I would like you to answer these two questions which are :

1. Describe how the HVA is used in disaster planning.

150 WORDS 

for question two Please read the Docx file to answer the questions

2. Develop a HVA utilizing the hazards identified in Week 2 File .Be prepared to discuss the methods and rationale used to develop the HVA.

1-Flash flood hazards

Flash flood in Saudi Arabia becomes one of the most repeated hazards that has occurred in the last few years. It causes several damages on many different location in Saudi such as Riyadh, Makkah, and Jeddah. Poor Infrastructure management is the main reason that increase the risk of flash flood in Saudi.

2- Human-related risks:

As we know, Saudi Arabia has encountered various terrorist attacks that caused lots of damages to society and the country. Identifying this type of hazard is vital to prevent any further attacks.

3-Motor Vehicle Crashes

Car accidents in Saudi Arabia are manifest and dangerous due to the high number of injuries and deaths.

 4-Epidemic/ disease outbreak.

Disease outbreaks happen everywhere around the world. This is important to consider as one of the top hazards that affect Saudi Arabia because of mass gathering from around the world in both Ramadan and Haj seasons.

 5-Dust storms

Dust storm is a serious natural hazard that Saudi cities face in the  central and eastern region every year.  When dust storms lands, it reduces visibility which can cause traffic accidents as well as affecting people suffering from lung diseases.



 Al-Bassam, A. M., Zaidi, F. K., & Hussein, M. T. (2014). Natural hazards in Saudi Arabia. Extreme Natural Events, Disaster Risks and Societal Implications, 243-251.

 Alamri, Y. A. (2010). Emergency management in Saudi Arabia: Past, present and future. Un. Of Christchurch report, New Zealand, 21.

Risk and Vulnerability

Risk is an unavoidable part of life, affecting all people without exception, irrespective of geographic or

socioeconomic limits. Each choice we make as individuals and as a society involves specific, often

unknown, factors of risk, and full risk avoidance generally is impossible.

On the individual level, each person is primarily responsible for managing the risks he faces as he

sees fit. For some risks, management may be obligatory, as with automobile speed limits and seatbelt

usage. For other personal risks, such as those associated with many recreational sports, individuals are

free to decide the degree to which they will reduce their risk exposure, such as wearing a ski helmet or

other protective clothing. Similarly, the risk of disease affects humans as individuals, and as such is

generally managed by individuals. By employing risk reduction techniques for each life hazard, indivi-

duals effectively reduce their vulnerability to those hazard risks.

As a society or a nation, citizens collectively face risks from a range of large-scale hazards.

Although these hazards usually result in fewer total injuries and fatalities over the course of each year

than individually faced hazards, they are considered much more significant because they have the

potential to result in many deaths, injuries, or damages in a single event or series of events. In fact,

some of these hazards are so great that, if they occurred, they would result in such devastation that

the capacity of local response mechanisms would be overwhelmed. This, by definition, is a disaster.

For these large-scale hazards, many of which were identified in Chapter 2, vulnerability is most effec-

tively reduced by disaster management efforts collectively, as a society. For most of these hazards, it is

the government’s responsibility to manage, or at least guide the management of, hazard risk reduction

measures. And when these hazards do result in disaster, it is likewise the responsibility of governments

to respond to them and aid in the following recovery.

This text focuses on the management of international disasters, which are those events that over-

whelm an individual nation or region’s ability to respond, thereby requiring the assistance of the inter-

national body of response agencies. This chapter, therefore, focuses not upon individual, daily risks

and vulnerabilities, but on the risks and vulnerabilities that apply to the large-scale hazards like those

discussed in Chapter 2.

Two Components of Risk
Chapter 1 defined risk as the interaction of a hazard’s consequences with its probability or likelihood.

This is its definition in virtually all documents associated with risk management. Clearly defining the

meaning of “risk” is important, because the term often carries markedly different meanings for



different people (Jardine & Hrudey, 1997). One of the simplest and most common definitions of risk,

preferred by many risk managers, is displayed by the equation stating that risk is the likelihood of an

event occurring multiplied by the consequence of that event, were it to occur: RISK ¼ LIKELIHOOD
� CONSEQUENCE (Ansell & Wharton 1992).


