Businesses prepare for sequestration

President Barack Obama speaks about the sequester, as he stands with emergency responders, a group of workers the White House says could be affected if state and local governments lose federal money as a result of budget cuts, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office building on the White House complex in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --- Dozens of businesses in East Tennessee are preparing for the unknown.

There are 5,000 federal contracts through the Dept of Defense in this region and any number of them could be victim to the sequester.

Aqua Chem in Knoxville is one of those companies.

"The situation at hand right now could be anything from zero dollars to a 12 million dollar impact approximately." CEO David Gensterblum tells us. "I think at this point a lot of people have their heels dug in. There's a stake in the sand and it's a negative situation now. It's dissapointing."

But no one knows how big the impact will be here. Gensterblum talks to contacts in Washington every day but no one has been able to give a list of contracts that would be cut.

Experts though say talk is a bit overblown. The reality should not be as severe as reports have made it out to be.

As politicians meet in DC the cuts will begin at Midnight tonight.