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probability X severity = importance

After advertising at KunaIdaho.net and in the Kuna/Melba Newspaper, six of us met in the Kuna Community Hall to discuss some possible disasters that might befall our community and to rank them by the probability, severity and importance of their taking place.

The way this is done is to brainstorm through what any of us think might happen. Then put odds on it happening. For simplicity sake, I used an “out of ten” scale for most possibilities. We, for example, felt there was about ten out of ten odds that inflation will at least continue in 2012 at the rate we experienced in 2011.

After odds-making, the next step is to rate the importance of each event, again using a ten-point scale for simplicity. With ten being “you are dead” and one being of little significance, we ranked the events as listed in the table below.

Multiplying the probability percentage times the severity of it occurring puts a number at the end of the line I call “importance”.

NOW you know what to focus your planning, preparing and organizing efforts on. If you don’t like our numbers or events, you can certainly do this yourself or, better yet, with family, friends and/or neighbors.

possibility . odds . probability . severity . importance
—————————————————-
hyperinflation . . . . . . . . . . . 6/10 . 60% . 8 . 48
martial law . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5/10 . 50% . 9 . 45
fuel cost doubling . . . . . . . . 8/10 . 80% . 5 . 40
personal job loss . . . . . . . . . 6/10 . 60% . 6 . 36
Mid-East war . . . . . . . . . . . . 4/10 . 40% . 5 . 20
monetary system collapse . . 1/10 . 10% . 8 . 8
robbery at home . . . . . . . . . 1/30 . 3% . . 6 . 2.0
weather-related disaster . . . . 1/30 . 3% . 5 . 1.7
continued inflation . . . . . . . . 10/10 . 10% . 1 . 1.0
taken to FEMA camp . . . . . . . 1/100 . 1% . 9 . 0.9

One beauty of this little exercise is you can easily see that if you were spending time and emotional energy worrying about being taken to a FEMA Camp, or about continued inflation, you may rest easy on those topics as they are of little importance in the big picture. Another beauty is that you have recruited physical and psychological help in preparing for things you all agree are important.

This is enough exercise for now. We agreed to, and I recommend you also, research a few key things before we meet again. We should have an idea of what exists in the way of official disaster plans and preparedness.

Mostly we need to think about things I’ll call, “beans, bullets, bullion, belonging, badges and barter”. I know you can hardly wait to see what I mean by some of those.