You may want to carry a map as back-up

I have been missing in action for a few weeks following an overseas conference and a 24 hour a day contract that tied up myself and my team for the past month. It doesn’t mean that I have neglected keeping up with recent security-related news though!

This story that I heard on the FOX News channel this past week had additional importance and relevance in the E.P. field as it played a major part for one of our training teams earlier this year.

The story is about the possibility of some of our GPS satellites failing beginning in 2010. This would have a direct effect on GPS systems. How would it effect the popular “GPS in the car systems” that so many of us rely on these days?

Well, it seems that pin-point accuracy would not be possible. Instead of directing you right to your exact destination, the device might instruct something like;”Turn left in a half to three quarters of a mile”.

There are those who say that the life expectancy for these satellites is far greater than 2010. But what if not? How many of us rely on a GPS to such an extent that they would not consider trying to read a map? How many know how to read a map?

During an E.P. training class this year, we had a young gentleman from this area who got lost heading into Washington D.C. from Route 66. Anyone who has ever driven around the Washinton D.C. area will know that when you drive East from Virginia into D.C., it is virtually impossible to miss D.C. as you run right into it.

Relying on his GPS, the young man got lost twice, opting to get off on I495 to reach Downtown D.C. When asked why, he could not explain. Most likely he put in bad co-ordinates, but it was more difficult to get lost than to go as planned. Had he used a map as back-up, he would have clearly been able to see that it was a straight shot all the way in.

Modern technology is fantastic – when it works. People tend to forget that when they become hooked on technology. A fried computer is just a big piece of useless plastic and metal. If you are about to give a presentation and the projector malfunctions or crashes, should you just give up. Would it not be better to carry a flip chart and pens?

Security professionals can not afford to disregard the ever present; “what if”. Personally speaking, I believe in having back-up plans for my back-up plans. As they say in Ireland; “To be sure, to be sure”.

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