Yes, the Pinkertons. When I saw the image with the pink paintballs in the NY Times article, I thought it was some kind of joke; I didn’t think of the Pinkerton Agency. I didn’t even know it still existed.

So I didn’t read the article until last night. Essentially, the Pinkertons are getting into assisting businesses affected by climate change. They’ve provided armed escort on the ground after various disasters and now they’re trying to help on the front end. You can read the article and it’s worthwhile. To a point.

The most interesting part though, was at the end where the Pinkerton employee who has a job related to helping businesses with preparing for possible climate change disasters has just bought a place in Miami. Which is in dire danger from sea level change. And he said– well, the place won’t be ready until 2021, so he wasn’t concerned at the moment. Which pretty much negated the entire concept of his job.

And that, my friends, is the problem. We don’t deal with possible threats, no matter how likely. 80% of US counties have had a weather related natural disaster in the past 10 years. Yet the vast majority of people are not prepared for the most likely natural disaster for their area. Most businesses have not conducted an Area Study for climate threats. Many have emergency plans in place for other things, job related– such as if their computer system goes out. But what about a flood in the area? Long term power outage? Derailment in the locale that releases toxis gasses? Do people even know what the most likely natural and man-made threats are?

When I was writing my survival guide I researched the manuals already out there and, based on my Special Forces background, noted a glaring omission. The manuals were one size fits all. They bypassed the first thing we did when we received a mission tasking in SF: the Area Study (free slideshow overview). How can you plan for something when you don’t know exactly what you’re planning for and can’t focus your energies?

The slideshow I linked is an overview. I also cover the Area Study in more detail in The Procrastinator’s Survival Guide. More importantly, I offer one day workshops for people and organizations on doing one, because it requires a certain mindset to fully appreciate what is entailed. It requires looking at the world around us with a different set of eyes.

Or you could hire the Pinkertons.