A Risk Assessment identifies risks posed by a hazard and the corresponding impacts to the community.

This process involves five steps: identify hazards, profile hazards, inventory critical assets, assess risks, and assess vulnerability of future development. The potential impact of hazards associated with the District’s location and varying terrain make the environment and population vulnerable to a spectrum of natural disaster situations. Any disaster scenario can only be assessed through careful planning and collaboration between public agencies, private sector organizations, and city residents, to make it possible to minimize loss.

Hazard Identification

This assessment includes review of technical documents and informal discussions concerning the historical evidence or likelihood of natural, technological or human-caused hazards. The goal of the hazard identification process is to identify hazards with the potential to cause significant damage to a community.

Profiling Hazards

This process describes the causes and characteristics of each hazard and what part of the community's facilities, infrastructure, and environment may be vulnerable to each specific hazard.

Inventory Critical Assets

This is a combination of hazard identification with an inventory of the existing/planned property developments and population exposed to a hazard. Critical facilities are of particular concern because these locations provide essential equipment or provide services to the general public that are necessary to preserve important public safety, emergency response, and/or disaster recovery functions.

Assess Risks

Estimating potential losses involves assessing the damage, injuries, and financial costs likely to be sustained in a geographic area over a given period of time. This level of analysis involves using mathematical models. The two measurable components of risk analysis are magnitude of the harm that may result and the likelihood of the harm occurring. Describing vulnerability in terms of dollar losses provides the community and the state with a common framework in which to measure the effects of hazards on assets. HAZUS damage estimating software was developed by FEMA and is particularly helpful in assisting a community with risk estimations.

Assess Vulnerability of Future Development

Combining the results of the hazard identification and hazard profile, assess vulnerability of future planned development. The best source of data for this assessment is the community’s General Plan or other policy document that identifies future land development and construction of facilities and critical infrastructure.

HAZUS Reports and Maps

Hazards US (HAZUS) was developed by FEMA to analyze potential losses. More recently, Hazards US Multi-Hazard (HAZUS-MH) is a powerful risk assessment software program for analyzing potential losses from floods, hurricane winds and earthquakes. In HAZUS-MH, current scientific and engineering knowledge is coupled with the latest geographic information systems (GIS) technology to produce estimates of hazard-related damage before, or after a disaster occurs.