#39 How will you recognize the cataclysm when you see it?

March 5, 2009

A worried reader recently asked me, Exactly how do you define “cataclysm?” How will I know one when I see one?

Good question. You don’t want to pull out your cataclysm kit and run for the hills if you only have a disaster on your hands, not a full-fledged cataclysm.

It may help to think of a cataclysm as part of a continuum of troubles that runs from everyday trials and tribulations to an outright nobody-but-the cockroaches-survive apocalypse.

Cataclysm ContinuumIn between, you have your misadventure, disaster and your cataclysm.

Think of it in terms of survival. Most people will survive their tribulations (bad hair day) and the ordinary misadventure (US Air Flight 1549). In this day and age most people even survive a disaster. A cataclysm, not so much.

But the best-stocked cataclysm survival kit won’t help you in the case of the apocalypse.

Next time something bad befalls you, or you read about some crisis or other in the news, try to place it on this continuum. As you do it more and more, you’ll start to get the hang of things.

When the cataclysm comes, you’ll recognize it for what it is. You’ll be fit and ready with your skills and stockpiles while everyone else is still twittering on about their very bad day.


Top 10 natural disasters in a most disastrous year

December 29, 2008
top-10-natural-catastrophes-2008

Hurricanes and cyclones killed nearly 85,000 people this year

More than 220,000 people died in 2008 as a result of natural disasters, making it one of the deadliest and costliest disaster years in history. This was also the 10th warmest year since records began in 1850.

If you won’t listen to me when I tell you to get ready for the coming global climate change cataclysm, will you at least listen to your insurance company?

The world’s second largest insurer, Munich Re, blames climate change for the disasters. They’ve compiled this list of the Top 10 Natural Catastrophes for the year.

With billions of dollars worth of losses on the line, Munich Re is preparing for the cataclysm both within their business and in the global political debate:

“We – as a company – press for effective and binding rules on CO2 emissions, so that climate change is curbed and future generations do not have to live with weather scenarios that are difficult to control.”

They’ll do it for money. Will do it to save your life?