This is the second part in a series about Risk Management. Find Part 1 Here.
What are the odds that a selected emergency will occur? The next step in the Preppermill Risk Management process is to assess the likelihood of each of these bad things happening. For me, I limited it to the next 5 years, because that’s very actionable. My logic is this: Once I’ve prepared for the most likely things to happen in the next 5 years, THEN AND ONLY THEN does it make sense to prepare for things that might happen on a Biblical / Geologic timescale.
Also, because short-term events and long-term events are VERY DIFFERENT in terms of how we prepare, I want to assess the likelihood of a short-term event separately from the likelihood of a long-term event.
As an example, a short-term internet outage means I’m going to need a few weeks of food. A long-term internet outage means I need to be able to produce my own food. The likelihood of each of these things is different. As is the severity, which we’ll soon see.
First, let’s focus on the likelihood of a short-term event and a long-term event. For our purposes, something is short-term if it lasts less than a month. It’s long-term if it lasts longer than that.
What we need to do is evaluate the RELATIVE likelihood of these occurrences. To do that, I’m using a simple scale where:
- 10 = It’s certain to happen in the next 5 years.
- 5 = It may or may not happen in the next 5 years.
- 1 = It’s very unlikely (but not impossible) in the next 5 years.
Yes, it’s subjective. If you want to, you can go out and find stats and actually calculate probabilities based on your unique circumstances, your geographies, and your assumptions, But I didn’t do that because I have lots of other things to do.
Also, It’s important to note that these are my assessments. I’m not interested in arguing about them. If you don’t like the way I assessed the likelihood merely make up your own likelihood. It is not necessary to tell me that it’s MUCH more likely that at asteroid is going to hit us than a supervolcano. I don’t have time for that argument.
Here’s what I came up with…
Likelihood that Selected Bad Things Might Happen
As you can see, the number one risk on my list in terms of likelihood is a power outage. This happens literally every year. As luck would have it, it happened last night for a couple of hours. So, I’m comfortable predicting that we will suffer power outages over the next 5 years.
One ‘bad thing’ whose likelihood has increased since I first did this exercise is… Pandemic! Yep. It’s happening now, and it appears pretty likely that we’ll be dealing with COVID-19 throughout 2022. Who knows when the next one will happen?
2021 and 2022 have also changed my perspective about Cyberattacks (due to Putin’s Ukrainian Misadventure) and the security of our food supply (due to the supply chain issues we’ve experienced).
Finally, I recently tweaked my assumed likelihood of solar flares impacting my life, because we’re starting a new solar cycle.
Most of the rest of these risks have remained pretty much the same for the last 5 years or so.
Now that we know about how likely things are, we can move on to how severe they’ll be if they happen.