All-hazard approach

From Securipedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

An all-hazard approach is the inclusion of all possible threat types in a threat or risk assessment.


A threat or risk assessment may focus on specific types of threats, such as terrorism, or work safety. An assessment follows the all hazards approach if it aims to include all types of threat, irrespective of its origination, and generate a balanced overview. Threat types that are generally considered to be included to an all-hazard approach, include:

  • Natural threats, such as fire, flooding, earthquakes or lightning;
  • Organisational threats, such as faults in the chain of command, communication structures or lack of supervision;
  • Technical threats such as metal fatigue, excessive corrosion or production errors;
  • Human threats, distinguisable in:
    • Intentional human threats, including a large part of what consitutes crime, such as theft, sabotage and terrorism;
    • Accidental human threats, such as human oversight, misinterpretation, distractedness or accidents resulting from bodily mishap (such as a driver suffering a heart attack).


The all-hazard approach began in the field of disaster and emergency management and then spread to critical infrastructure protection. It has gained ground on an international scale (e.g. [1], DHS, AHC, ICSM, see also GAO 2005[1], Commonwealth Australia 2009[2], Bullock et al. 2009[3]). Together with the comprehensive approach in security policies, and European and national security research, the all-hazard approach is advancing to meet current and future threats. This development is fuelled by the need to optimize the integration of information, assessment, policies, capacities and capabilities.

All-hazard approach in the EU

The EU follows an all-hazard approach in the European Program for Critical Infrastructure Protection (EPCIP), and is aiming to using knowledge management principles and collecting a repertory of political, technological and other solutions. However, due to lack of common risk assessment standards, threats often remain underestimated.

In its communication on the EU Internal Security Strategy, the European Commission[4] calls for uniform risk analyses based on standardized criteria to establish a Common Risk Management Framework (CRMF), also including risk information and risk-based controls. Based on the Security Strategy[5] and the Communications on the Prevention of Natural and Man-made Disasters[6], the EC developed Risk Assessment und Mapping Guidelines for Disaster Management[7]. These guidelines are aimed to support Member States in their efforts and contributions to a European Risk Atlas and to serve as a further basis for an coherent all-hazard risk policy intended to be established by 2014.

Relevance for urban planning

A complete all-hazard plan for urban planning requires input from an all-hazard team (experts and all stakeholders) and includes exhaustive information for all risks and events. Following the EU's Risk Assessment and Mapping Guidelines, the EU's all-hazard approach to critical infrastructure protection could drive legislative change that is relevant for urban planning. The process towards a European Risk Atlas could help urban planners identify new or so far insufficiently assessed criticalities in their planning decisions and in urban infrastructure. This could help to anticipate thereats, and appropriate measures to increase resilience of infrastructure. An example of the latter is by methods of environmental design.

Footnotes and references

  1. GAO (2005): HOMELAND SECURITY. DHS’ Efforts to Enhance First Responders’ All-Hazards Capabilities. Continue to Evolve. Report to the Chairman and Ranking Democratic Member, Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives. GAO-05-652 United States Government Accountability Office. Retrieved from: [2012-07-11].
  2. Commonwealth of Australia (2009): Australian Emergency Management Arrangements. Published by The Attorney-General’s Department. ISBN 978-1-921152-15-3.Retrieved from: [2012-07-11].
  3. Bullock Jane, Haddow George, Coppola Damon P., Yeletaysi Sarp (2009): Introduction to Homeland Security: Principles of All-Hazards Response. 3rd Ed. Burlington: Elsevier. ISBN: 978-1856175098
  4. European Commission (2010): COM(2010) 673 final. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council. The EU Internal Security Strategy in Action: Five steps towards a more secure Europe: 8-11 Retrieved from: [2013-08-14].
  5. Ibid.
  6. Commission of the European Communities (2009): COM(2009)82 final. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. A Community approach on the prevention of natural and man-made disasters. {SEC(2009)202} {SEC(2009)203}. Retrieved from: [ 2011-08-09].
  7. European Commission (2010): SEC(2010) 1626 final. Commission Staff Working Paper. Risk Assessment and Mapping Guidelines for Disaster Management. Retrieved from: [2011-08-09].