Catherine Hooper's Blog
Family Disaster Un-preparedness
Friday, 11 April 2014 18:34

The Motherlode blog at the New York Times focuses on families. One of the editors, KJ Dell Antonia, recently visited the third annual National Preppers and Survivalist Expo in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After a weekend of speakers and workshops, she reached the conclusion: my family is not prepared.

Many families reach the same conclusion.  However, most do not take the next step. This is the reason that Black Umbrella exists. Much in the same way a physical trainer encourages you to get in shape, we encourage families to get prepared...and we stick around until they are!

More Power Grid Security News
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 19:50

It seems like all the recent bad news about the nation’s power grid security and preparedness is finally affecting the power companies thinking (as well as Congress). Power providers are scrambling to meet the security challenges and escape the ire of regulators. Hopefully the upswell in press and media coverage around this issue causes some positive changes in grid security.

How We Get Risk Wrong
Saturday, 05 April 2014 12:55

David Ropeik, author of How Risky Is It, Really?: Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts, expounds on how we typically perceive risk in the wrong way.  He uses the examples of Fukushima (which we’ve mentioned before), the current Ebola scare and commercially produced food.

Earthquakes in Chile & California
Friday, 04 April 2014 16:46

It’s a somber fact, but governments don’t always learn preparedness lessons from disasters. However, this past Wednesday, the country of Chile demonstrated that they learned some valuable earthquake preparedness and response lessons from the past.

When an 8.8-magnitude quake struck the country in 2010, the response was sluggish and haphazard and resulted in a death toll of 525 people.  When an 8.2-magnitude quake struck the country this past Wednesday, officials spring into action; 5 people lost their lives.  With geophysicists predicting an even larger earthquake in Chile’s future, it’s great to see the Chilean government working on their preparedness.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Californians endured their first quake in excess of 5.0-magnitude since 1997. Officials are hoping the event and the subsequent aftershocks will put preparedness back on center stage. The city of Los Angeles has a few specific shortfalls in earthquake preparedness, two of which could be addressed by individual preparedness measures. From the article:

“The first challenge is to fix unreinforced buildings that could collapse in a big quake, an issue that promises to stir debates about acceptable risk and who should pay for that very expensive endeavor. The other two are to plan for catastrophic collapses in water supply and basic communication, as many of the aqueducts and Internet cables that supply Los Angeles cross the San Andreas Fault.”

Airline Black Boxes
Friday, 28 March 2014 19:33

The infamous airline black box is one of the most misunderstood pieces of airline technology. The Verge thinks that the boxes could...and...should be drastically improved. The current boxes are using technology developed in the 1950s and have not undergone any significant updates.

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Catherine Hooper
President and Founder

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