Communication in a Catastrophe

Avi Schnurr, CEO and President, EIS Council


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.


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

Are there systems that could do the job?


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


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.

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 >>

Boom! What Happens When Chemical Plants Explode and How to Protect Our Critical Infrastructures

What Happens When Chemical Plants Explode & How to Develop Infrastructure Security In our modern society, chemical plants play a pivotal role in our daily lives. Scattered across the globe, they work tirelessly to produce the diverse array of products and substances that have become essential to our existence. However, amidst their undeniable benefits, there […]

Learn more

How Black Sky Technology is Improving Disaster Response and Recovery

In today’s world, natural disasters have become inevitable. There are hundreds of them worldwide, which means that governments and societies need to remain on alert and prepared for a black sky disaster, especially the ones that can take place without warning. Fortunately, modern black sky technology is helping with the response and recovery process of […]

Learn more

Human Continuity?

April 10, 2023 Avi Shnurr, EIS Council CEO and President Our civilization is at risk. What can we/I do about it? Global pandemic, food shortages, climate change, species die off – it’s easy to find doomsayers everywhere these days, pointing to a rather terrifying convergence of disasters. Unfortunately, this time “chicken little” appears to be […]

Learn more