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.
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
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 31, 2020
There Is No Single National Coordination System For Disaster Response
NO, there is no single US system to help everyone in every state and in every hospital get the critical... 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 11, 2020
Big Infrastructure Action
NCAA cancelled in-person attendance at the March Madness tournament today. This post is a super quick look at how some post-9/11... 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, February 29, 2020
I don't think we're going to go full apocalypse. There may be people who see posts like mine and the widespread increasing panic out there and think we are... Read more
Friday, February 28, 2020
Why all of this action internationally? It's a risk calculation. There's risk here, and it's real. There's death here, too. Pretty big economic... Read more
Saturday, August 3, 2019
Police in #ElPaso, TX responding to an active shooter at/near one of the largest US malls.
What can you do? Learn how to Stop the Bleed, & help your... Read more
Tuesday, July 16, 2019
When it comes to dealing with the current state of the country, I feel like I had a bit of a head start. I moved to Iowa from Washington, DC in the fall of 2015… just as the races were really heating up for the Iowa Caucus set for February of 2016. So much for leaving the politics of Washington.
As I started to settle into my new life in the midwest, the spectre of Donald Trump was becoming more ominous. He seemed to be everywhere. His intention to be a disruptor was crystal clear.
I had a talk about Mr. Trump on a phone call with a friend of mine around that time. It was November of 2015, and I can tell you right... 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, July 18, 2018
I’d bet that lots who have worked in national security keep quiet about certain things – even in light of any given news, reveals, or leaks. Many have also been speaking out through various media. Twitter is a hotbed of national security discussion. Among other things.
Here’s my national security... Read more
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
The thing is, when people take action meant to burn it all down, there's a chance it will actually all burn down.
Once a disastrous fire is burning, you don't know where it will... Read more
Saturday, June 30, 2018
There are a few things I don’t talk about very much, and one of them is Continuity of Government (COG). It’s about actions and protocols that maintain the continuity of Constitutional US government. It’s not a light subject. It doesn’t come into the light in the public sphere very often.
I very recently watched an episode of the CBS TV show Madam Secretary called “Night Watch” (summary here) that aired May... Read more
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
The Risk & The Election
This week, the US Intelligence Community (IC) said in public that the country’s next election is threatened by Russia. They said this already about the last election. The... Read more
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Holding Out for a Hero
No one person is going to save the day – or the country. It's not Special Counsel Mueller. Despite all of the twitterpation since Sunday’s Golden Globes that Oprah... Read more
Thursday, November 16, 2017
UPDATE: This post is duplicated as a Services page, "Holding the Line," and is a Counterfear Tool. Since it was originally posted, the US has been experiencing increasing chaos; especially in mid-2020. This area of work - holding the line - can help with the part of the mission of the... Read more
Thursday, October 12, 2017
The Basics of Fire Intelligence
I had a super sexy sounding job once as a Fire Intelligence Coordinator at “South Ops,” the busiest interagency emergency coordination center in the world. Our job as one of eleven geographic area coordination centers in the US was to coordinate regional... Read more
Thursday, September 7, 2017
This piece is long, and I’m okay with that. Sadness and hard truths aren’t always short stories.
We are at a unique time in America, when hundreds of thousands are being affected by disaster of some type. There are incredible wildfires across the western US, Texas and Louisiana are in response and recovery from Hurricane Harvey and its incredible related flooding, and Hurricane Irma is... Read more
Monday, September 4, 2017
We have yellow clouds and light in Iowa today, and I have been avoiding verifying the reason all day. I try to stay out of wildland fire news because it is... Read more
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Two examples of cascading infrastructure impacts and infrastructure interdependencies from the Texas Flooding:
Baptist Beaumont Hospital is evacuating... Read more
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Quick post in reference to this story: "Chemical plant struck by Harvey now likely to explode."
I'll be damned if I didn't spend my first week in the US... Read more
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Today in 2005, Hurricane Katrine hit.
I was in a Department of the Interior (DOI) headquarters emergency management office, with new internal mapping... Read more
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
This is a nice piece on what the private sector is doing to support Hurricane Harvery: "What Corporate America is doing to help Hurricane Harvey... 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
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
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Some on social media today seem surprised or extra disheartened by the behavior of Senators in the Attorney General Sessions hearing regarding the Russia... 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
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
Saturday, October 22, 2016
"There's no doubt the ground will shift. The question is: when it does, will you be ready?" - Seth Godin
Nobody wants to talk about sidewalks. Sidewalks are boring. The opposite of sexy. A... Read more
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
One benefit to growing the Counterfear idea is that I’ve got notes on about a hundred counterfear tools in my arsenal - and that is a real number. I’m in the process of getting as many of those as possible on the website in the near future. In the meantime, this post is a bit of a Toolbox sampling... as I tried to process some unexplained fear one night.
It would be nice to think that if... 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
Tuesday, March 1, 2016
"Light up the darkness." - Bob Marley
[NOTE: This piece has become one of the anchor pieces in the story of getting ready for the great disruption that began in 2020 with the pandemic. More pieces to the back stories are here, including a sort of update to this post here on Why called The Great Transformation.]
Most Counterfear.com blog posts are conversational and fun and not so technical. This one is technical, serious, and sobering.
It is a memorial. It is a foundation. It is also an explanation. A clearing. And a space to dream.
This blog... 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