As a planner interested in establishing strategic advantages, one of the first things to get done is an assessment of readiness. A good risk assessment helps reduce the need for crisis management. The risk-list can be very basic set of public responsibilies – fire response is the classic example of a known probability. Responding to the unknown on the other hand, is a difficult policy to establish – stop and fisk comes to mind as a police power. Setting aside a resource that may never be used or using one without legitimacy weakens the public power to protect its citizens. To put the “unknown” into perspective organize your thinking with four components in mind.

It matters little if your one family or the president of a large company or a nation. You can do a risk assessment, outline actions that reduce them, consider what needs to be insured and how each risk is shared in your community, region or world.

Risk AssessmentReducing RiskInsuranceRisk Transfer
Prioritized proability based on global capacity to harm Plan measures that will lower physical vulnerability Produce savings and provide reservesCouple data with reinsurance strategies
Assess human vulnerability with analysis by typeSet control measures by unique locations and local conditions Reserve funds, to assure services drive supply demandsDevelop regional approaches to pool insurance risks
Integrate information on probabilities with a fiscal strategy Establish responsive comprensive protocal refined by priorityLocalize “rainy day” systems to deploy first response systemLong term debt plan with international financial institutions

Using these four columns, an assessment of impacts from global warming or a rapidly spreading virus on your town, city or world can be very effective, if fully utilized. I pulled this table from my notes for review because learned how an office on pandemic response got opened, then closed over the years. The nations of the world have let crisis policy slip into the fog of “it can’t happen here or now,” or worse, “if it happens, the loss can be absorbed.” Allowing this thinking at the top, makes the vulnerability of all those at the top (not below) increases greatly.

Preventing natural disasters is not possible. For example, GHGs entering the atmosphere occur naturally; as do viruses, however, the confirmation that the increase is dangerous only leaves human actors to respond with “steps” and, hopefully, the skills to mitigate two results. The physical damage to people and the impact on their output. New policy frameworks will demand a far greater assessment of risk, methods of reduction, and shared transfer

We are one family and drink from cups full of speculations and opinions and must know that wisdom comes from emptying these cups.

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