Guest Post: We are not “Survivalists” we are “Risk Management Specialists”

by gigaJack of The Survival Summary

Risk management is the discipline of identifying, monitoring and limiting risks. In some cases the acceptable risk may be near zero. Risks can come from accidents, natural causes and disasters as well as deliberate attacks from an adversary. Read more about Risk Management here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_management.

Potential Risk Treatments
Once risks have been identified and assessed, all techniques to manage the risk fall into one or more of these four major categories: (*See below for details)

  • Avoidance (eliminate)
  • Reduction (mitigate)
  • Transfer (outsource or insure)
  • Retention (accept and budget)

My Risk Mitigation Strategies

Restaurant

  • Sitting Position (Reduction)
    • I think just facing the door is not enough.
    • Facing the door is assuming a crazed gunman will come running through the front door and start shooting up the place. I think there is just as much if not more of a chance of someone already in the restaurant gets a bug up their ass and goes postal.
    • The place that I have found to have the most tactical advantage is by the rear of the dining area where there is a back exit.
    • Oh yeah, and me facing the front or the bulk of people.
  • Dining Times (Reduction)
    • If we are going to go out to eat I get off work early to make it to the restaurant to ensure we arrive before 5pm. This aids in a couple of ways.
    • There is always a table available.
    • There is not wait time.
    • We are done eating by the time others are arriving and ordering.

Driving

  • Road Rage (Avoidance)
    • I use to be the “tough guy”. I would not take any crap from anyone. I figured I had many years of fighting and could at least hold my own with most. After I got my CCW my outlook changed. I figured if I was carrying then the jackass in the car next to me might be. I don’t get sucked in to others rage by aggravating them anymore then they currently are. If I were to get into a shooting match with another – would I thought it was worth it if I were dead and couldn’t support my family or if I were under investigation for illegally using my firearm being a willing participant.
  • Lane Choices (Reduction)
    • If there is three lanes to choose from I will choose the lane that allows me to jump the curb and utilize my 4X4.
  • Parking Lots (Avoidance)
    • I park in a lighted part of parking lots almost in the back away from most of the parked cars.
    • I always park in the same location at each store I frequent and I never have to walk around to look for my vehicle.
  • Accidents (Transfer & Retention)
    • We carry insurance for damage caused to others property.
    • We don’t carry replacement insurance on our vehicles because we could use the other vehicle until we could by another used 4×4.
    • Window hammer
    • Seat belt cutter
    • First aid
    • Camera
    • Pen & paper
    • Flares
  • Car Jacking (Reduction)
    • I pocket all my CCW and don’t have a good access to them while sitting in a vehicle.
    • I velcroed a holster to my driver’s seat by my right knee. Each time I get in my vehicle I take my CCW out and holster it at the ready.

Death (Transfer)

  • Life insurance policies

Food Storage

  • Food (Reduction)
    • We have 2 years worth of food on hand.
    • We have 500 square feet of garden to grow more food.
  • Water (Reduction)
    • We have over 2 month water on hand. With the means to make as much as we need.
  • Cooking (Reduction)
    • We have the means to cook food other than the stove.

Computers

how to bug in
  • Virus (Reduction)
    • Run anti-virus programs on all computers.
  • Privacy (Avoidance)
    • Use proxy software when needed.

Health

  • Get Sick (Reduction)
    • We have a Health Savings Account HSA with enough of a balance to cover our out of pocket maximum.
    • Long term disability.
  • Swine Flu/Et Cetera (Avoidance)
    • We stay at home until I am sure we won’t catch anything.
  • Medications (Reduction)
    • Have prescribed medication stored up.
    • Have amoxicillin and other antibiotics stored up.

Financial

  • Dollar Becomes Worthless (Reduction)
    • Have gold & silver on hand.
    • We have two years worth of most items we would need.
  • Lose Job (Reduction)
    • Have cash and gold/silver on hand.
    • We have two years worth of most items we would need.
  • 401k (Avoidance)
    • Currently keeping money in the cash account.

