Friday, November 4, 2016

Post Election Preparedness Plan: A Must?

That is indeed the big question: Is a Post Election Emergency/Preparedness Plan now a must? It’s origin stems from the current climate being created by both candidates in the USA Presidential elections due in just a few short days. From our view point, having such a plan now, or having the foresight to develop one in the few months following November 8th vote is a solid idea.
To begin with, there is no longer any doubt that the out-come will be contested by one or both of the candidates. Candidate Donald J. Trump has done everything but come out and confirm he will contest a loss to Secretary Hilary Clinton. And it would not be a surprise now, that if Mrs. Clinton suffers a narrow loss to Mr. Trump, she too contest the results. So a smooth transition is unlikely in our opinion. This will result in a serious lack of confidence in the USA, both as the international leader it has been seen as since the end of the Second World War, and as the financial standard to international economies. In either case, the resulting lack of confidence will no doubt have a negative effect on the world stock markets and may very well trigger a further recession, not just in North America, but across the global financial system.
If Mr. Trump should come out victorious next Tuesday, there may well be a hit to the economy even if the win goes uncontested. Great Britain has already indicated its discomfort with the thought of a Trump presidency, and has tossed up the conversation point of banning him from speaking within the UK. While such a ban never materialised at the time, it shows a clear dislike of the bombastic candidate. And the UK is not alone in this concern; there is indications that many of the European Economic Union nations feel the very same way, especially as Trump has been highly critical of the EU overall.
Trump’s threats to hit the negotiating table and renegotiate every US international trade agreement (especially NAFTA and the TTPA) has also raised warning signs among US trade partners across the globe. It is apparent that, should he become President, Trump plans to go heavy handed with US trade partners just as he has with suppliers and contractors to Trump International companies, many of whom have been left with unpaid and denied invoices and who now face their own bankruptcy. Canada in particular as the largest US trade partner will feel the effects of such action, and will no doubt head into recession if Trump honours his trade negotiation threats.
Should Hilary Clinton come out victorious on Tuesday, it seems likely Trump will contest the results. We’ve already covered that potential above. No confidence is a very serious reality, as traders of the US green back devalue the dollar. It has happened before when signs of a weak US economy and financial sector has been seen. But there is another aspect of a Clinton win that will have an impact: ongoing scrutiny by the FBI and fuelled by Trump rhetoric of Clinton’s possible transgressions with her private e-mail server.
We all know the investigation was reopened recently, when State Department e-mails between Clinton and her most trusted adviser Huma Abadine where found on a laptop computer, owned by her estranged husband, Anthony Weiner was seised during the investigation of his sexual improprieties with a 15 year old girl. Those e-mails should not have been on a computer owned by Weiner, and raises some serious questions how they migrated from Abadine’s computer to Weiner’s.
It an be expected that even if there is confirmation to Clinton’s favour of the election with her wn, that Trump, and the Republican controlled House will continue throughout her Presidency, even where results indicate no wrong doing or intent are made by investigators.
Let us for a moment however assume that there is something to the “server investigation”; the FBI finds something criminal following the election and the inauguration of Clinton. There would then be a new reason to lack confidence in the US, and a whole new reason for economic recession. There would be little doubt of an impeachment, the swearing in of the Vice President, and no doubt further investigations demanded by the Republican party as to what Senator Kane knew/knows about the servers, the cover up and so much more. Basically, it would result in four years of uncertainty, scandal and filibuster.
Regardless of which of the proceeding turmoils becoming reality, should any of these scenarios play out, it presents an opportunity for western enemies of terror to take advantage of, and therefore demean the safety and security of western peoples everywhere. The US has indeed been the leader in anti-terrorist security and information. Being tied up with scandal, non-confidence, economic woes and more could make for the perfect opportunity for radical organisations to strike not only in their homelands, but across the globe.
All of these situations make it reasonable to take special considerations and make planning a priority. Not simply Business Continuity Planning as is the norm for business and financial reasons, but also full on Emergency Planning, not just for physical threats, but for intellectual threats, closures, restructuring, community unrest (certainly we can see without being told that there will undoubtedly be social and community unrest in our cities and towns should any of the discussed scenarios play out; rich v poor, black v white, immigrant v natural born etc.).
It isn’t all views of doom and gloom however. There is a chance that Trump will come to the realisation that it would be best for his country to not contest the electoral results and to embrace the results and Clinton as President. It is also possible that nothing will come of the “Server-gate” investigations, and that the Republican House will let it die. Its possible that should this scenario play out, confidence in the USA will continue and strengthen as a result, and in that case, having specialty plans for potential disaster and emergencies may not be necessary. But it is unlikely that things will transition smoothly given the current climate and rhetoric we are hearing.
Let be honest with ourselves, yes, the additional planning is not something anyone os going to be looking at doing. Its going to take time and manpower, and that means its going to cost real money to do. But, those costs of planning need to be weighed against the potential costs of not planning; of the potential losses that could result by not being ready for those proposed negative impacts and financial and physical disaster that would result. Truly, the difference will likely be $1.00 cost for every $10,000 lost. We know another financial collapse would cost millions, where planning for the average organisation would cost closer to that $10,000.00 mark, give or take a thou. That savings could mean the difference between continuation of business or finding the doors closed.
The recommendation we are making is to err on the side of caution. Spend a few dollars now to prevent greater losses later. Don't be “Penny wise and Pound foolish.”
Even if you end up not needing the plans today, they will pay off in the long run by being viable in other scenarios that have yet to present themselves.
Greg Long President; TEN33 Inc. Consultants in Emergency Management

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