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By Denis Korn

"As a society today, we are extremely vulnerable to events over which we have virtually no control. The systems created to support our basic needs are now so complex and interdependent, that a serious emergency can cause breakdowns in the supply of essential goods and services." - Denis Korn, 1989

Not since I started in this very specialized industry, 40 years ago, have I felt so called to encourage friends and customers to be adequately informed and prepared. The warning stated above is even more fitting today than it was over 26 years ago. While it has always been my attitude and choice not to exaggerate nor focus inappropriately on the negative and menacing issues of the times, I am neither naive nor ignorant of the current and emerging challenges that we all face at this point in time. We are at a crossroad in the evolution of our society. For most reading this commentary, the events surrounding us and the potential for a significant impact on our chosen lifestyles are unprecedented - and difficult to comprehend. We are encircled by political, economic, psychological, and natural calamities that are creating an atmosphere of constant and pervading uncertainty. What if any actions are to be taken? As far as preparedness planning is concerned, it is my hope that whatever action you choose, it is motivated by knowledge, good advice, and critical thinking, not by fear and knee-jerk reaction.

The reality of the times speaks for itself, and to plan not only for the unforeseen, but also for that which is foreseen, and seemingly inevitable, is something each person must decide for themselves. The value of investing time and money in preparedness planning is an uncomfortable and controversial issue - and it is not going to go away. It may be difficult for us to acknowledge that a natural, political, or economic catastrophe might occur, and these are not easy issues to deal with or easy situations in which decisions are made, however we have our life to live and children to raise - we must not abdicate our responsibilities. We ought to act and respond in all earnestness and provide the emergency essentials for ourselves and our families. If not us then who? We are blessed to live in a country of extensive resources and we have available to us many different options for emergency planning. As obvious as it is, all the planning in the world is for naught if not acted upon before the emergency - timing is everything.

Being prepared for emergencies is simply a good and proper idea and a prudent action to take. If you need examples of why, look to the past and refer to the natural disasters, financial disruption, and man-made devastation that has occurred. Then look at the present for more evidence of potential tribulations and peril. Where are we vulnerable? We are susceptible to short-term disruptions and/or to circumstances that lead to long term changes in our lifestyles. You must choose what the scenario might be and how you will respond. Be aware that sensible preparedness planning provides an invaluable experience of security and peace of mind appreciated by yourself and your family.

We can not always rely on someone else or the government to take care of us. It is necessary to: 1 - identify potentially catastrophic scenarios, 2 - determine a realistic and suitable response, 3 - Create an appropriate plan of action. This is not a great revelation - it is rather self-evident.

You are encouraged to act with all seriousness and effectiveness.