Blackbox Preparedness is a hybrid private intelligence/emergency preparedness firm providing regular citizens with 2 vital services:
1) Intelligence (open-source) on rarely known, top priority security threats
2) Cutting-edge emergency preparedness training online
Blackbox Preparedness is building a unique, online training platform specializing in step-by-step instructional videos for security, emergency management, and self-reliance enthusiasts… all conducted by an ever-expanding list of experts.
Zed is the founder and principal of Blackbox Preparedness. Zed is a consultant in the national security industry specializing in investigative analysis and open source intelligence in support of law enforcement and national security initiatives.
Zed has operated within the security industry for 10 years. During that time Zed has worked with enterprise-level security and law enforcement officials, business executives, investigators, analysts, department-level academics, emergency managers and former high-ranking military officers. Zed has worked on projects for top-notch enterprises like the U.S. Department of Defense and INTERPOL among other investigative firms and private companies.
Zed has an M.A. in Security Policy with concentrations in homeland security and emergency management from George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs—one of the top international affairs schools in the world.
To engender a bottom-up (local) approach to security and preparedness by developing services and products that empower citizens, companies and municipalities to mitigate little-known, top priority security threats. It is only through the bolstering of local firewalls that global grid volatility can be better managed. While there will always be a need for robust security and emergency management capabilities at the federal level, there are some capabilities that can only come from the local level. Blackbox Preparedness’ goal is to bolster homeland security and preparedness by focusing on the components that need to be developed at the local level.
Inside Blackbox Preparedness
Phase 1: During Phase 1 (2016-2017) Blackbox Preparedness will produce training videos that investigate security threats in a strategic context. During this phase of the company’s development, training will focus on understanding the global security environment and on uncovering some rarely known, top priority, high-consequence security threats. While no one can predict the future, we can at least be informed enough to understand our environment and to recognize the important variables within it. Once we can do that, we can gain the strategic foresight to position ourselves to mitigate upcoming security threats. But, understanding the strategic context… the global security environment… isn’t merely geared towards mitigating security threats– it’s also about gaining the strategic foresight to position yourself to possibly even take advantage of disasters and disruptive change epidemics when they occur. It’s important to remember that within each disaster or change epidemic, there is not only danger– there is opportunity! But, to come out on top, you’ve got to understand the global security environment.
Phase 2: During Phase 2 (2018) Blackbox Preparedness will reach its ultimate iteration in which it will be a platform that specializes in both strategic and tactical/practical video training (And, in this instance, the use of the word “tactical” does NOT have anything to do with guns). In this case, I am using the word “tactical” to refer to practical preparedness topics.
How it all Began
In 2001, shortly before 9/11, I read a book that changed the course of my life.
Written by an acclaimed journalist, Robert Kaplan, the book was titled, The Coming Anarchy: Shattering the Dreams of the Post-Cold War. It is now regarded as one of the most seminal works on the nature of world affairs in the post-Cold War era.
While many pundits believed that the end of the Cold War had ushered in a new era of peace in international affairs, Kaplan argued the opposite stating that criminal anarchy would emerge as the real strategic threat to the world.
He argued that the new security challenges of the future were no longer neatly ideological. In the post-Cold War era, they would also be cultural, historical and environmental.
He argued that these new challenges were already ripping apart the fabric of society in many parts of the developing world:
- Transnational Crime
- The Transformation of War
- Resource Scarcity
- Privatized Armies
- Massive Security Firms
- The Erosion of Nation States
- Refugee Migrations
- Increasingly Meaningless Borders
- Environmental Degradation
Kaplan further argued that the developed world would not be immune to these challenges forever. In the end, he postulated that the developed world would eventually have to face the real strategic threat of criminal anarchy.
I was riveted!
After all, I had travelled to Africa… I had also had other life experiences that showed me, first hand, some of the forces that Kaplan had identified. It made complete sense to me.
But, it wasn’t just that his thesis made sense to me and that I could see many of the forces he described at work. No, I was riveted by the fact that Kaplan correctly predicted the post-Cold War strategic environment. He had also correctly predicted that war would come to the Balkans before any other American writer. War did eventually erupt in the Balkans in the 1990s.
It’s no wonder then that Kaplan’s research attracted the attention of a President of the United States. Even the U.S. defense establishment and intelligence communities have clamored for his research.
I was fascinated!
I realized then that it was not just high powered firms and government agencies who could understand current trends and potential future outcomes.
There was enough information out there for any individual to do the same.
I was hooked!
I wanted to understand the world and to understand where it was going. I wanted to understand the strategic environment. And, I wanted to identify current and probable future threats so that I could help people insulate themselves against what I perceived was a growing volatility throughout the world.
But, this wasn’t my only life-altering conclusion after having read this book.
I decided to pursue a career path in the security industry.
I got my start as an assistant investigator at a small investigative firm. I loved the work but after a while, I knew I needed more credentials. So, I went to a top graduate school and studied security policy and emergency management.
There, I rubbed shoulders with former top policy makers; high-ranking military officers; formers leaders within FEMA; and internationally renowned members of top think tanks.
There were the kind of people that were testifying before Congress on national security matters… the kind of people who had been instrumental in constructing the Department of Homeland Security… the kind of people who still sat on intelligence and homeland security advisory boards and councils.
It was an invaluable experience!
When I graduated I was inspired to embark on an independent research project: identify the top threats to the United States and then identify the requisite response measure for regular citizens.
I began my research in the fall of 2008 as the world was reeling from the start of the economic crisis.
What I came to discover would alter my life forever! I came to know that truth really is much stranger than fiction!!!
I found myself at a crossroads a few years later. Should I continue to work within the national security industry for public and private entities or should I work to advance the security and emergency preparedness of regular citizens?
I chose the later!
In the not too distant future….
Security and emergency management are being privatized at an alarming rate. In the not-too-distant future, your security will be highly dependent on your own individual actions and knowledge-base; where you live; who your friends are; who you work for and how important you are to the enterprise.
Global sovereign debt issues, the economic recession, the global security environment, hyper-efficient warfare, the privatization of force and disaster management, invisible power structures, globalization, modern technology, global grid volatility, and upcoming resource wars are all propelling us towards this reality. Citizens have begun to catch on to this at an instinctual level and have created a demand in the market for a company like Blackbox Preparedness.
While there will always be a need for robust security and emergency management capabilities at the federal level, there are some capabilities that can only come from the local level. It is my goal to bolster homeland security and preparedness by focusing on the components that need to be developed at the local level.