Home

  • Theft (Transfer & Reduction)
    • Home owners insurance provides the risk transfer.
    • Fortified Home: The security system, video cameras, security window film & upgraded locks provide the risk reduction.
    • Guns to protect while we are home.
    • Police scanner.
  • Damage (Transfer)
    • Home owners insurance provides the risk transfer.
    • We can also load up our vehicles and bug out.
  • Heating (Reduction)
    • We have a wood cooking stove with a winters worth of wood.
    • We have means to heat our house for 1 month in the winter by gas generator with electric heater.
  • Cooling (Retention)
    • We live in the north so cooling is not so critical so we can deal with the heat in summer.

Work

  • Fire (Reduction)
    • Fire escape hoods
    • Fire extinguishers
  • Civil Unrest (Reduction)
    • Get home bag
    • Conceal carry liceses

Cannot Go To Work (Avoidance)

  • Work from home
  • Eat/drink reserves

*Risk Avoidance
Includes not performing an activity that could carry risk. An example would be not buying a property or business in order to not take on the liability that comes with it. Another would be not flying in order to not take the risk that the airplane was to be hijacked. Avoidance may seem the answer to all risks, but avoiding risks also means losing out on the potential gain that accepting (retaining) the risk may have allowed.

*Risk Reduction
Involves methods that reduce the severity of the loss or the likelihood of the loss from occurring. For example, sprinklers are designed to put out a fire to reduce the risk of loss by fire. This method may cause a greater loss by water damage and therefore may not be suitable. Halon fire suppression systems may mitigate that risk, but the cost may be prohibitive as a strategy.

*Risk Retention
Involves accepting the loss when it occurs. True self insurance falls in this category. Risk retention is a viable strategy for small risks where the cost of insuring against the risk would be greater over time than the total losses sustained. All risks that are not avoided or transferred are retained by default. This includes risks that are so large or catastrophic that they either cannot be insured against or the premiums would be infeasible. War is an example since most property and risks are not insured against war, so the loss attributed by war is retained by the insured. Also any amounts of potential loss (risk) over the amount insured is retained risk. This may also be acceptable if the chance of a very large loss is small or if the cost to insure for greater coverage amounts is so great it would hinder the goals of the organization too much.

*Risk Transfer
In the terminology of practitioners and scholars alike, the purchase of an insurance contract is often described as a “transfer of risk.” However, technically speaking, the buyer of the contract generally retains legal responsibility for the losses “transferred”, meaning that insurance may be described more accurately as a post-event compensatory mechanism. For example, a personal injuries insurance policy does not transfer the risk of a car accident to the insurance company. The risk still lies with the policy holder namely the person who has been in the accident. The insurance policy simply provides that if an accident (the event) occurs involving the policy holder then some compensation may be payable to the policy holder that is commensurate to the suffering/damage.

Limitations
If risks are improperly assessed and prioritized, time can be wasted in dealing with risk of losses that are not likely to occur. Spending too much time assessing and managing unlikely risks can divert resources that could be used more profitably. Unlikely events do occur but if the risk is unlikely enough to occur it may be better to simply retain the risk and deal with the result if the loss does in fact occur. Qualitative risk assessment is subjective and lack consistency. Prioritizing too highly the risk management processes could keep an individual from ever completing a project/preparations or even getting started.

It is also important to keep in mind the distinction between risk and uncertainty. Risk can be measured by impacts x probability.


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3 Comments

  1. Good list with some things I haven’t thought of.
    I prefer a seat near a door in a restuarant, theater or other public venue. I do NOT go to any large gatherings such as sports or music venues.
    I do my best to drive responsibly but occassionally the other drivers find a way to take offense anyway. When I’m in large cities and I sense another driver is upset I ignore them and act as though I don’t notice. I use my peripheral vision to make sure they aren’t flashing a gun. Anything else seems likely to inflame the situation.

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