Most people think of personal risk management as something their financial adviser might handle, or else an insurance broker. That’s why I have chosen to use the term ‘Personal Safety Management’ but I could just as accurately use ‘Personal Risk Management’ for what my business is all about. I see PSM or PRM as literally a matter of life or death. Even fairly simple, everyday situations can tumble rapidly out of control and offer the potential to cause serious harm.
Personal Risk Management (PRM) is all about exactly what the words state:
Personal as in YOU, your loved ones and those in your care be they family, friends, colleagues or members of your community.
Risk, the potential for the outcome to be less than beneficial. It may not be life threatening but even minor problems can cause a considerable amount of inconvenience, expense and possibly escalate to more serious outcomes.
Management, the process of taking control, being aware, avoiding unnecessary harm and orchestrating outcomes more beneficial to yourself and those you care for.
I realized some years ago while living in the Philippines that not all harm comes in the shape of a knife wielding or gun toting mugger. Recovering from a case of Dengue Fever made me think about the many other ways in which a person can be left vulnerable, open to harm and generally at risk.
After considerable research and applying my own personal experience gained over nearly half a century of living and surviving everything life had to throw at me so far, I organized my approach to PRM or PSM into four Avenues Of Harm
Natural: Situations caused by acts of Nature or natural disaster such as floods, bush fires, avalanches, tsunami’s, earthquakes, cyclones (aka hurricanes/typhoons), volcano eruptions, mudslides, trees falling, blizzards and similar events of which no human has any control.
Nature: Encounters with animals such as dog bites, shark attacks, snake and spider envenomation and even diseases and microscopic virus and bacterial infections. Any contact with living organisms other than human beings.
Man Made Indirect: Car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, industrial accidents, house fires, boating accidents, acts of negligence by others and any action that involves human interference without the intention to cause harm.
Man Made Direct: This is the avenue of harm 99% of personal safety and self defence instructors focus on yet it is the least likely avenue of harm for the majority of people not engaged in hazardous occupations such as military, police, security, medical and hospitality staff. Rapes, murders, assaults, muggings, burglaries and confrontations of any kind that involve you and at least one other human being.
These four Avenues Of Harm cover the range of possible ways you can become involved in a situation that might be detrimental to your well being. While none of us can live a totally risk free life, wrapped in cotton wool and protected from all the evil and mishap that is part and parcel of everyday life, we can be more aware of how harm can affect us and take reasonable precautions to avoid or minimize the risk. Failing that, we can be better prepared to manage each situation if and as it arises.
Most of this is just common sense and a little preparation however as someone once said;
“Common Sense Is Not That Common”