Hazards and disasters - risk assessment and response


1. Characteristics of hazards
Explain the characteristics and spatial distribution of the following hazards.
Distinguish between the chosen hazards in terms of their spatial extent, predictability, frequency, magnitude, duration, speed of onset and effects.
7 hours
2. Vulnerability
Explain the reasons why people live in hazardous areas.
1 hour
Discuss vulnerability as a function of demographic and socio‑economic factors, and of a community’s preparedness and ability to deal with a hazard event when it occurs.
Explain the reasons for some sectors of a population being more vulnerable than others.
3 hours
3. Risk and risk assessment
Examine the relationships between the degree of risk posed by a hazard and the probability of a hazard event occurring, the predicted losses and a community’s preparedness for it.
Explain the reasons why individuals and communities often underestimate the probability of hazard events occurring.
Discuss the factors that determine an individual’s perception of the risk posed by hazards.
3 hours
Examine the methods used to make estimates (predictions) of the probability (in time and space) of hazard events occurring, and of their potential impact on lives and property.
Discuss these methods by examining case studies relating to two different hazard types.
3 hours
4. Disasters
Distinguish between a hazard event and a disaster. Explain why this distinction is not always completely objective.
4 hours
Describe the methods used to quantify the spatial extent and intensity of disasters.
Explain the causes and impacts of any one disaster resulting from a natural hazard.
Explain the causes and impacts of any one recent human‑induced hazard event or disaster.
Examine the ways in which the intensity and impacts of disasters vary in space and have changed over time.
5. Adjustments and responses to hazards and disasters
Discuss the usefulness of assessing risk before deciding the strategies of adjustment and response to a hazard.
Describe attempts that have been made to reduce vulnerability by spreading the risk (aid, insurance) and by land-use planning (zoning).
4 hours
Describe strategies designed to limit the damage from potential hazard events and disasters.
Describe the range of responses, at the community, national and international levels, during and after a hazard event or disaster.
Distinguish between rescue, rehabilitation and reconstruction responses.
Explain how these responses are affected by individual and community perceptions.
Examine the factors that affected the choice of adjustments before, and responses to, actual hazard events or disasters.
Discuss the importance of re‑assessing risk, and re‑examining vulnerability, following any major hazard event or disaster.
5 hours