Half of AZ communications disrupted by single line being cut with a hacksaw.

When doing a risk analysis, one needs to look at factors from a few perspectives. Probability and costs are two examples that most folks inherently grasp.

What many people do not consider is the risk presented by everyday risk factors such as weather, intentional acts of destruction, and happenstance. Leaving aside the longer term natural risk factors such as solar storms, weather events can still have a significant impact reducing or eliminating access to many basic necessities. I would hazard a guess that most of us are not well prepared to be without power for three days in the dead of winter.

While there are many areas of life we need to examine for risk factors, today’s subject once again illustrates the the weakness and vulnerability of the infrastructure, specifically electronic communications. In the movies shutting down the cellphone, internet and telephone services in half of Arizona would take a sophisticated crew of nattily-attired professionals months of planning and millions of dollars.

What will likely come as a shock to many is that in the high-tech, modern U.S. what it really takes is one person and ten bucks, which is what I figure the hacksaw might have cost that caused this event.

That’s right, one person with a hacksaw and suddenly credit cards and ATM’s don’t work, and you can’t call 911 for help. This is not much different than a storm, as services will be brought back online, saving a truly catastrophic event that few can prepare for. But it highlights the need to be aware of, and prepared to deal with one’s risk factors.

For example, it is estimated that more households own guns than know CPR. Which are you more likely to need in everyday life, first aid skills or a gun? While I have taught firearms and self-defense for many years, I have been an EMT for longer.

We help people and companies learn to manage their risk. Have you properly evaluated yours?

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