Determine how a hazard and vulnerability analysis is used in the planning process for emergencies. | Online Homework Help

Recognize methods for developing a community profile.
Compare and prioritize hazards in a community.
Determine how a hazard and vulnerability analysis is used in the planning process for emergencies.
Determine and understand the basic features of the National Incident Management System
It should be apparent to you that preparing plans for disaster and emergency management can become rather complex not because it is can be difficult due to number of different plans required.

Some of the key emergency and disaster plans required or mandated by state or Federal laws or regulations are as follows:

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State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan

Comprehensive Emergency Management School Plan

Federal Response Plan

Recovery Plan

Hospital ICS Plan

National Incident Management System (NIMS)

NIMS incorporates the use of the incident command system multi-agency or interagency coordination, mutual aid agreements and mutual aid program, the operational area concept and the operational area satellite information system. This constitutes the basic framework of NIMS.

NIMS provides for the five level emergency response organization, activated is needed, to provide an effective response to multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional emergencies. The five organizational levels in NIMS are:

1. Field

2. Local Government

3. Operational Area

4. Region

5. State

NIMS is a management system. NIMS provides an organizational framework and guidance for operation at each level of the states emergency management system. It provides the "umbrella" under which all response agencies that function in an integrated fashion.

Although this module is concerned primarily with the Incident Command System it should be noted that all disasters and emergencies are managed and coordinated at the Local Government level of management or higher. Ultimately, it is State government that is responsible for disaster relief and response. The federal government provides assistance to state and local governments during declared disasters and emergencies. Usually it is the governor of a state that will request federal assistance.

Besides the Incident Command System, the other basic components of NIMS are the Multi – Agency Coordination System, the Master Mutual Aid Agreement, Use of Operational Areas, and the Operational Area Satellite Information System (OASIS).

Multi-Agency Coordination means the participation of agencies and disciplines involved at any level of the NIMS organization working together in a coordinated effort to facilitate decisions for overall emergency response activities, including the sharing of crucial resources and her prioritization of incidents. Inter-agency Coordination is generally that which takes place among agencies within the jurisdiction. For example, between police fire and public works department’s working together at any emergency operations center.

The Master Mutual Aid Agreement in California was originally signed in 1950. Under this agreement, cities, counties and the State joined together to provide for a comprehensive program of voluntarily providing services, resources and facilities to jurisdictions when local resources proved to be inadequate to cope with a given situation.

Operational Areas: An operational area is one of the five organizational levels in NIMS. An Operational Area consists of a county, and all political subdivisions within the county area. The governing bodies of each county and the political subdivisions in the county may organize and structure their operational area. The county will be the lead agency for the operational area unless another arrangement is established by agreement.

The operational area is used by the county and the political subdivisions within the operational area for the coordination of resources and information, and to serve as a link in the system of communications and coordination between the state’s emergency operations centers and the operation centers of the political subdivisions within the operational area.

Operational Area Satellite Information System (OASIS) is a satellite based communication system with a high frequency radio backup. The system provides the capability to rapidly transfer a wide variety of information reports between agencies. The system is viewed as both a communications network and information dissemination system linking the various organizational levels.

NIMS is an example of how the numerous activities of many agencies from all levels of government can work together to coordinate disaster or emergency activities, develop and forward to the appropriate commander timely and accurate information and resources. Remember, two of the most important factors that must be present in the mists of a disaster or emergency is information and leadership. NIMS based on excellent planning and exercises allows this to happen. YOU must communicate and act!

Hazard and Vulnerability Analysis

Hazard Analysis

Hazard analysis is the first phase of a disaster management program. Because it is often not practical to be prepared for all types of disasters, it is a method for prioritizing and identifying those hazards that present the biggest risk to your community.

These are the steps for hazard analysis:

1. Hazard Identification

Identify what hazards can occur in a community (including cascading emergencies?situations in which one hazard triggers others in cascading manner

Review any existing hazard analysis

Review past disasters

Identify new hazards due to changes in your community (e.g., nuclear power plant, high rise apartments)

Identify if newly recognized hazards are in your community (e.g., newly-discovered earthquake fault, newly-discovered hazardous chemical in chemical waste)

Are there any new mitigation measures that eliminate the hazard?
Monitor activities in your community so that hazard identification is current

2. Profile each hazard.

How often does this hazard occur in the community?

What is the potential magnitude of the hazard?

Where is it likely to occur?

How large of an area is it likely to affect?

How long is it likely to last?

What time of the year is it more likely to occur?

Does a warning system exist? How much warning time is there?

Keep hazard profile updated.

Vulnerability Analysis

A hazard may not have the same impact on every population. For example, a flood in a business district would probably involve much more economic loss than a flood in a rural area.

In a vulnerability analysis, the objective is to identify who or what will be affected and how badly. The key considerations are HUMAN LOSS (i.e., deaths and injuries) and ECONOMIC LOSS.

