These are the types of events that keep some of us up at night.  I have often thought about the dread of suicide bombers, large scale hostage situations or a Mumbai style attack, which this coordinated effort had all three elements.  Imagine this type of “act” on US soil?

These heinous acts, like much of the terrorism we see, are often perpetrated against the completely innocent and unprotected  and unprepared.  Unconventional warfare, which this is one brand, is not new to our allies around the world, and it is very scary to think it could happen here.

Security versus privacy is always a difficult situation and conversation.  Why?  Because of the extremes that we have seen on both ends.  It would be nice if we could draw a nice neat line….here is what is takes to protect X amount of privacy for Y amount of security, but it is not that simple.  One French poll in the days after these attacks stated that somewhere in the neighborhood of 84% of the people polled stated they would give up some privacy for security.  I’d be curious in six months, a year or five years, if another similar attack does not occur, what will be the percentage?

There are things we as emergency managers do that require us to always be prepared, always be vigilant.  We do not get to decide what will happen today, or tomorrow.  It may be a flood, a hurricane, a severe summer or winter storm…or as we witnessed in Paris, a horrific senseless act of mankind at its worse!

Preparedness is what we preach, it is what we live to do.  It is time that we understand that situational awareness is vital to all of us, every day and in every thing that we do.  We cannot let our guard down.  Intelligence is vitally important to our safety and security.  I hope for the sake of all of us, our families, our friends and our communities that our intelligence community is up to the task, and able to accomplish the great task we have bestowed upon them….Security with some Right to Basic Privacy.

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