If you’ve worked in IT, you’re almost certainly familiar with your company’s “disaster preparedness plan”—every organization of appreciable size has some kind of formalized set of documents detailing what to do in the event of an emergency. Organizations on the Gulf Coast typically include hurricane scenarios in their disaster preparedness plans, and in this respect, NASA is no different from any other large company. Next week, NASA’s Houston-based Johnson Space Center (JSC) will kick off its annual Hurricane Exercise and run through its site’s disaster plan, but the mock storm the staff will be battling won’t be called “Jerry” or “Bob” or something pedestrian—no, JSC will find itself directly in the path of a far more awesomely named tropical cyclone.
“This year’s storm is named ‘Hurricane Daenerys,'” said JSC Center Operations Directorate Manager Joel Walker in an e-mail to JSC managers announcing the exercise. “Our exercise will feature a new interactive model which will require quick thinking, priority setting, and mitigation strategies from Senior Staff.”
For the three or four Ars readers who aren’t Game of Thrones fans, “Daenerys” is the name of one of the saga’s primary characters—the last surviving child of a murdered king, who plans to return to the land her family once ruled and seize the throne by any means necessary. Also, she has a giant army and three enormous fire-breathing dragons. Due to the circumstances of her birth, she is frequently referred to as “Daenerys Stormborn,” and she is not, as they say, a person with whom anyone should mess.