Description Assignment Overview – The risk assessment provides the foundation and rationale for many of the activities that emergency managers carry out during the mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery processes. For this assignment, you will gain hands-on experience conducting a short risk assessment for a local jurisdiction. As part of this assignment, students will select any county in the United States and will conduct a risk assessment on one hazard prevalent in that county. The structure of this risk assessment will closely follow the requirements outlined in CFR 44 §201.6(c)(2), although some modifications will be made. Assignment Steps 1. Select a county and hazard to assess (Sangamon County, Illinois, United States) 2. Conduct a Risk Assessment that adheres to the structure and requirements described below. 3. Description of the Hazard : For this section, you will include a description of the type, location, and extent of the natural hazard affecting the jurisdiction. Specifically: a. Type- Introduce the hazard. What is the hazard? Provide a definition and description of the hazard. Be sure to include information about why it occurs and when it occurs. 4. Location – Describe the geographic area within your county that is affected by the hazard. There are several ways to do this. Along with a description of the location, you can provide a map illustrating the location of the hazard (e.g. flood zone, earthquake faults and liquification zones, wildfire risk areas, storm surge inundation zones, etc.) In some cases, there may not be a geographic- specific location (e.g. tornadoes). In these cases, explain why the entire planning area may be equally at risk to a particular hazard. c. Extent- What is the strength and magnitude of the hazard? Here you will describe how this hazard is measured (Saffir-Simpson, Enhanced Fujita, MMI, Flood Zone designation etc.) Include information about the duration and speed of onset of the hazard. Note the extent to which your county is at risk to the hazard. For example, if the county has a seismic risk, what is the range of earthquake magnitude they can experience? If you are looking at hurricane risk for a coastal community, what category of hurricanes poses risks to this county? 5. Hazard History and Frequency: For this section you will describe the previous occurrences of the hazard in your selected county. You will also describe the probability of future hazard events. a. Hazard history – This section will include a history of the previous hazard events. Here you want to (1) provide a summary of previous occurrences (e.g. how many tornadoes, floods, etc. have occurred in your county), (2) provide a short narrative of major events that have impacted the county (e.g. events that caused significant damage) (3) provide a summary of recent occurrences (within the last 5 years) and (4) describe if there were any disaster declarations as a result of the hazard being profiled. Always note any Presidential Disaster Declarations. In addition, please include a table of all previous occurrences you were able to find at the end of your report. If this is more than one page, please just provide the first page of results. This can be printed from the NCDC, SHELDUS, or site that you used to collect the data. 6. Disaster Probability – For this section you will provide a description of the likelihood of the hazard occurring in your community. This can be a statistical calculation (e.g. % chance of a tornado in X County in any given year) or a general description (e.g. highly likely, likely, etc.). You can also note the recurrence interval (a tornado impacts Denton County once every “x” years.) 7. Hazard Impacts. This section will provide a summary of the hazard’s potential impacts on the community as well as include a description of the community’s vulnerability to the hazard. a. Describe how much of the population is at risk. Does this hazard pose any threats to special needs populations? b. What structures are at risk? c. Are any critical facilities at risk (e.g. water treatment plan, nuclear power plant, etc.) d. What are the community’s greatest vulnerabilities? 8. References/Bibliography. For this final section, you need to include references for all sources consulted during this assignment in proper APA reference format Format: All submitted materials need to be in APA format. The expected page length of this assignment should be approximately 6-8 pages (not including the title page and references and hazard history table). This number may increase depending on the number of tables, figures, and pictures included. Please feel free to include pictures, maps, graphs, and tables. Be sure to include proper in-text citations!! Data Sources: These are many sites that provide good data for risk analyses. Several sites more frequently used to collect hazard data include the following: 1. SHELDUS (Spatial Hazards Events and Losses Database for the US) http://webra.cas.sc.edu/hvri/products/sheldus.aspx (Links to an external site.) 2. National Climate Data Center – Storm Events Database http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/stormevents/ (Links to an external site.) 3. Data.gov – information about Presidential Disaster Declarations (you must do a search) Other good sources include the USGS, National Weather Service, National Fire Information Council (NFIC), the Tornado History Project, and FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program website. You can also check out the community’s home page, news paper articles, etc. to gather info about the hazard history. You will also have to consult additional sources for more information about community characteristics, structures, population, etc.). Use of current or previous risk assessments is prohibited. Students my not use a pre-existing risk assessment to gather the information for their assignment (it is pretty easy to check). The purpose of the assignment is to learn how to use data and gain practice applying the basic research skills you will need to demonstrate when in the field. Merely paraphrasing someone else’s risk assessment is not going to cut it and you will get a zero on the assignment if you do this. PreviousNext
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