fbpx

eartthex 2024

Communication in a Catastrophe

Avi Schnurr, CEO and President, EIS Council

Communication

Ok, here’s the (apparently seriously tough) tricky question:

Do we want to be able to survive and recover if a really, really bad thing happens – massive cyber or EMP attack (e.g., Russia? North Korea?), COVID-19, extreme solar storm, megaquake, etc., that shuts down a seriously big piece of the national power grid?

From food, water, and medicine to transportation, communication, finance, and security, all the services and products that keep us alive and happy depend on each other, and they’re all anchored in the power grid. A catastrophic black sky event that shuts all this down will affect everyone, making it either everyone’s job – or no one’s. After all, how many communities or businesses have “preparing for catastrophe” as a designated job category?

In short, two plans, and two choices: inform yourself and get involved at some level – or not.

Plan A: Survival

Do something. If you think it would be cool for our society to survive, click “like” after this article, share it with colleagues and friends, call a meeting in your organization to consider possible initial steps, or find some other way to show your support, and get involved.

Plan B: Societal Suicide

Do nothing. Go have a cup of coffee.

As it happens, almost all nations have selected “Plan B: Post-catastrophe societal suicide.”

But… wait. How can that be? 

Emergency management agencies, corporate resilience, and business continuity plans, cyber protection, all exist!

How can anyone suggest we’re not planning for societal survival in a catastrophe?

Let’s Select Plan A

Societal Survival

Most government agencies, major corporations, hospitals, and food and pharmaceutical suppliers have emergency communication systems. Most will work fine in a conventional disaster. Some even have systems that will allow their personnel to communicate internally in a catastrophic, multi-week grid outage. Emphasis on internally.

Unfortunately, no corporation or government agency is an island. We all need each other to survive. To recover from a major catastrophe, power companies, water companies, food and medicine suppliers, transportation companies, fuel providers, the finance and banking sector, government agencies, and critical product and service suppliers will all need to work together to survive. Therefore, robust communication will be essential.

The embarrassing secret?

There is no all-scale hazard-protected voice and data emergency multi-sector communication system deployed today that can operate through an extended, subcontinent-scale power outage.

None.

Sorry folks – we’re working on Plan B: societal suicide.

Are there systems that could do the job?

Yes.

Are there courageous decision-makers and corporations actively working to take the first steps toward a deployed, all-hazard, all-sector emergency communication network?

Yes.

A small but remarkable handful of decision-makers are working diligently on Plan A. Even though it doesn’t fit their corporation’s core mission/job description.

It’s called leadership.

Want to help? Reach out to us today to take your place in this crucial mission.

EARTH EX®

EARTH EX Live 2023

September 14, 11 – 12:15 est

Do not miss the Earth EX 2023 Conference  

 

Create Impact with us:

Join our membership and
contribution programs:

Get involved >>

Participate in our
upcoming events:

Events >>

Schedule a call with
our experts:

Consult >>

The Psychological Impact of Infrastructure Failures on Communities

Infrastructure is crucial for any community, serving as the backbone that supports our daily lives. It includes everything from the roads and bridges we travel on, to the water supply and electricity that power our homes. These systems are essential for society to function properly. But when infrastructure failures occur, the fallout can reach far […]

Learn more

Advancing Earthquake Resilience: Strategic Urban Planning and Global Partnerships

In an era where urban landscapes continue to sprawl and the frequency of natural disasters seems to be on the rise, the importance of building resilient cities has never been more pronounced. Earthquakes, in particular, pose a significant risk to densely populated areas, with the power to cause extensive damage and incur millions in damage […]

Learn more

Cyber Resilience in the Energy Sector: Safeguarding the Grid from Digital Disruptions

In today’s interconnected world, the energy sector stands as a vital backbone of national and global infrastructures, facilitating everything from lighting our homes to powering industries. However, this sector is increasingly finding itself in the crosshairs of cybercriminals, making cyber resilience not just a matter of technological integrity but of national security.  The concept of […]

Learn more
image