These are the steps for vulnerability analysis:

1. Profile sectors of the community

Geographical features that relate to disaster occurrence or response (e.g., fault lines, coastal areas, natural or urban fire interface)

Land Use and Property (e.g., numbers, types of construction, building codes, facilities where hazardous materials are manufactured or stored)

Infrastructure (e.g., utilities, communication system, major highway transportation routes, and mass transit systems)

Demographics (population size, distribution and concentration of special populations, animal populations)

Response Agencies–locations, facilities, services, and resources

2. Compare and prioritize risk

Risk: the predicted impact that a hazard would have on people, services, specific facilities, and structures in the community.

Review each hazard identified in order of most likely to occur and assess vulnerability of the hazard.

Identify elements of the community that are at risk (e.g., populations, facilities, and equipment). Identify special populations that require special provisions and attention, such as elderly, disabled, and children. Examine existing mitigation (e.g., dam for flood control) and preparedness capabilities (e.g., tornado shelters and drills)

Determine potential damage. What is the overall impact and impact on each sector of the community? What are the consequences in terms of morbidity, mortality, and economic loss?

Assign severity ratings. Below is a severity rating provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):


Multiple deaths

Complete shutdown of facilities for more than 30 days.

More than 50% of property is severely damaged.

Injuries and/or illnesses result in permanent disability

Complete shutdown of critical facilities for at least 2 weeks.

More than 25% of property is severely damaged.

Injuries and/or illnesses do not result in permanent disability

Complete shutdown of critical facilities for more than 1 week.

More than 10% of property is severely damaged.

Injuries and/or illnesses are treatable with first aid.

Minor quality of life lost.

Shutdown of critical facilities and services for 24 hours or less.

Less than10% of property is severely damaged.

Emergency Management Guide For Business & Industry

A step-by-step approach to emergency planning, response and recovery for companies of all sizes. Sponsored by a Public-Private Partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Click Here for the Emergency Management Guide For Business & Industry

Required Reading

Baker, A. (2002). After 9/11, A Question Of Command. New York Times; New York, N.Y.; Oct 9, 2002. Retrieved on August 28, 2007 from Proquest.

Lester, W. and Krejci, D. (2007). Business "Not" as Usual: The National Incident Management System, Federalism, and Leadership. Public Administration Review 67; p. 84. Retrieved on May 23, 2008 from Proquest.

Sherman Block, Susan Keegan Gary. (1997) Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center integrates emergency response technologies.
Corrections Today 59 (2), 106. Retrieved on July 30, 2007 from Proquest.

Required Websites

Department of Homeland Security. National Response Framework (NRF). Retrieved April 17,

2010 from

Department of Homeland Security. National Incident Management System (NIMS). Retrieved on July 30, 2007 from

Santa Clara County, California. Standardized Emergency Management System (SEMS). Introductory Course of Instruction, Student Reference Manual, The Five basic Components of SEMS, Purpose and Scope of the SEMS Law. Retrieved on July 30, 2007 from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Serum Cross-Reactive Antibody Response to a Novel I nfluenza A (H1N1) Virus After Vaccination with Seasonal Influenza Vaccine. Retrieved on May 25, 2009 from

The California Station Fire. Retrieved on November 22, 2009 from

For this assignment, identify the types of emergencies and disasters that your Emergency Response Plan (ERP) will cover for your community that you identified in Module 1 SLP. p;nbsp;

t;p>Conduct a hazard and vulnerability analysis for the disasters or emergencies identified in Question 12, above. Begin with the disaster or emergency that you believe poses the greatest threat to your specific subject for the SLP.

a. Complete the following table by identifying hazards as described in the Hazard Analysis section in the Module 2 Home page.


Hazard Magnitude Frequency Seasonal Pattern Duration Speed of Onset Priority

b. How vulnerable is your population to each of the hazards? Describe the potential impact in terms of property damage, cost, loss of critical services and infrastructure, displacement, morbidity and mortality. Assign severity ratings using the scale described in the reading. Refer to the section on vulnerability analysis.

What are the strengths and weaknesses in your hazard and vulnerability analysis for your ERP? How can this aspect of the plan be improved?

Cite references used.


MAGNITUDE: Indicate the potential magnitude for each hazard using the following scale: Catastrophic (More than 50%), Critical (25-50%), Limited (10-25%), Negligible (Less than 10%).

FREQUENCY: Indicate the frequency of occurrence for each hazard using the following scale: Highly Likely (Likely to occur in the next year), Likely (Likely to occur in the next 10 years), Possible (Likely to occur in the next 100 years), Unlikely (Less than 1% chance of occurring in the next 100 years).

SEASONAL PATTERN: Is there a seasonal pattern for any of the possible hazard? Describe.

DURATION: What is the probable duration of each hazard?

SPEED OF ONSET: What is the potential speed of onset for each hazard using the following scale: Minimal (No warning time), 6-12 hours warning, 12-24 hours warning, More than 24 hours warning.

PRIORITY: Prioritize hazards based on frequency of occurrence, magnitude, speed of onset, and community impact.

A clearly justified and presented hazard and vulnerability analysis should be provided. Integration of the myriad, complex issues impacting such an analysis is required. Cite all references accessed including any peer-reviewed articles.

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