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“There is no such thing as luck”

Star Wars fans know this quote.

Non Star Wars fans: Obi-Wan Kenobi says this to Hans Solo after Luke uses his light saber to block the sparring orb’s shots while wearing a helmet with the blast shield down. The quote is actually prefaced with, ‘In my experience…’ That adds a different dimension. There may be luck, but in Obi-Wan’s experience there isn’t.  

Contrast that idea with Samuel Goldwyn’s famous quote, ‘The harder I work, the luckier I get.” I don’t want to disagree with one of the most successful movie studio executives ever but, it is not luck, it is preparation, determination, perspiration, manifestation, serendipity, call it what you will. Or maybe we do agree.  All of those things are hard work.  But luck? Sorry, not for Obi-Wan, and not for me.

Was Malcolm Butler’s interception that sealed the Patriot’s Super Bowl win luck? Or was it preparation, training, reflexes, skill, ‘wanting it more’, as we used to say when I played? It was all of that and more. In an interview right after, Butler said he had a vision making that play, breaking on the ball and taking it away from the receiver. And guess what: He did. Is that luck? Some might even call it planning. Or grit. Or hustle.  Luck is for leprechauns. 

Much of this holds true for business continuity, disaster and emergency planning and response. Anyone who works in those arenas knows you don’t really get ‘lucky’. You plan, you prepare and you train, acquiring skill sets that you really never want to use. However when you do, you are ready! That is not luck; that is preparation. Which reminds me of this New England phrase:

Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

You may not have heard this phrase but I assure you that if you are in the emergency preparedness/planning/response profession, you abide this phrase all the time. And SatCom is critical in helping you be effective, helping you provide excellent performance.

Satellite phones are a tool that you use when you need to, and having them available, ready to go, tested and staff trained is one of the best ways to be ‘lucky’ (according to Goldwyn). I would instead say that you are prepared, which is highly commendable and please invite everyone you meet in the industry to join you in this kind of preparation. Luck may not show up when crisis hits and you are called into action. Preparation and practice and panning will ALL show up. 

Obi-Wan would agree. Make sure you have a plan and that plan includes satellite phones.

Thanks for reading.

A-B-C, Danielle, Earl, Fiona

To Arms! To Arms! The hurricanes are coming, the hurricanes are coming!

The media has started sending their reporters to locations along the east coast because Earl is threatening to make this Labor Day weekend one to remember. As if this is some big surprise. It is always interesting to me that until there is a marked threat from a hurricane, very few people pay any attention to hurricane preparedness (unless you are in the ‘business’).

Hurricane season started June 1 and there was a bit of media coverage. The renowned hurricane forecasters Klotzbach & Gray an above-average year so it is no surprise to me that Danielle just passed, Earl is on the way, Fiona is forming and there is yet another tropical depression coming off the coast of Africa.

Typically the bulk of hurricanes form in late August and September or…..NOW! The East Coast is under threat of Earl’s arrival, and while I’m excited for the fabulous coming my way, emergency managers are not. Hurricanes cause damage, severe damage as well as a myriad of other problems and these folks handle whatever situations occur, often sending people into harm’s way to save others. It also becomes a busy time for as we support dozens in the emergency management and business continuity community.
While we’ve learned a great deal about in the past few years, most notably after Katrina, there still is much to learn. For example, many organizations that ought to have do not have them. And then they frequently call on us for help the day after the storm hits, when there is very little that can be done to help them. An ounce of prevention…….well, you know the rest. Why is communications, which is arguably the MOST important resource during and after a hurricane frequently addressed last? I’ve been working in this segment for 10 years and cannot understand why you wouldn’t cover your most critical people and facilities with , the proven communications solution.

So here’s the question for you: Are you prepared? Want to find out? Go to and download my free e-book ‘Preparing for Hurricane Season’ and see how prepared you really are. The e-book contains a fully comprehensive list of preparedness techniques for your family, business and property. It does not prevent damage – nobody can do that – but it can help you potentially minimize damage and the resulting problems.

A-B-C, Danielle, Earl, Fiona. Hurricanes are a fact of life, especially in the south and the east coast. Go to and download my e-book and be prepared. Here’s to storms 200 miles offshore and 15 foot waves!