The first step in planning for an emergency is to understand what you are planning for. Emergencies can result from a variety of hazards. Some are natural events, some are technological breakdowns and others can be human-made. Here is a list of such emergency hazards you should take into consideration when planning.
|Extreme Heat||Building/Structural Collapse||Civil Disorders|
|Extreme Cold||Critical Infrastructure Failures||Sabotage|
|Fog||Dam Failures||Special Events|
|Hailstorms||Energy Emergencies (Supply)||Terrorism|
|Ice/sleet Storms||Hazardous Materials (Fixed)|
|Lightening Storms||Hazardous Materials (Transport)|
|Snowstorms and Blizzards||Mine Emergencies|
|Tornadoes||Nuclear Facilities Emergencies|
|Windstorms||Oil, Natural Gas Emergencies|
|Forest Fires||Radiological Emergencies|
|Drinking Water Quality|
|Human Health Emergencies|
Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
Understandably, not all hazards identified above have the same potential to affect you and/or your organization. Those in Emergency Management will often plan for emergencies that pose a higher level of risk to their organization. In order to determine this level of risk, Emergency Management professionals will conduct a Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA). This process takes into account the frequency of past hazards, the potential consequences of such hazards and should also consider the organization’s vulnerabilities. Some HIRAs have also evolved to account for changing risk due to mitigation efforts (e.g. better infrastructure) and climate change (i.e. increase in severe weather events). At an individual level, understanding the potential hazards in your area (e.g. is your area prone to flooding) and your vulnerabilities to them (e.g. does your household have an emergency kit?) is a great first step towards personal emergency planning.
To conduct a formal Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment at the organizational level click here.