WASHINGTON – “North Koreans conduct another nuclear test.”
“Half of Israelis back immediate strike on Iran.”
“Tamiflu might not work against swine flu.”
These were some of the headlines yesterday.
And headlines like that have Americans more unnerved than they have been since the 1960s when government was building and equipping community fallout shelters and stocking them to provide for the public in all manner of emergencies.
But funding for national civil defense was gutted in the 1970s as the ethos that “no one can survive a nuclear war” became prevalent.
Today, facing the new threats and the old ones, Americans are on their own – or are they?
Into the fray steps a new company called Sovereign Deed. It has been described as a “privatized FEMA” and “private civil defense.” But the people who started the company like to call it a service providing “life continuity.”
“Our organization is all about saving lives,” explains Chief Executive Officer Barrett Moore. “In our country we spend about $500 billion a year protecting inanimate objects, whether it’s our homes or cars or boats. But what are we doing to protect something far more important – life itself? The answer is we’re not doing anything.”
Sovereign Deed is a big idea – providing advice, training, communication, supplies, equipment and even emergency response to those who are willing to pay for it.
Barrett has assembled a team with many years of emergency medical service and disaster response experience.
We have put together a team that is second to none,” he says. “We have more experience than the federal government has in many respects.”
Barrett says most Americans simply don’t even think about how vulnerable they are to all manner of emergencies – whether it is a terrorist attack, a storm or a nuclear event. They rely on supply chains for their food, their power, their communications and their transportation.
“History demonstrates that all supply chains are eventually broken,” a Sovereign Deed white paper explains. It recounts the way other great civilizations of the past have perished as a result of those supply chains being broken.
That paper also warns: “No nation or generation has been more specialized than ours. And no nation is more vulnerable.”
“Forty years ago the country had enough food in the system to last three years,” says the white paper. “Today, because of our drive for economic efficiency, the supply chain contains less than a four-week food supply. Why don’t we maintain larger food reserves? Because it is expensive, and few believe that our society is vulnerable.”
If one looks to the government for help, the situation is even worse.
“In 1964, the federal government maintained stockpiles capable of feeding the entire population for a period of three years,” explains the Sovereign Deed report. “Now, some 40 years later, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has admitted to a stockpile of approximately 6 million meals. Given a nation of over 300 million people, this is only enough food to feed 1 percent of the population three meals over the course of one day.”
Barrett says the system Americans rely on for food, medicine and fuel is vulnerable to all kinds of disruption – from electromagnetic pulse attacks to cyber warfare to terrorism.
Of even more concern to Americans today, with the current state of the economy, is the vulnerability to financial crashes, the possibility of civil unrest or the spread of pandemics.
“Today’s household depends on the ready supply of food, available for purchase by paper currency,” explains the white paper. “If anything happened to the currency, the economic system would break down along with the supply chain.”
One of the things Sovereign Deed prides itself on intelligence gathering – looking ahead to discern what storms are on the horizon, so that it can protect its client base.
“Given the federal government’s deficits, including impractical attempts to stimulate the economy through massive government spending, it is likely that the U.S. dollar is going to lose its standing and suffer repeated devaluations,” the company predicts. “As goes a nation’s currency, so goes its culture and its future.”
Published two months ago, the report adds: “The leading cause of system disruption, whether it is warfare or financial collapse, has political roots. Human beings are imperfect, and every political system reflects an imperfect community. The strongest, most stable society can suddenly find itself broken and demoralized. History is full of examples. The drift to social decadence happens to every successful society. Men are spoiled by their successes, or their children are spoiled, or their grandchildren. What happens to society also happens to the political system. The politician becomes spoiled, and ignores the vulnerabilities of the system he is elected to safeguard. The supply chain is especially vulnerable when society is focused upon immediate gratification, when no one thinks about emergency requirements, and when everything is geared to profit-making and winning elections. When politics has become a competition in optimistic assessments and utopian promises, society’s survival is taken for granted. And when survival is taken for granted, society has arrived at the height of its vulnerability.”
To address these concerns, Sovereign Deed offers “comprehensive outsourced preparedness programs” that include:
- alerts and advisories
- emergency logistics
- professional services
- crisis management
- other specialty services
The company is currently building a national response center at a regional airport in Pellston, Mich.