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 4, 2020
In all of the outrageous things happening in the US, Donald Trump continues to choose every single day not to use the full power, strength, capabilities,... 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
We're in a hell of a moment. If you are hoping that it is going to calm down, I'm here to tell you that it won't. We just had a series of super spreader... 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
Monday, April 6, 2020
Today I offer two pieces of advice in this time of increasing intensity. The first is to try and stay grounded. To not panic. The second is to... 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
Thursday, March 26, 2020
"He's got space dementia!"
It's a silly quote from the absurd not-quite-an-apocalypse movie, Armageddon. Here we are in our own not-quite-an-apocalypse (I... Read more
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Wondering what to demand from your legislators? Please share widely.
These 3 federal authorities & capabilities are not being fully used. People will... 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
Monday, March 23, 2020
"Rebellions are built on hope." - Star Wars' Rogue One.
Pandemics are not survived on it.
There's a persistent hope that this is going to be over soon.... 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
Friday, March 13, 2020
One of the things that happens in disasters is information overwhelm. Especially in the information age. It's a big issue inside the response, but it's a... 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
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, February 29, 2020
This official US Government tweet shows the level of professionalism and calm we are going to get from the federal government in this crisis: obviously very... 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
Monday, February 3, 2020
Two enormous factors converging. You never know what will cause the perfect storm. We can see the risk landscape intensifying though:
*** The constitutional... 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
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
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
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Y'all, @600 people were shot at one single incident in the past year in Las Vegas. There are active shooter incidents every few days in the US. Orlando in... Read more
Saturday, December 30, 2017
I keep leaving fire. It’s a funny thing to leave, because the ways in which I leave are not really visible to the fire world. They’re quiet – as so many leavings are. They vary, too. I left the field for fire management. I left fire management to work on post-9/11 stuff in Washington, DC. I left that because it didn’t... 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
Monday, October 2, 2017
Holding space today for everyone in Las Vegas and those connected to the incident. Unfortunately, active shooters are part of our way of life now.
We can hold space for those affected, but we... Read more
Sunday, September 10, 2017
“Why does everyone assume when I’m talking about belief, I’m talking about God? I don’t care what you believe – just… believe it!” – Reverend Book, Serenity
The idea of the true believer has come up again in my life, so I thought it would be useful to put a piece together... 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
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
Sunday, August 13, 2017
NOTE: This post was originally published on the Counterfear Facebook page here, where there is some discussion.
Folks, if you are doing... Read more
Saturday, August 12, 2017
A white supremacist rally was declared unlawful after turning violent today in Charlottesville, VA, and an emergency declaration was issued by the... 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
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
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
Monday, June 20, 2016
Fire folks are known to be a little eccentric. Well, wildland fire folks, anyway. Come to think of it, just today I had a new friend say to me, “who voluntarily goes into a burning forest, anyway?” To me, that sounds like a... Read more
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
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, 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