“Likelihood” can be given as a probability or a frequency, whichever is appropriate for the analysis

under consideration. Variants of this definition appear in virtually all risk management documents.

“Frequency” refers to the number of times an event will occur within an established sample size over

a specific period of time. Quite literally, it tells how frequently an event occurs. For instance, the fre-

quency of auto accident deaths in the United States averages around 1 per 81 million miles driven

(Dubner & Levitt, 2006).

In contrast to frequency, “probability” refers to single-event scenarios. Its value is expressed as a

number between 0 and 1, with 0 signifying a zero chance of occurrence and 1 signifying certain occur-

rence. Using the auto accident example, in which the frequency of death is 1 per 81 million miles

driven, we can say that the probability of a random person in the United States dying in a car accident

equals 0.000001 if he was to drive 81 miles.

Disaster managers use this formula for risk to determine the likelihood and the consequences of

each hazard according to a standardized method of measurement. The identified hazard risks thus can

be compared to each other and ranked according to severity. (If risks were analyzed and described

using different methods and/or terms of reference, it would be very difficult to accurately compare

them later in the hazards risk management process.)

This ranking of risks, or “risk evaluation,” allows disaster managers to determine which treat-

ment (mitigation and preparedness) options are the most effective, most appropriate, and provide

the most benefit per unit of cost. Not all risks are equally serious and risk analysis can provide a

clearer idea of these levels of seriousness.

Without exception governments have a limited amount of funds available to manage the risks

they face. While the treatment of one hazard may be less expensive or more easily implemented than

the treatment of another, cost and ease alone may not be valid reasons to choose a treatment option.

Hazards that have great consequences (in terms of lives lost or injured or property damaged or

destroyed) and/or occur with great frequency pose the greatest overall threat. Considering the limited

funds, disaster managers generally should recommend first treating those risks that pose the greatest

threat. Fiscal realities often drive this analytic approach, resulting in situations in which certain

hazards in the community’s overall risk profile are mitigated, while others are not addressed at all.

The goal of risk analysis is to establish a standard and therefore comparable measurement of the

likelihood and consequence of every identified hazard. The many ways by which likelihoods and con-

sequences are determined are divided into two categories of analysis: quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative analysis uses mathematical and/or statistical data to derive numerical descriptions of risk.

Qualitative analysis uses defined terms (words) to describe and categorize the likelihood and conse-

quences of risk. Quantitative analysis gives a specific data point (e.g., dollars, probability, frequency,

or number of injuries/fatalities), while qualitative analysis allows each qualifier to represent a range

of possibilities. It is often cost and time prohibitive, and often not necessary, to find the exact quanti-

tative measures for the likelihood and consequence factors of risk. Qualitative measures, however, are

much easier to determine and require less time, money and, most important, expertise to conduct.

Chapter 3 • Risk and Vulnerability 141

For this reason, it is often the preferred measure of choice. The following section provides a general

explanation of how these two types of measurements apply to the likelihood and consequence compo-

nents of risk.

Quantitative Representation of Likelihood
As previously stated, likelihood can be derived as either a frequency or a probability. A quantitative

system of measurement exists for each. For frequency, this number indicates the number of times a

hazard is expected to result in an actual event over a chosen time frame: 4 times per year, 1 time

per decade, 10 times a month, and so on. Probability measures the same data, but the outcome is

expressed as a measure between 0 and 1, or as a percentage between 0% and 100%, representing

the chance of occurrence. For example, a 50-year flood has a 1/50 chance of occurring in any given

year, or a probability of 2% or 0.02. An event that is expected to occur two times in the next 3 years

has a 0.66 probability each year, or a 66% chance of occurrence.

