The Swiss know a thing or two about security and self-reliance. So when André Blattmann, the Chief of the Armed Forces, speaks, we listen. Below is a rough translation into English of an extract from a recent article in Schweiz am Sonntag.
André Blattmann sees new threats. He even took precautions at home and is holding a 300 liter emergency supply of mineral water.
Our society has become vulnerable and not really prepared to deal with new risks such as cyber attacks or power outages, says André Blattmann, chief of the Swiss armed forces – and he himself has drawn conclusions. At home he stores “30 or 40 six-packs of still mineral water.” In addition, he has a water storage tank. Water is the most important thing in an emergency, he says: “A person needs about 8 liters of water per day – to drink, to cook, to do laundry.”
Because in case of power failure, the heating would not work anymore, Blattmann also has a fireplace with enough wood stored. He took these precautions two or three years ago. “The new risks and threats have made me more sensitive.” He warned people to take precautions, “Maybe you should tell your readers - it is good if you have some supplies at home for emergencies. This will tie you over for a few days until the situation goes back to normal.”
We agree wholeheartedly with the advice above. However, we think that having water and firewood on hand represents only a bare minimum as far as disaster prepapredness plans go. Food, medical emergency kits and basic first-aid training, as well as a good tool kit are a few other critically important components that are frequently mentioned in disaster risk management manuals.
One of the things which is often overlooked is the ability to stay in touch with family members and business partners when the regular mobile and fixed networks suffer an outage. It could and does happen around the world. The causes are varied – technical problems, natural disasters, even civil unrest and terrorist attacks. In such situations, satellite communication equipment could be a real life saver.
T3 offers a full range of satcomm equipment from Inmarsat, Iridium, and Thuraya. We firmly believe that every family must have at least one satellite telephone. It does not require a major financial investment. For example, Inmarsat IsatPhone Pro costs less than many popular smartphones and the cost per minute is very reasonable at only CHF 1.00.
Even better, considering that Inmarsat is a global network (except the Polar regions), it has no roaming charges. So their satellite phones are a much cheaper alternative to using your mobile phone when travelling abroad.
Furthermore, the latest satellite phones have a number of extremely useful features such as the ability to send your tracking info to a recipient of your choice or send an SOS message to a family member or a dedicated search and rescue service.
It makes a great deal of sense for private clients to have a satellite phone. The same goes for corporate customers. For them, we recommend buying one of the Cobham’s BGAN voice and data terminals that also operate on the Inmarsat network. Very portable, fast and extremely reliable, BGANs have been deployed by thousands of corporations around the world as backups for their regular communication channels.
If you would like additional information or help with designing your own disaster preparedness plan, please send us an email or give us a call.