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#153761 - 10/30/08 07:26 PM Correct Risk Assessment With Math
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
So, let's say you live in a place that's in the "100 Year" flood plain.
That means you don't have to worry about a flood until 2108, right? WRONG.

You see, a 100 Year Flood does not mean every 100 years, there's a flood, it means that in any given year, your chances of having a monster flood is 1%.

It also means that each year you live in a place, you're increasingly at risk of experiencing the 1% event - in fact, if you live in the same place for 50 years, you have a 50% chance of experiencing a 100 yer flood (same goes for 25 years = 25%, etc. with the 100 year flood example)

So it is with this in mind that you need to do your situation and risk assessment profile. Are you preparing for unlikely risks?

For example, in 2003 about 45,000 Americans died in motor accidents out of population of 291,000,000. So, according to the National Safety Council this means your one-year odds of dying in a car accident is about one out of 6500. Therefore your lifetime probability (6500 ų about 78 years life expectancy) of dying in a motor accident are about one in 83. Gee, that's worth being prepared with a seatbelt and defensive driving classes.

But just how "equipped" do you need to be for a terrorist attack?

If terrorists were to destroy entirely one of America's 40,000 shopping malls per week, your chances of being there at the wrong time would be about one in one million or more. If terrorists hijacked and crashed one of America's 18,000 commercial flights per week that your chance of being on the crashed plane would be one in 135,000.

Even if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of 9/11 , that would mean your one-year risk would be one in 100,000 and your lifetime risk would be about one in 1300. (300,000,000 ų 3,000 = 100,000 ų 78 years = 1282) In other words, your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered.

You're at greater risk from your slippery bathroom floor than an earthquake, even if you live in California.

Always try to be rational. It will save you money and emotional wear and tear.


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#153762 - 10/30/08 07:37 PM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: MartinFocazio]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Martin, help me with the math here--zombies? I've tried looking but I can't seem to find a reliable risk for a sudden outbreak of zombies or the undead. I hear so many people mention them and how they need lots of guns in anticipation. I don't want to be left unprepared.

All kidding aside, it's always good to be reminded of the "real" risks out there. Unfortunately, statistics are boring. They're not interesting like zombies.

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#153763 - 10/30/08 07:41 PM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: Arney]
benjammin Offline
Rapscallion
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4018
Loc: Anchorage AK
It is inevitable, Mr. Arney.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

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#153767 - 10/30/08 07:49 PM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: MartinFocazio]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
While your argument holds up for people in general. It may not hold up for any given person. With the right mind-set and actions a person can reduce his or her risk considerably.

Iím sure the example above relating to auto death plays on the collective, not a person that uses a seat belt all the time, drives an appropriate speed for any given situation, practices defensive driving and situational awareness.


As far as terrorist and shopping malls, terror by itís nature depends on a large body count to be shown on the news. To be much safer while shopping, go to the mall during slow times when others donít. A terrorist is much more likely to strike at a busy time. Also I seldom go to malls as other stores fill my needs. My mall / terrorist risk is much lower then most peoples as I seldom go there.

This risk management can (and should) be applied to a large amount of given situations.
_________________________



You can run, but you'll only die tired.


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#153771 - 10/30/08 08:13 PM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: benjammin]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: benjammin
It is inevitable, Mr. Arney.

Inevitable, huh? So that's, what? Like a 90% chance? Sorry...dumb math humor...

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#153774 - 10/30/08 09:15 PM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: MartinFocazio]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

The highest correlation of a visit from the Grim Reaper is actually based on the level of household income. There is a very strong correlation between premature death and a persons income. The Grim Reaper visits those folks more often at the bottom end of the income distribution curve. If you do not want a visit from the Grim Reaper, from an actuaries point of view, the answer is 'don't be poor' or 'don't live in an area, where there are poor people', because the Grim Reaper knows your income and he knows where you live - a bit like the IRS. The greater the inequality in incomes the greater the difference in the life expectancy rates between the rich and the poor.

This is even true in countries where, free at the point of use, universal health care systems are available, although they do go some way in masking the link between premature death rates and low incomes.

It could be even said that countries which have less income inequality actually spend less on healthcare as a proportion of GDP simply because the Grim Reaper has less opportunity to go visiting at the bottom end of the income distribution because the bottom end isn't actually there.




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#153776 - 10/30/08 09:41 PM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
BobS Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/08/08
Posts: 924
Loc: Toledo Ohio
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor

The highest correlation of a visit from the Grim Reaper is actually based on the level of household income. The Grim Reaper visits those folks more often at the bottom end of the income distribution curve.




Ask the Kennedyís, Sunny Bono or John Denver what they think of thisÖ


My point is risky behavior comes to all people regardless of class. Risk like running for public office, flying planes you are not really familiar with and skiing down a mountain at high speeds, flying homemade planes.

There are poor and rich people that manage risk well, just as there are poor people and rich people that engage in risky behavior or even in normal things that may be better managed to a lower risk.





I donít think most of us here fall into a lot of the high risk areas as much as most people do. We are somewhat more aware and willing to take a look at our actions and possibly change them to safeguard ourselves and that of our families.


After 9/11 I canít understand how anyone can comfortably go to work in a building that is any taller then a fire truck ladder can reach.

_________________________



You can run, but you'll only die tired.


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#153778 - 10/30/08 10:08 PM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Arney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/15/05
Posts: 2485
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor
The highest correlation of a visit from the Grim Reaper is actually based on the level of household income...The greater the inequality in incomes the greater the difference in the life expectancy rates between the rich and the poor.

This is a topic that has long fascinated me. Not that long ago, I saw a new 7-part documentary on PBS about this topic that was outstanding. If you ever get a chance to see the series Unnatural causes...is inequality making us sick? on TV, please try and watch it. Health involves far more than just eating right, getting some exercise, and taking the right prescription pills.

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#153782 - 10/30/08 11:41 PM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: MartinFocazio]
Hookpunch Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 128
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio

If terrorists were to destroy entirely one of America's 40,000 shopping malls per week, your chances of being there at the wrong time would be about one in one million or more. If terrorists hijacked and crashed one of America's 18,000 commercial flights per week that your chance of being on the crashed plane would be one in 135,000.




How did you model that? Sounds like a Poisson distribution but you need some inputs for it.

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#153789 - 10/31/08 12:50 AM Re: Correct Risk Assessment With Math [Re: Hookpunch]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 788
Loc: wellington, fl
Beside the point. Survival prep is a hobby, like stamp-collecting or bird-watching. Except its more fun than either, and chicks dig it more. The person in this village who contributes the most to local survival is the person who runs the water treatment plant-saves us all from giardia and guinea worms. But is he having fun? Do chicks dig potable water processing? Heck no. When we identify a threat scenario to address, we do it based not on probability, but on severity and how cool the gear is. That's why we have 20 page threads on knives and guns, and zilch on high fiber diets or hypertension.
_________________________
Dance like you have never been hurt, work like no one is watching,love like you don't need the money.

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