Qualitative Representation of Likelihood
Likelihood can also be expressed using qualitative measurement, using words to describe the chance of

occurrence. Each word or phrase has a designated range of possibilities attached to it. For instance,

events could be described as follows:

l Certain: >99% chance of occurring in a given year (1 or more occurrences per year)

l Likely: 50–99% chance of occurring in a given year (1 occurrence every 1–2 years)

l Possible: 5–49% chance of occurring in a given year (1 occurrence every 2–20 years)

l Unlikely: 2–5% chance of occurring in a given year (1 occurrence every 20–50 years)

l Rare: 1–2% chance of occurring in a given year (1 occurrence every 50–100 years)

l Extremely rare: <1% chance of occurring in a given year (1 occurrence every 100 or more years)

Note that this is just one of a limitless range of qualitative terms and values that can be used to

describe the likelihood component of risk. As long as all hazards are compared using the same range of

qualitative values, the actual determination of likelihood ranges attached to each term does not neces-

sarily matter (see Exhibit 3–1).


The consequence component of risk describes the effects of the risk on humans, built structures, and

the environment. There are generally three factors examined when determining the consequences of

a disaster:

1. Deaths/fatalities (human)

2. Injuries (human)

3. Damages (cost, reported in currency, generally U.S. dollars for international comparison)

Although attempts have been made to convert all three factors into monetary amounts to derive

a single number to quantify the consequences of a disaster, doing so can be controversial (How can one

place a value on life?) and complex (Is a young life worth more than an old life? By how much?).



In brief, different people fear different hazards, for many different reasons. These differences in per-

ception can be based upon experience with previous instances of disasters, specific characteristics

of the hazard, or many other combinations of reasons. Even the word risk has different meanings

to different people, ranging from “danger” to “adventure.”

Members of assembled disaster management teams are likely to be from different parts of the

country or the world, and all have different perceptions of risk (regardless of whether they are able

to recognize these differences). Such differences can be subtle, but they make a major difference in

the risk analysis process.

Quantitative methods of assessing risk use exact measurements and are therefore not very

susceptible to the effects of risk perception. A 50% likelihood of occurrence is the same to every-

one, regardless of their convictions. Unfortunately, there rarely exists sufficient information to

make definitive calculations of a hazard’s likelihood and consequence.

The exact numeric form of measurement achieved through quantitative measurements is

incomparable. The value of qualitative assessments, however, lies in their ability to accommodate

for an absence of exact figures and in their ease of use.

Unfortunately, risk perception causes different people to view the terms used in qualitative

systems of measurement differently. For this reason, qualitative assessments of risk must be based

upon quantitative ranges of possibilities or clear definitions. For example, imagine a qualitative

system for measuring the consequences of earthquakes in a particular city, in terms of lives lost

and people injured. Now imagine that the disaster management team’s options are “None,”

“Minor,” “Moderate,” “Major,” or “Catastrophic.” One person on the team could consider 10

lives lost as minor. However, another team member considers the same number of fatalities as cat-

astrophic. It depends on the perception of risk that each has developed over time.

This confusion is significantly alleviated when detailed definitions are used to determine the

assignation of consequence measurements for each hazard. Imagine the same scenario, using the

following qualitative system of measurement (adapted from EMA, 2000):

1. None. No injuries or fatalities

2. Minor. Small number of injuries but no fatalities; first aid treatment required

3. Moderate. Medical treatment needed but no fatalities; some hospitalization

4. Major. Extensive injuries; significant hospitalization; fatalities

5. Catastrophic. Large number of severe injuries; extended and large numbers requiring

hospitalization; significant fatalities

This system of qualitative measurement, with defined terms, makes it more likely that people

of different backgrounds or beliefs would choose the same characterization for the same magnitude

of event. Were this system to include ranges of values, such as “1–20 fatalities” for “Major,” and

“over 20 fatalities” for “Catastrophic,” the confusion could be alleviated even more.


Chapter 3 • Risk and Vulnerability 143

Therefore, it is often most appropriate and convenient to maintain a distinction between these three


Categories of consequence can be further divided, and often are to better understand the total

sum of all disaster consequences. Two of the most common distinctions are direct and indirect losses,

and tangible and intangible losses.

