Community risk assessment | Natural Hazards Research Australia

Community risk assessment

Project type

Core research

Project status

In progress

This project seeks to address the first phase of a wider two-year project that will scope out, develop and evaluate a new process for a multi-hazard, community-based risk assessment. 

Project details

Conducting a risk assessment is a fundamental first step in emergency management planning. While significant advancements have taken place to forecast and map hazard exposure, combining this with meaningful vulnerability data that is localised and up to date remains a significant challenge.

Phase one (this project) will review current risk assessment processes, challenges and needs across the emergency services sector, including insights from other relevant sectors such as defence. The outcomes from phase one will be utilised for the development of a new multi-hazard risk assessment process for the New South Wales State Emergency Service (phase two).

The objective of this project is to improve the understanding of risk assessment by better consideration of both social and physical factors driving vulnerability to disasters in local communities. Researchers are working to understand the practices within the New South Wales State Emergency Service, before evaluating current literature on community risk assessment approaches.

Researchers will then map and compare community risk assessment practices globally. Finally, this project will present options for developing community risk assessment systems— with a special focus on dynamic and localised community vulnerability, capability, and capacity data. 

The main outcome of the project is an improved knowledge base of community risk assessment approaches, enhanced by explicit consideration of social and physical dimensions of local community vulnerabilities to disasters.