For a recent job assignment I was driving from Copper Mountain, Colorado to Denver, Colorado to catch a flight to the Pacific Northwest. As I prepared to leave, with a significant amount of spare time to make this important flight, I checked the internet for road conditions. Disaster --there was an avalanche which had closed the major interstate for miles along the Eisenhower Tunnel. I waited until the avalanche was cleared and arrived at my departure gate at 6:36 p.m. for the flight that left at 6:35 p.m. Instead of arriving before 9:00 that evening I got in after 1:00 a.m. the next morning with triple the flight cost after penalties.

During my drive there were multiple evidences of vehicles before me that had run into trouble along the way. And, of course, while I was on the road there were a few fellow drivers taking some chances in an effort to gain a few car lengths. This, undoubtedly, put them and those around them at increased risk.

As I resisted the urge to join them I began to think about personal disasters, or avalanches, which occur to those who take unnecessary risks. These personal impending, but not recognized, avalanches have many different kinds of hidden causes: fatigue, reckless driving, substance issues, taking short cuts that could lead to injury, over estimating personal capabilities, etc. I’m sure you can add a few of your own too.

In the end, we have become complacent with all of these at risk issues and we now perform them as a matter of course. Or you might say it is our own personal safety culture, what we do that puts us at risk without our even thinking of it. The message became clear to me; there are things I, and others, do that become an ever growing probability of disaster. We remain blind to those disasters until our potential personal avalanche collapses over us. It caused me to reflect and start to change my actions on a number of personal avalanches I should have addressed long ago. How about you and your potential avalanches that you may subconsciously be aware of in your life?