Direct losses, as described by Keith Smith in his book Environmental Hazards, are “those

first order consequences which occur immediately after an event, such as the deaths and damage

caused by the throwing down of buildings in an earthquake” (Smith, 1992). Examples of direct

losses are:

l Fatalities

l Injuries (the prediction of injuries is often more valuable than the prediction of fatalities, because

the injured will require a commitment of medical and other resources for treatment [UNDP,


l Cost of repair or replacement of damaged or destroyed public and private structures (buildings,

schools, bridges, roads, etc.)

l Relocation costs/temporary housing

l Loss of business inventory/agriculture

l Loss of income/rental costs

l Community response costs

l Cleanup costs

Indirect losses (also as described by Smith, 1992) may emerge much later and may be much less

easy to attribute directly to the event. Examples of indirect losses include:

l Loss of income

l Input/output losses of businesses

l Reductions in business/personal spending (“ripple effects”)

l Loss of institutional knowledge

l Mental illness

l Bereavement

Tangible losses are those for which a dollar value can be assigned. Generally, only tangible losses

are included in the estimation of future events and the reporting of past events. Examples of tangible

losses include:

l Cost of building repair/replacement

l Response costs

l Loss of inventory

l Loss of income

Intangible losses are those that cannot be expressed in universally accepted financial terms. This

is the primary reason that human fatalities and human injuries are assessed as a separate category from


the cost measurement of consequence in disaster management. These losses are almost never included

in damage assessments or predictions. Examples of intangible losses include:

l Cultural losses

l Stress

l Mental illness

l Sentimental value

l Environmental losses (aesthetic value)

Although it is extremely rare for benefits to be included in the assessment of past disasters or the

prediction of future ones, it is undeniable that they can exist in the aftermath of disaster events. Like

losses, gains can be categorized as direct or indirect, tangible or intangible. Examples of tangible,

intangible, direct, and indirect gains include:

l Decreases in future hazard risk by preventing rebuilding in hazard-prone areas

l New technologies used in reconstruction that result in an increase in quality of services

l Removal of old/unused/hazardous buildings

l Jobs created in reconstruction

l Greater public recognition of hazard risk

l Local/state/federal funds for reconstruction or mitigation

l Environmental benefits (e.g., fertile soil from a volcano)

As with the likelihood component of risk, the consequences of risk can be described according to

quantitative or qualitative reporting methods. Quantitative representations of consequence vary

according to deaths/fatalities, injuries, and damages:

l Deaths/fatalities. The specific number of people who perished in a past event or who would be

expected to perish in a future event; for example, 55 people killed.

l Injuries. The specific number of people who were injured in a past event or who would be

expected to become injured in a future event. Can be expressed just as injuries, or divided into

mild and serious; for example, 530 people injured, 56 seriously.

l Damages. The assessed monetary amount of actual damages incurred in a past event or the

expected amount of damages expected to occur in a future event. Occasionally, this number

includes insured losses as well; for example, $2 billion in damages, $980 million in insured losses.

Qualitative Representation of Consequence
As with the qualitative representation of likelihood, words or phrases can be used to describe the

effects of a past disaster or the anticipated effects of a future one. These measurements can be assigned

to deaths, injuries, or costs (the qualitative measurements of fatalities and injuries often are combined).

The following list is one example of a qualitative measurement system for injuries and deaths:

l Insignificant. No injuries or fatalities

l Minor. Small number of injuries but no fatalities; first aid treatment required

Chapter 3 • Risk and Vulnerability 145

l Moderate. Medical treatment needed but no fatalities; some hospitalization

l Major. Extensive injuries; significant hospitalization; fatalities

l Catastrophic. Large number of fatalities and severe injuries requiring hospitalization

Additional measures of consequence are possible, depending on the depth of analysis. These

additional measures tend to require a great amount of resources, and are often not reported or cannot

be derived from historical information. Examples include:

l Emergency operations. Can be measured as a ratio of responders to victims, examining the

number of people who will be able to participate in disaster response (can include both

official and unofficial responders) as a ratio of the number of people who will require

assistance. This ratio will differ significantly depending on the hazard. For example, following

a single tornado touchdown, there are usually many more responders than victims, but

following a hurricane, there are almost always many more victims than responders. This

measure could include the first responders from the community as well as the responders

from the surrounding communities with which mutual aid agreements have been made.

