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Chapter 1. Assessing Risk

Chapter 1. Assessing Risk

How does our homestead example help us learn about security and risk assessment? Let’s look at it in more depth. First, remember that John built both fences and walls. He had heard that animals might come in and try to kill his livestock or eat his crops, so he took steps to prevent that from happening. He assessed the risk of losing an animal and found the animal to be worth the effort of building the walls and fences. John also determined that a fence was sufficient for the outer layer, but a wall was needed to protect them nearer the house. We know that John took specific measures to protect the chicken coop when he found out a fox was in the area, but he and Katie decided that locks on the gates and doors were not necessary at this time. Their assessment of the risk changed as they got more information about their new home. John found that his fence wasn’t protecting against all the deer and that at least one fox had gotten close to—although not all the way into—the chicken coop. Katie looked at the risks the coming winter might bring (cold weather, rain or snow, sickness) and prepared by making clothing suitable for winter. She also fed the livestock and maintained the household and garden while John was doing his work farther out.

The Smiths displayed several concepts here that we will discuss throughout the book in more detail. For now, though, we will concentrate on the aspects of risk assessment. To understand risk assessment, you must first understand what is meant by risk and get a few definitions out of the way.


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