Everyone has to consider options at some time in their lives. Unfortunately evaluating the options and the associate risks is not something that comes naturally to most people. Basic stuff is OK but it is when you start to look outside your comfort zone that we simply do not see many of the options available.
This short-sightedness impacts us all. Even people experienced in evaluation options and risks sometimes miss out some obvious ones, it is why we should always share our evaluations with others and hope that they see some that we have missed. If they have then we can evaluation our opinion of those options and our opinions of those risks. Not everyone believes the same, so you will have to make your own decisions but everyone has an opinion on everything under the sun.
When you consider options you have to try and open your mind to every eventuality that can happen. This gives you the options you need to consider. For example; You decide you want to install a wind turbine. So you need to consider the potential hazards of such a task, evaluate the risks from each and look to eliminate or reduce as much as possible the risks and then consider actions to take if the risk still happens. So taking the example of a wind turbine.
What are the hazards;
- The turbine needs a good solid base.
- The turbine destroys your OPSEC.
- The turbine makes noise to annoy the neighbours.
- The turbine needs planning permission.
- The turbine generates electricity that can kill you.
- The turbine catches fire.
I’m sure you can all think of more but that will do for this example. Notice that the positive aspect of the turbine, power generation, is also a hazard.
So now we look at each hazard in turn and identify the associated risks. Each option may have one or more risks attached to it.
What are the risks;
Taking the first hazard, the turbine needs a good solid base. We can generate the following risks;
- The turbine falls down onto something.
- The turbine brings the roof or chimney down with it.
- The turbine brings down cables that create a fire risk.
Again, there may be more but this is enough for our example. Note that for every hazard you would generate a list of risks. Some may duplicate but that is fine you can filter them out later.
So we now have a set off risks associated with the hazards that we identified. There will be at least one risk per hazard but more than likely you will have several risks associated with each hazard. This gives us a much larger list of risks.
So now we look at each risk in turn and look to control the risk, first by eliminating it and if that isn’t possible what can we do to reduce the risk. Many of our risks we won’t be able to eliminate but we usually can reduce the risk. Realistically very few risks can be reduced to zero as the cost tends to increase significantly to do so which makes it impractical.
So what can we do to control the risk;
Again taking a risk from our examples, The turbine falls down onto something. We generate the following controls.
Examine the problem, what can we do? in this example we recognise it is impossible to ensure that the turbine does not fall. Anything up in the air has potential energy and is a candidate for falling down at some point. We can however reduce this risk by;
- Siting the turbine where it won’t fall on anything except ground.
- Using fastenings and bolts that are suitable for the task.
- Securing it to somewhere solid.
- Putting in place an inspection routine to check the mounting bolts regularly.
So now we have identified what we can do to reduce the risk of the turbine falling. Let us do the same for every other risk identified. Many will have the same solutions for reducing or eliminating risks and when we are finished we will have a complete list of tasks we must do ensure that we do to ensure the installation is safe. Filter out the duplicates bearing in mind many may be similar but not identical. For example; Fire, there could be a risk that there is a fire in the turbine and another that there is a fire started by the turbine. They are different and will have different actions.
We are still not quite finished though. Finally we have to identify for each risk an action plan of what we must do if despite our risk controls the risk happens.
What if this risk occurs;
Sticking to our example of the turbine falling we can say that;
- We need to switch to an alternative power regime. Either add new power generation or reduce our power usage.
- We need to tidy up the downed turbine safely, taking into consideration the cables and power infrastructure connectivity.
- We need to have spares to repair the turbine, blades, mounts, motor, etc. These must be in our stores or we need a method of making them.
- We need tools to repair and install the turbine properly. So we need to ensure these are in our stores.
So, as you can see this is a fairly easy task to undertake once you have identified all the hazards. Discuss with others while you can, especially those with experience of the task you are undertaking.
Finally, this technique can be used to evaluate everything we need for prepping, Bug In or Bug Out for example. Identify the hazards with each one and see which one has the least risk for you. Just put everything down on paper and then work at reducing the risks. Ask for help if you need to.
This is a very powerful tool that will help you evaluate your options for prepping, from keeping chickens, growing your own veg through to building your own bunker or starting your own community. This can easily transfer to your other life choices as well, it isn’t just for prepping.