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DSS-101 NISRU Distinguished Speaker Webinar Series: What Makes a Black Sky Event? is a Course

DSS-101 NISRU Distinguished Speaker Webinar Series: What Makes a Black Sky Event?

Started Feb 17, 2021


Full course description

INMA Distinguished Speakers Series: What Makes a Black Sky Event?

Original Presentation Date/Time: May 6, 2021, 1:00-3:00 PM ET

Presentation Title:  What Makes a Black Sky Event?

Presentation Description:
Texas lost power for several days in February this year. There have been other disasters where power has been lost. Our distinguished speakers will discuss what makes a power outage a “Black Sky” event. Was the Texas power outage a Black Sky event? If not, what does classify?

What does February's grid disruption -- and prior long-term, wide-area grid disruptions -- tell us about consequence management for Black Sky Hazards? What are the implications for water, food, pharmaceuticals, medical goods, fuel and other essential flows?

Both speakers have vast experience with Black Sky events and related lessons learned. Both have helped communities plan for Black Sky events and will share their wisdom.

Presentation Agenda and Speakers: 

  • 1:00 Introduction, Gary Gardner, Chair of the Distinguished Speaker Series
  • 1:10 Presentation by Jonathon Monken, Converge Strategies, LLC
  • 1:30 Presentation by Phil Palin, Consultant for Hazard Prevention, Resilience, Catastrophe Preparedness, Supply Chain Management
  • 1:50-2:00 Q&A
  • 2:25 Closing comments by Gary Gardner


Jonathon Monken - Jonathon is a Principal at Converge Strategies, LLC, a consulting company focusing on the intersection of clean energy, resilience, and national security. He works with a broad range of state and local governments, private sector, and military partners, leveraging 18 years of experience to develop solutions around the advancement of whole community security and resilience. Jonathon’s unique expertise blends professional and leadership roles in the fields of national security, public safety, emergency management, military readiness, and critical infrastructure protection. For the past several years he has pioneered programs to build enterprise-level resilience for the utility sector through information sharing, public and private sector integration, and large-scale exercise development and execution. Most recently Jonathon served as the Senior Director of System Resilience and Strategic Coordination for PJM Interconnection. In that role, he worked within the areas of business continuity, physical and cybersecurity, risk management, and resilience planning for the world’s largest wholesale energy market. 

Phil Palin - Philip J. Palin is the son and grandson of grocers, a former college president, and serial entrepreneur who has served as a Supply Chain Resilience subject-matter-expert with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, and with several states and cities. He has researched and engaged a wide range of extreme events including the 2011 Triple Disaster in Japan, Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Hurricane Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2013, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria during 2017, and most named storms during the 2018 and 2019 hurricane seasons. In 2020 he was involved in pandemic response and preparedness, especially focused on flows of food and medical goods. He works with federal, state, local and private sector leaders to prepare for and respond to complex wide-area catastrophic events involving dense populations. He is the author of several books and articles, including Out of the Whirlwind: Supply and Demand After Hurricane Maria and He Looks at the Earth: Catastrophe, Recovery, and the Cascadia Earthquake. Phil is often introduced as a “researcher and writer.” NBC News has identified Phil as, 'One of the world’s leading experts on getting supplies to catastrophe survivors.' As you know, Texas is still recovering from a massive power crisis which left more than 4.5 million homes and businesses without power for several days.

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