Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Terrorism Threat in the Offing?

Once again the news is all over a possible terrorism attack that should occur within the next couple of months. Once again, my thought is "what is the purpose of putting out such a generic threat warning that it is basically meaningless?." Aren't we always supposed to be in a heightened state of awareness, simply because acts of terrorism are #1 possible (as we have seen many time), and #2 random (in location, time, and type of incident)? Yes, random terrorist acts can happen anywhere, impact anyone, and look like anything (from an IED to a poison gas attack to jetliners flying into buildings), but excuse me if I don't get all spun up over this latest warning. Personally I will keep doing what I am doing, and, what I think many readers are doing, and that is being prepared for ANY kind of disaster which includes everything from an earthquake to an IED to a virus outbreak get the picture.

Here are the things you should be doing no matter what the news is telling you and what the random possible attack could be:
  1. Be debt free.

  2. Have an emergency fund (some of which should be cash in hand).

  3. Have a stockpile of food, fuel, and supplies that could tide you over should you not be able to work/earn an income for a while.

  4. Be able to grow some of your own food.

  5. Know how to hunt, fish, and forage for food.

  6. Have a range of skills that you can use both to improve your own situation and sell to others.

  7. Have multiple streams of income.

  8. Be security and awareness-minded at ALL times.

  9. Be able to protect yourself and your family.

  10. Be able to "go portable" at a moment's notice.

While everyone is in a near panic attack about shadowy terrorists, remember that the leading causes of death in the US annually are: heart disease (630,000 deaths), cancer, stroke, respiratory disease, accidental injuries, diabetes, Alzheimer's, influenza/pneumonia, nephritis, and septicemia (34,000 deaths). Annual terrorism-related deaths in the US? 2007=0, 2006=1 person by the Animal Liberation Front, 2005=0. In other words, you should be much more worries about your health than about terrorists.


  1. Thank you for posting the risk odds at the end of your post. Too many of us (Americans, although I guess it could apply to anyone) have a insane?unfounded?flat-out-crazy? concept of risk.

    I know coworkers that cannot believe they have a better chance of being eaten by a shark that blown up in an airplane -- and I live to Arizona!!!!

    Risk Management has become a "buzzphrase" or even worse, a department in many businesses. While I don't disagree with a modicum of preparation, I don't think many of us in AZ should worry about shark attacks.

  2. I agree. I know a few people who are terrified of flying yet they are treating people in the ER for heart attacks, suicide attempts, and gun shot wounds EVERYDAY yet they don't equate the risk of a heart attack as more possible than being involved in a freak airline crash. Go figure...