowa to Kansas City, KS. Three states in one day is more challenging in the Midwest than in... Read more
Tuesday, August 1, 2017
How do we explain the moment that we're in? We've got a US president and some in his administration under investigation for collaborating with a hostile foreign state. A foreign state that 17 US intelligence agencies agree... Read more
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
"Our strength is our resilience, and it's usually times like these that bring us together and we're always better afterwards. So pray for the continued... Read more
Friday, June 2, 2017
Well I'm going to have to swear. I have to admit to being flat-out stunned that so many people are stunned about the POTUS pulling the US out of the... Read more
Thursday, May 11, 2017
From what I have seen, when aspiring writers ask widely known writers how to do it, the second group always tell the first group to start by JUST WRITING.... Read more
Friday, March 17, 2017
"Brace for impact." - 'Sully' Sullenberger
Perusing the news or your Facebook feed can be perilous these days - especially if you are a news addict with a... Read more
Monday, January 16, 2017
So you’re going to Washington! Whether you are traveling to the nation’s capital for a party, a protest, or just to be present, one thing is for sure: you will need to be resilient. Anything can happen in a city on a normal day, but let’s admit it: this week, Washington, DC will be a special case. Really and trulyâ€Š—â€Šanything is possible.
Things may go just swimmingly. Hopefully that’s the case.... Read more
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Click on the graphic below to hear KHOI's "Heart of Iowa" 9/15/16 Community Radio Show
I’ve spent kind of a ridiculous amount of time this year thinking about 9/11. The fact that I think that that is... Read more
Monday, September 19, 2016
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.” - Og Mandino
Just when I feel like it’s safe to take a time-out from the news for a day or so, we’ve got more terrorism.
I won’t even try to summarize the latest developments… but the super-quick picture is that there were attacks in New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota this weekend. The debate rages on about whether these were terrorist attacks. At its... Read more
Sunday, September 18, 2016
"Anchor and Flank" is at the core of the counterfear process (check out the Focus Area page "Anchor and Flank" for more). It comes from fire. In fact, it's a core principle of wildland firefighting,... Read more
Monday, September 12, 2016
"I remember exactly that moment when the whole world stopped & we saw each other standing there. Wondering how we ever forgot that we are all light wanting to shine for each other." - Brian Andreas, StoryPeople
Yesterday I tried to write a blog post about 9/11. Well, if I’m honest, I started trying to write it on Friday. Didn’t work. Didn’t... Read more
Friday, September 9, 2016
Years ago when I worked as a Fire Intelligence Coordinator at “South Ops," I set about finding some tools to help me organize and prioritize. South Ops is the country’s busiest interagency operations coordination center, and is reputed to be the busiest such center center in the world. It covers response coordination... Read more
Friday, June 17, 2016
"You don't surrender your dreams. You surrender the one thing you never had and you never will: control." - Socrates, Peaceful Warrior
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Take a look at your language.
You are not what you were. From this moment on, you can be something different.
Language is powerful. How we use it reflects how we think. When you pay attention to your language, you can see what it reflects about how you think. When you put the work in to change your language and your thinking - you can shift both.
Talking about You
To start with,... Read more
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
“The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination.” - Socrates, in the movie Peaceful Warrior
Going for a walk is absolutely one of my favourite life tools.
Walking is good for the soul. Humans have been... Read more
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Pulse Nightclub Attack - June 12, 2016 - Orlando, Florida
Tonight I finally figured out what I wanted to say about the attack this week at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. I outlined a... Read more
Sunday, May 1, 2016
It’s May Day here in the US. For me, it’s a day loaded with meaning. All kinds of meaning.
When I was a kid, May Day was the symbolic “real” beginning of spring. The grass was green. The winter was almost certainly over. And every year, we went to some effort to make May baskets. My mother led the operation, which involved assembling collections of popcorn... Read more
Friday, April 22, 2016
“What do stars do?” - Yvaine, in the movie Stardust
I’ve been in hermit-mode lately. I suspect that the people who dream big and make stuff happen all maybe do the hermit thing every once in a while. For me, it’s the best way to get a lot done. If... Read more
Thursday, April 21, 2016
The title here sounds dramatic and perhaps a bit grandiose. I reckon that's because this here is one hell of a personal disaster tale. And, I’m still trying to walk correctly.
Here’s the super-short story, from last February. On a Thursday, my brother and my dad flew in to help me gut and start the remodel of the only bathroom in my... Read more
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Lately I’ve been busy writing an abbreviated history of my life and times for The Blog and the website. One of the dangers and benefits of all the writing is that it inspires other... Read more
Monday, March 28, 2016
This post is part of the "Counterfear Tools" blog series.
Does Fear Tie to a Lack of Resilience?
I’ve thought for years about resilience, and how to explain it. Explaining resilience can feel overwhelming, because it can be so complex. But, that is because life is complex. When you boil it down a bit, resilience gets simpler. We may well have more fear in areas where we suspect... Read more
Monday, February 8, 2016
“Sooner or later you’re going to realize just as I did… there’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path.” - Morpheus, in The Matrix movie
One of the things about a website is... Read more
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red... Read more
Friday, January 22, 2016
Welcome to Counterfear! This right here represents my first blog post, and something I didn't expect. That is because the word "blog" annoys the daylights out of me. It is an ugly word, although the idea behind it is good. I purposefully avoided using the word for several years, hoping maybe it wouldn't stick around. Hoping... Read more