The consequences of managing risks is often ignored, says Carole Edrich.

Since 9/11, many people have developed a very unbalanced idea of the risks and threats to which they are most exposed.

While one could say that the media has acted relatively responsibly with regards to new threats, all those who write are faced with the same stark choices as are faced by public and private sector emergency planners.

It is, therefore, not surprising that major landmark sites, popular buildings and major transport hubs such as airports are considered potential terrorist targets.

The largest common sources of risks, such as automobile and household accidents, have been relegated to a barely considered level.

In fact, whatever the expected disaster - natural, man-made or a combination of both - many miss the point completely.

In an increasingly interconnected world, it's not always going to be the disasters or emergencies themselves that are the biggest problem.

Everything is interrelated in ways that we are just starting to understand, but can't yet begin to model effectively.

Even now, when risk and governance are no longer simply the province of risk managers, people still confuse impact and consequence. People often consider, and try to manage or mitigate, the impact of a small, easily-contained aspect of what they can see, without considering the effects this may have.

It doesn't take much imagination to foresee an event or set of events that will have disastrous consequences, because each entity impacted reacts by managing its own risks without considering the bigger, global picture.

It seems that we're going to have to learn to manage the threat of terror attacks, war, data theft, extreme weather and other natural disasters for the foreseeable future.

So let's start thinking more about the repercussions of our risk management activities on a global basis - before it's too late.