Steps to Conduct a Risk Assessment


The figure above shows the four recommended steps for conducting a risk assessment. The desired outcomes of these steps are 1) an evaluation of each hazard’s potential impacts on the people, economy, and built and natural environments in the planning area and 2) an understanding of each community’s overall vulnerability and most significant risks. These potential impacts and the overall vulnerability can be used to create problem statements and identify mitigation actions to reduce risk.

For multi-jurisdictional planning efforts, the risk assessment must result in an evaluation of potential impacts and overall vulnerability that each participating jurisdiction will use to development specific mitigation actions. Assets, vulnerabilities, and overall risk are unique to each community and must be addressed in a multi-jurisdictional plan. Although hazards may be described for the entire planning area, the plan also must explain any hazards that are unique or varied within communities.

A mitigation plan update focuses on how risk has changed since the previous plan was completed, particularly changes related to land use development and new hazard information. New development in hazard-prone areas, areas affected by recent disasters, and new data and reports are examples of information that should be incorporated into the plan to analyze the current risk and update problem statements.

Because the best available data is constantly changing, this website does not include a comprehensive list of resources. The local community is the best source for specific information on community assets and past impacts. Your State Hazard Mitigation Officer and the State Hazard Mitigation Plan are also key resources for best available hazard data and risk assessment information.