Threat Analysis

The first step of emergency planning is to develop a list of threats the community may face. This list is usually based on historical data about past events. Information about recent events is relatively easy to gather, while information about older events may be more difficult to find. Threats can be:

  • Adversarial or Human-Caused. Human-caused threats arise from deliberate, intentional human actions to threaten or harm the well-being of others. Human-caused threats may include:
    • Bombings
    • Civil disturbances
    • Hijackings
    • Hostage situations
    • Kidnappings
    • Sabotage
    • Terrorist acts
    • Etc.
  • Natural. Natural threats tend to occur repeatedly in the same geographical locations because they are related to weather patterns and/or physical characteristics of an area. Examples include:
    • Drought
    • Epidemics
    • Fire
    • Severe weather
    • Typhoons
    • Etc. 
  • Technological. Technological threats originate from technological or industrial accidents, infrastructure failures, or certain human activities. Technological threats may include:
    • Bridge collapses
    • Cyber/database failures
    • Dam failures
    • Power failures
    • Radiological or hazardous material releases
    • Transportation accidents
    • Urban fires
    • Etc.

Other Potential Threats

Some possible changes within or near the community that could cause threat analysis information to change over time include: 

  • Climatic changes
  • Local development activities
  • New mitigation measures (such as stronger building codes, addition of roof or foundation braces)
  • The opening or closing of facilities or structures that pose potential secondary hazards (such as hazardous materials facilities and transport routes)
  • Terrorist threats

Long-Term Changes

There may be other long-term changes to investigate as well. These changes, such as climatic changes in average temperature or rainfall/snowfall amounts, are harder to track but could be very important to the hazard analysis.