How can we predict what will happen at the external borders of the EU in order to better plan the deployment of border guards and technical equipment to the borders? At the moment, some border control authorities assume current trends will continue when they are planning deployments for the following year(s), on the basis of the assumption that the current conditions will remain the same. However, recent events highlight flaws in such approach: for example, predicting air traffic growth on the basis of current trends can be completely thrown out by unexpected events as the eruption of the Icelandic volcano, an increase in fuel prices or an economic crisis. The 'Arab Spring' is a reminder that migratory flows can change without any prior warning. Discussion about contingency planning is timely, not only because those Member States which have an external EU border have the obligation towards other MS to stand ready to meet the challenges related to this effectively, but also because they have been asked to detail their technical needs when applying for the Internal Security Fund for 2014 to 2020.