Emergency operations also can measure the mobilization costs and investment in preparedness

capabilities. It can be difficult to measure the stress and overwork of the first responders and

their inability to carry out regular operations (fire suppression, regular police work, regular

medical work).

l Social disruption (people made homeless/displaced). This can be a difficult measure because,

unlike injuries or fatalities, people do not always report their status to municipal authorities

(injuries and deaths are reported by the hospitals), and baseline figures do not always exist. It is

also difficult to measure how many of those who are injured or displaced have alternative

options for shelter or care. Measuring damage to community morale, social contacts and

cohesion, and psychological distress can be very difficult, if not impossible.

l Disruption to economy. This can be measured in terms of the number of working days lost or the

volume of production lost. The value of lost production is relatively easy to measure, while the

lost opportunities, lost competitiveness, and damage to reputation can be much more difficult.

l Environmental impact. This can be measured in terms of the clean-up costs and the costs to

repair and rehabilitate damaged areas. It is harder to measure in terms of the loss of aesthetics

and public enjoyment, the consequences of a poorer environment, newly introduced health risks,

and the risk of future disasters.

It does not matter what system is used for qualitative analysis, but the same qualitative analysis

system must be used for all hazards analyzed in order to compare risks. It may be necessary for disaster

managers to create a qualitative system of measurement tailored to the country or community where

they are working. Not all countries or communities are the same, and a small impact in one could be

catastrophic to another, so the measurement system should accommodate these differences. For exam-

ple, a town of 500 people would be severely affected by a disaster that caused 10 deaths, while a city

of 5 million may experience that number of deaths just from car accidents in a given week.

Another benefit of creating an individualized system of qualitative analysis is the incorporation

of the alternative measures of consequence (ratio of responders to victims, people made homeless/



Both the likelihood and the consequences of certain hazard risks can change considerably over time.

Some hazards occur more or less frequently because of worldwide changes in climate patterns, while

others change in frequency because of measures taken to prevent them or human movements into their

path. These trends can be incremental or extreme and can occur suddenly or over centuries. Several

short-term trends may even be part of a larger, long-term change.

Changes in Disaster Frequency

Changes in disaster frequency can be the result of both an increase in actual occurrences of a hazard

and an increase in human activity where the hazard already exists. It is important to remember that

a disaster is not the occurrence of a hazard, but the consequences of a hazard occurring. A tornado

hitting an open field, for example, is not considered a disaster.

Changes in climate patterns, plate tectonics, or other natural systems can cause changes in the

frequency of particular natural hazards, regardless of whether the causes of the changes are natural

(El Niño) or man-made (global warming). Changes in frequency for technological or intentional

hazards can be the result of many factors, such as increased or decreased regulation of industry and

increases in international instability (terrorism).

Increases or decreases in human activity also can cause changes in disaster frequency. As popula-

tions move, they inevitably place themselves closer or farther from the range of effects from certain

hazards. For instance, if a community begins to develop industrial facilities within a floodplain that

was previously unoccupied, or in an upstream watershed where the resultant runoff increases flood

hazards downstream, it increases its risk to property from flooding.

Changes in Disaster Consequences

Similar to changes in disaster likelihoods, changes in consequences can be the result of changes in the

attributes of the actual hazard or changes in human activity that place people and structures at either

more or less risk.

