Another potential disaster relating to the Fiscal Cliff: Cuts to our ability to predict weather in this country. Accurate forecasts of storms like Sandy saved a lot of lives. The National Weather Service might not be able to make them that accurate next year.
Back when he was a Senator, Rick Santorum was throwing around suggestions and proposals about doing away with the N.W.S. and assuming private services (like Accu-Weather, a big donor to his campaigns) could fill the gap. What he didn't get was that the private firms base most of what they do on supplementing and reinterpreting the N.W.S. data. Take it away and everyone would be at a huge disadvantage.