Disasters are extremely destructive events which this scale measures logarithmically from the disaster rating of zero, where a single person is killed, to the worst imaginable disaster conceivable of fourteen where everyone is killed. It is a template for scaling human worldwide disasters with some suggestions of the causes, methods for coping with them, and a guide to some possible preventative measures. This post is based on the Probaway – Disaster Scale site where it is charted out in descriptive columns. Click here for a nice printable PDF chart.

This scale uses the identity tag of DISS~ which stands for Disaster Scale tilde to give it an easily recognized nomenclature. There are other identifying items on the chart such as a scalable graphic symbol, a common group and action term, a unique standard name, and descriptive columns. This blog gives a condensed outline of the scale.

The Probaway – Disaster Scale

DISS~0 ~a single person is killed which causes ten to become desperate. Individuals have easy access to personal weapons such as guns, explosives, matches, and it is easy to justify violent acts. Perpetrator has reduced stress relative to victim, but more overall stress because of fewer limits on violence. Archduke Ferdinand.

DISS~1 ~about 10 deaths, and ten times as many desperate people. Individuals, and personal acquaintances have discord with similar individuals, and groups and seek power. Perpetrators, and cohorts have reduced stress, and increased respect, but at the risk of legal, and extralegal revenge. Jack the Ripper; Chicago Haymarket Riot;

DISS~2 ~100 deaths (1×10²) and 1000 (1×10³) desperate. Group has legal protections for behavior which exploit others, and put them at excess risk. Exploiters have increased power, and wealth, and have suppressed most dissent with legal and extralegal methods. Garment workers fire; Mountain Meadows Massacre;

DISS~3 ~1,000 deaths (1×10³), and 10,000 desperate. Group has legal protections which are not sufficient so they exploit extralegal methods within the system. Well financed extralegals have both legal, and extralegal power, and respect, but at the risk of powerful forces attacking. Titanic; Hurricane Katrina; World Trade center;

DISS~4 ~10,000 deaths, 100,000 desperate. Infrastructure is in ill
repair so the common people are exposed to grave risks, but they have no recourse. Large areas are destroyed, and many people die but afterwords recovery is possible, and fairly quick. Caribbean Hurricanes 1780; Bangladesh cyclone 1970; Dresden 1945;

DISS~5 ~ 100,000 deaths, 1million desperate. Large countries with big
economies permit the creation of armadas of potent weapons, and of atomic bombs since 1940. Many cities, and sections of societies have been partially destroyed, but as they are embedded in a larger system they are rebuilt. Sumatra Tsunami 2004; Hiroshima-Nagasaki; American Civil War;

DISS~6 ~1 million deaths, 10 million desperate. Technology permits many small countries with modest economies to make atomic bombs, and bio weapons ~ 1990. Whole sections of countries have been destroyed, but as they are embedded in a larger system they are slowly rebuilt. Jewish Holocaust; World War I; Yellow River Floods;

DISS~7 ~10 million deaths, 100 million desperate. Advanced technology permits small groups with moderate money to make atomic bombs, and bioweapons ~ 2010. Large areas of prime economy mostly destroyed; delivery of basic materials becomes difficult for a few years. Influenza 1918; World War II; Cultural Revolution;

DISS~8 ~100 million deaths, 1 billion desperate. Large countries with big
economies permit the creation of tritium bombs, and targeted invisible weapons ~ 1990. Vast areas of prime economy destroyed; delivery of resource materials to some places is difficult for many years. Mongol invasions; Thirty Years War;

DISS~9 ~1 billion dead ~6 billion desperate survivors. High technology permits the development of tritium bombs, and targeted bio weapons by groups, and individuals. Vast areas of prime property totally destroyed; delivery of food materials becomes hard; recovery takes over 20 years. Black Death of 1346; Smallpox;

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DISS~10 ~100 million survivors. High technology permits the use of weapons which although made earlier in better times are still available. Most sections of good property are gone, and even the delivery of survival materials becomes only locally possible. War kills everyone in entire areas leaving only remote patches of survivors mostly in the Southern Hemisphere.

DISS~11 ~1,000,000 survivors. Weapons although made earlier are still available, and are used for extorting what little remains from others. Hi tech communication is still possible, and many highways are still usable, but power for transportation is very costly. Both American continents natives nearly exterminated, 1492AD+; and 8000BC+.

DISS~12 ~10,000 survivors. Most of preexisting hi-tech is no longer available, and worldwide the environment itself is very dangerous. Hi tech communication has ended because parts are gone, and no way to make new ones; knowledge base dissolves away. Eruption of Mt Toba in Sumatra -73Kiloyear, kills all but ~6,000 humans.

DISS~13 ~100 survivors. There is no access to the creation of previous materials, and little remains to be found for survival. Hi tech communication has ended, and no one left to trade with, and the knowledge base is limited to personal word of mouth. Chicxulub -65Megayear, kills nearly all life not located in a protected locations.

DISS~14 ~1 survivor. Too few humans remain to maintain genetic viability
of the intelligent species homo sapiens. Homo sapiens, the wise men, have exterminated themselves, and almost all multi-cellular life. Wait for 500 Megayears before similar intelligent life to reemerge. All life not isolated from the surface in hundred year shelters is dead. The Final Doomsday.