For the past several years, the CNET team has spent the months leading up to summer traveling the globe to hear firsthand from the troublemakers and trailblazers who work on solutions to the intense problems we face, from the global refugee crisis to the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest.
With fires devastating Northern California and Australia, earthquakes disrupting Albania, Pakistan and Peru, and Ebola and other infectious diseases spreading worldwide, we decided to devote our Road Trip 2020 coverage to those work on responses to natural emergencies.
Then the coronavirus pandemic struck, but our plans for this year’s series — Taking Charge of Tomorrow: Preparing now for what could come next — didn’t.
Our award-winning team of reporters, photographers and videographers turned to virtual interviews (for the most part) with innovators who work on ideas, big and small, to create new technologies, products and services that will prepare us to cope with what lies ahead.
This year, we also decided to use CNET’s expertise as the world’s largest consumer tech news and advice site to answer questions about what you can do to take control, protect yourself and embrace new thinking to become part of the solution rather than just be a bystander. We’ve collected pragmatic advice — how-to stories, FAQs, explainers — designed to help you hack your way out of emergency situations.
For our first story, we dove into the world of preppers, people who assume that disaster will strike someday and who want to be ready: no scrambling for shelter, food, safety. CNET managing editor Jon Skillings interviewed Drew Miller, founder of the Fortitude Ranch survival community about the network of mountain retreats he’s been building around the US and stocking with the food, medicine and supplies that he and the other preppers will need.
“If you’re on your own, like most folks are going to be,” Miller says, “I just don’t think you’ll survive.”
Next, CNET reporter Daniel Van Boom takes us to Venice and the elaborate gating system the Italian government has spent the past decade building to help mitigate the rising floodwaters that put the historic city underwater 60 times a year. TL;DR: The best intentions and $9 billion may not be enough to save Venice.
In the coming weeks, we’ll introduce you to scientists working on ways to detect tornadoes before they form by listening for low frequency sound waves. We’ll share our reporting about software that can monitor the health of firefighters while they’re in the field. We’ll tell you how wireless carriers are planning to keep communities connected after a devastating hurricane. And we’ll explore why we may never be able to end our dependence on plastic goods.
A good friend of mine liked to share the wisdom he gleaned from one of his teachers: Plan your work and work your plan.
COVID-19 has shown us — like almost nothing else has — that natural emergencies can upend our world. Everyone should have plans in place and be ready to revise, adapt and improvise in order to navigate nearly any emergency. Fortunately, there are smart, determined and forward-thinking people who are working on this right now. Join us as we walk you through the details of their work.
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