Vice President of Intelligence Fred Burton examines the importance of having an emergency evacuation plan in light of the unrest in Bahrain and the disaster in Japan.
Editor’s Note:Transcripts are generated using speech-recognition technology. Therefore, STRATFOR cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.
The recent political instability in Bahrain, on the heels of the nuclear disaster in Japan, highlights the need to have an emergency plan in place before you need it. A basic plan consists of three critical factors, the first being a prearranged rendezvous point for family or loved ones. The second factor is a communications plan in the event of cell phone tower failure; one of the tools you can utilize is a satellite telephone, which enables you to communicate outside the affected area whenever your cell phone coverage and Internet is out. The third factor is having a primary and secondary route of escape. When looking at primary and secondary evacuation routes, geography is going to be critical. You need to think about your means of escape when, for example, your primary route may be taken out, due to things such as a tsunami. Your secondary means of escape can include either roads or trains, as well as many other global providers that you can subscribe to that will actually come and assist you in those kinds of events. These service are usually fee-based, and you usually have to sign up beforehand, but these services can aid you in getting out of the disaster zone either by air, road or by backpack if need be. They can also provide medical assistance if you are injured. In a politically unstable environment, such as Bahrain on March 15, it is very important for you to have good intelligence as to what is taking place. Good intelligence will provide that tripwire and will enable you to make the decision to depart the affected area before it is too late. You can stay abreast of good intelligence by monitoring the local news and radio, websites such as STRATFOR, as well as any sources you may have in the local community that are linked to the government that may help understand what could be taking place. For example, many of our readers, as well as many of our multinational clients, were able to reposition many of their personnel and assets out of Bahrain by monitoring our very detailed analyses as to what was taking place. The "Above the Tearline" aspect of emergency action plans is: Don't expect your government or your company to help you for 48 to 72 hours. Make a plan for yourself and know when it is time to execute it and get out.