The planning team will conduct a risk assessment to determine the potential impacts of hazards to the people, economy, and built and natural environments of the community. The risk assessment provides the foundation for the rest of the mitigation planning process, which is focused on identifying and prioritizing actions to reduce risk to hazards. In addition, the risk assessment also can be used to establish emergency preparedness and response priorities, inform land use and comprehensive planning, and facilitate decision making by elected officials, city and county departments, businesses, and organizations in the community.

Task 5 presents a framework for conducting a local risk assessment. Many approaches to developing a risk assessment are possible, depending on available data, technology, and resources. Local risk assessments do not require sophisticated technology, but should be accurate, current and relevant. Some communities may choose to address a broader range of threats and hazards, or tie their hazard identification and risk assessment to other planning initiatives.

In our evaluation of 175 hazard mitigation plans, we identified the following best practices:

Task 5 Requirements

Element B1

The risk assessment shall include a description of the type, location and extent of all natural hazards that can affect the jurisdiction.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(2)(i)

Element B2

The risk assessment shall include information on previous occurrences of hazard events and on the probability of future hazard events.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(2)(i)

Element B3

The risk assessment shall include an overall summary of each hazard and its impact on the community.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(2)(ii)

Element B4

All plans must address NFIP insured structures that have been repetitively damaged by floods.

44 CFR §201.6(c)(2)(ii)

Element D1

A local jurisdiction must review and revise its plan to reflect changes in development.

44 CFR §201.6(d)(3)