Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A personal family all hazard analysis

Here is an example of a personal family hazard analysis being used to prepare for potential disasters that I prepared for my household. Hazards are ranked with #1 as the highest priority, based on probability, impact, and potential mitigation. Note that personal emergencies like disability are not included, although you may wish to include them in yours. You will want to come up with your own list, based on your own circumstances. Extended infrastructure failure is at the top for us because, despite a fairly low probability, the impact would be critical and I currently have limited capabilities to mitigate the impact. Mitigation steps are described below (you will want to decide on what mitigation steps work for you - for instance, if you have a generator and fuel)

1. EXTENDED INFRASTRUCTURE FAILURE (> 5 days): 15% probability; CRITICAL impact. No heat, cooling, water, communications, food supply, shopping, banking, police, fire or healthcare; civil breakdown; chemical & biological release risks. Risks: dehydration; starvation; hypothermia; heat exhaustion; illness; civil breakdown threats. Mitigation: CAMPING, GAS TANK, ALT-ACCOM, EMT

2. PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY: 15% probability; CRITICAL impact. Biological or chemical release from University or epidemic; civil breakdown, death or disability of family members, limited public services. Risks: disability or death through illness, breakdown in food supply, shopping, banking, public service provision. Mitigation: EMT, CASH, FOOD, ALT-ACCOM, GAS, CAMPING

3. EXTREME WEATHER: 80% probability; LOW impact. Extreme hot or cold; major snow or ice storms; drought. Risks: power outages due to heat. Mitigation: ALT-ACCOM, GAS, CAMPING, POWER, FOOD, CASH

4. EARTHQUAKE: 15% probability; HIGH impact. Widespread property damage; local infrastructure failure; public services overwhelmed. Risks: Physical injury with no healthcare; fire & gas explosion. Mitigation: EMT, ALT-ACCOM, GAS, CAMPING, POWER, FOOD, CASH

5. STRUCTURE FIRE: 15% probability; HIGH impact. House fire damages most of our possessions. Mitigation: SECURE-DOCS

6. SEVERE TORNADO/WIND DAMAGE: 30% probability; MODERATE impact. House damage; no power, heat or light; other damage in local area; public services overwhelmed. Mitigation: EMT, CASH, FOOD, CAMPING, GAS TANK, POWER

7. SHORT INFRASTRUCTURE FAILURE (1-5 days): 40% probability; LOW impact. No heat, cooling, phone, internet; shopping and banking activities limited; limited public services. Risks: hypothermia; heat exhaustion; lack of food, water, entertainment. Mitigation: FOOD, CASH, POWER, EMT, ALT-ACCOM, GAS, CAMPING

Mitigation Steps

EMT - trained as EMT-Basic with Basic Life Support kit
CASH - Keep $300 on hand
FOOD - Rolling food & drink buffer with about 3 weeks supply, plus 12 gallons of water
CAMPING - Camping equipment including tent, sleeping bags, and propane stove/heaters on hand for emergency accommodation away from hazard area and cooking/heating in house. Use carbon monoxide detector in each room with window open a crak. Have 10 extra propane tanks
GAS TANK - >50% tank of gas to travel minimum 200 miles (10 gallons) to escape hazard, plus keep lawnmower gas tank full for extra fuel.
POWER - battery backups and battery/inverter combinations for short term power to electrical devices
ALT-ACCOM - alternative accommodation with relatives, etc., both in local area and >100 miles away
SECURE-DOCS - documents in fire safe or bank


  1. I've posted your comment on Mitigation Journal, thank you. It seems we have a simmilar theme on our blog...I'd like to discuss a few topics with you. If your interested, give me a call 585-672-7844 or email. You may be interested in the Mitigaiton Journal Podcast as well...

  2. Rick, great thanks yes. I'll send an email. Mitigation Journal is great!