But where to find them?
One often overlooked place is non-fiction work, particularly that which offers up a bunch of “future is now” ideas by government officials and scientists.
For example, Richard A. Clarke’s new book, Cyber War: The Next Threat To National Security And What To Do About It, suggests a number of scenarios that could cause “trains to collide, gas lines to explode, or the nation to lose electrical power for months.”
As an exercise:
Think about a current or near-future problem/disaster. Is it technological, environmental? What impact will it have on your story? How can your hero save the day? Why does it have to be your hero that saves the day?