The term “Black Sky” or “Black Sky Hazard” refers to an event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of our critical infrastructures. A Black Sky Hazard is a catastrophic event that severely disrupts the normal functioning of our critical infrastructures in multiple regions for long durations. Think electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or space weather in the form of a massive solar flare, for starters.
In the modern world, our lives are empowered, enriched and sustained by unprecedented access to clean water, electricity, food, health care and pharmaceuticals, and a wide range of other vital products and services. In most modern nations, when disasters strike and the interconnected infrastructure networks that supply these goods and services fail, utilities, corporations, government agencies and mass care NGOs have always been able to depend on the continued availability of these networks in most of the country, setting aside other priorities to come to the aid of the affected region.
In Black Sky hazards, long duration, potentially nationwide power outages and associated cascading failures of all lifeline utilities will drastically limit availability of such “external” support, precisely at the time when it is desperately needed by the population. Thus “scaling up” disaster plans that depend on such external support will be insufficient to meet the unique needs of these severe scenarios.
In addition, to sustain or restore its services, each utility sector typically depends on products and services it receives from other, interdependent sectors. In a Black Sky outage, advance preparations of any one sector, without common, well-coordinated preparations across many sectors, will be unsuccessful due to the lack of these sector-external products and services.
If you’re uncertain what the impacts of a “Black Sky” event might look like, watch this:
Everyone should be aware of this threat to our civilized society and be working towards hardening our electric grid against such threats while we still have time. Check out the 2018 EIS Council EARTH EX event scheduled for this summer to learn more about the threats we face and what you can do to prepare.
If you want to better understand my thoughts on personal preparedness, please check out my books HERE and HERE, or wander deeper into this blog. I hope this website will help you along your way, especially if you’re just getting started. Keep up with everything Practical Tactical by subscribing to our mailing list and be sure to LIKE, SHARE and FOLLOW us across all of our social media platforms as well.