Preparedness Capabilities and Assessments

Understanding Risk and Vulnerabilities is Critical

It seems so often that we fail to complete a comprehensive community all hazard risk assessment, that includes the nature, vulnerabilities, probability, consequences, and severity. Agencies complain that it is too hard; if they would leverage existing data and institutional knowledge, it is do-able. I have seen it provide an incredibly solid footing to begin designing and implementing mitigation strategies.


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(latest 20 votes)


  1. Comment
    Scott Paltall

    Agencies suffer from the same thing individuals suffer from. It's the "It'll never happen here" attitude that keeps people/agencies from planning for the unexpected.

    The only way I can think to fix this is by requiring Emergency Management training for all high and mid level management positions.

  2. Comment
    Michael St John ( Idea Submitter )

    By doing a comprehensive all hazards risk assessment we are setting ourselves for a defendable capabilites needs assessment and gap analysis. With out the risk assessment a capabilities assessment and gap analysis is just opinion and not based on the demands of risk. Risk should be driving our planning, mitigation, and resource deployment.

  3. Comment
    Michael St John ( Idea Submitter )

    The HIRA process to date has not been granular enough and has not been community specific. It is possible to make the HIRA process a valuable tool, if we choose to get meaningful information that looks at all risk nature, location, consequence, severity, and probability. Most Cities and agencies have this data within their systems, it is just not being used effectively - GIS can really change this for the positive.

  4. Comment
    Tracy Proud

    Comprehensive statewide risk assessments are critical to building effective prepareness capabilites. Assessing the components of risk: threat, vulnerablity and consequence requires an active collaboration between local, state and federal partners. Variables such as vulnerability are very difficult to quantify. A consistent approach across the nation would help to validate the homeland security spending that has taken place to date and serve as a basis for planning future funding so that we are building true risk-based capabilities.

  5. Comment
    Andrew McMahan

    Completely agree, until we start making data driven risk assessments we will continue to be hampred by 'disaster-of-the-hour' planning...Terrorism planning!! no wait Coastal Storm wait Explosie planning...etc.