Changes in the attributes of the hazard can occur as part of short- or long-term cycles, perma-

nent changes in the natural processes if the hazard is natural, or changes in the nature of the technol-

ogies or tactics in the case of technological and intentional hazards. The consequences of natural

hazards change only rarely independent of human activities. One example is El Niño events, with

intense flooding increasing in some regions of the world and drought affecting others, possibly for

years. Technological and intentional hazards, however, change in terms of the severity of their conse-

quences all the time. The high numbers of deaths and the structural damage associated with the bomb-

ings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and the September 11 attacks on the World Trade

Center and the Pentagon together display an increase in the consequences of terrorist attacks aimed

at Americans. A mutation of a certain viral or bacterial organism, resulting in a more deadly pathogen,

can cause a drastic increase in consequences, as occurred with HIV, the West Nile virus, mad cow

disease, and SARS.

Changes in human activities are probably the most significant cause of increases in the conse-

quences of disasters. These trends, unfortunately, are predominantly increasing. While the effects of

Chapter 3 • Risk and Vulnerability 147

disasters worldwide are great, their consequences are the most devastating in developing countries.

Smith (1992) lists six reasons for these changes:

1. Population growth. As populations rise, the number of people at risk increases. Population

growth can be regional or local, if caused by movements of populations. As urban populations

grow, population density increases, exposing more people to hazards than would have been

affected previously.

2. Land pressure. Many industrial practices cause ecological degradation, which in turn can

lead to an increase in the severity of hazards. Filling in wetlands can cause more severe

floods. Lack of available land can lead people to develop areas that are susceptible to,

for example, landslides, avalanches, floods, and erosion, or that are closer to industrial


3. Economic growth. As more buildings, technology, infrastructure components, and other

structures are built, a community’s vulnerability to hazards increases. More developed

communities with valuable real estate have much more economic risk than communities in

which little development has taken place.

4. Technological innovation. Societies are becoming more dependent on technology. These systems,

however, are susceptible to the effects of natural, technological, and intentional hazards.

Technology ranges from communications (the Internet, cell phones, cable lines, satellites) to

transportation (larger planes, faster trains, larger ships, roads with greater capacity, raised

highways) to utilities (nuclear power plants, large hydroelectric dams) to any number of other

facilities and systems (high-rise buildings, life support systems).

5. Social expectations. With increases in technology and the advancement of science, people’s

expectations for public services, including availability of water, easy long-distance

transportation, constant electrical energy, and so forth, also increase. When these systems do not

function, the economic and social impacts can be immense.

6. Growing interdependence. Individuals, communities, and nations are increasing their

interdependence on each other. The SARS epidemic showed how a pathogen could quickly

impact dozens of countries on opposite sides of the world through international travel. In the

late 1990s, the collapse of many Asian economies sent ripple effects throughout all the world’s

economies. The September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States caused the global tourism

market to slump.

Disaster managers must investigate the validity of the trends they identify. It is common for a

trend to exist that is based on incomplete records. The technology used to detect many hazards has

improved, allowing for detection where it formerly was much more difficult or impossible. Therefore,

the lack of recorded instances of certain disasters could possibly be based on a lack of detection


Computing Likelihood and Consequence Values
Because there is rarely sufficient information to determine the exact statistical likelihood of a disaster

occurring or to determine the exact number of lives and property that would be lost should a disaster

occur, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative measurements can be useful. By combining

these two methods, the hazards risk management team can achieve a standardized measurement of risk


that accommodates less precise measurements of both risk components (likelihood and consequence)

in determining the comparative risk between hazards.

The process of determining the likelihood and consequence of each hazard begins with both

quantitative and qualitative data and converts it all into a qualitative system of measurement that

accommodates all possibilities that hazards present (from the rarest to the most common and from

the least damaging to the most destructive).

Depth of Analysis

The depth of analysis undertaken by disaster managers depends on three factors: the amount of time

and money available, the risk’s seriousness, and the risk’s complexity. According to the information

they gather during the identification and characterization of the hazards, disaster managers must

decide what level of effort and resources each individual hazard requires.

Each hazard analyzed can be considered according to the range of possible intensities it could

exhibit. Depending on its characteristics, the hazard may be broken down according to intensity, with

a separate analysis performed for each possible intensity. The likelihood and …