Saturday, 21 May 2016

09:28 – Barbara is cleaning house this morning and then packing to leave tomorrow on her trip to Brasstown, NC, which, as it turns out, is more like 300 miles from here than 200. It’s a five- or six-hour drive, depending on what route she takes.

I’ll try to convince her to toss a comprehensive emergency kit in the back of her car, and to keep her gas tank full enough to get home from wherever she happens to be. It’s not that I expect a disaster to occur while she’s away. I don’t, but there is a small but finite chance of something really bad happening at any moment, and there’s no reason for her not to have a good emergency kit in the car. Having it with her costs nothing but an extra five or ten cents worth of gasoline to haul the extra weight.

People sometimes ask me what I think the chances are of something “really bad” happening. My simple wild-ass guess is that there’s maybe a 3% chance of that over the next year, 20% over the next five years, and 50% over the next ten. So, while the probability is close to 0% of it happening today or next week or even next month, I think the odds are very high that it will happen sometime over the next 10 to 15 years. That doesn’t mean we have 10 or 15 years to prepare, because the probability of it happening tomorrow is just as high as it happening 15 years from tomorrow.