Hazard Risk Assessment
Risk assessment involves quantification of risk through understanding hazard, vulnerabilities and exposure patterns. This knowledge is essential for development of strategies and measures for reducing the risks.
Risk identification provides the first essential step for development of sound risk management strategies. A fundamental requirement is the availability of historical and real-time, systematic and consistent, observations of hydro-meteorological parameters, complemented with other forecast products providing information on expected patterns of hazards from the next hour to longer time frames. This must be complemented with vulnerability and exposure information, tools and methodologies for hazard analysis, mapping as well as sectoral risk assessment and modeling.
- Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Water and Climate Extremes (1970 – 2009) (forthcoming Q4 2012)
Hazard events are characterized by magnitude, duration, location and timing. Calculating the probability of occurrence of hazard events in terms of these characteristics is the key in understanding fully the hazard component of disaster impacts. These defining characteristics provide a basis for extracting information on hazard frequency and severity from observational datasets. The fundamental requirement is the availability of, and access to, high quality historical meteorological and hydrological data that is provided by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS). This requires:
- Ongoing, systematic and consistent observations of hazard-relevant hydro-meteorological parameters;
- Quality assurance and proper archiving of the data into temporally and geographically referenced, and consistently catalogued, observational datasets; and
- Ensuring that the data can be located and retrieved by users
In the 2006 WMO Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Capacity Assessment of NMHS in Support of Disaster Risk Reduction indicated the need for strengthening their observing networks, capacity for maintenance of standard hazard databases and metadata, maintenance of sectoral disaster loss data, and, methodologies for risk modeling to support development planning in different economic sectors. Given the pervasive nature of hydro-meteorological hazards and increasing levels of vulnerability, risk identification will requires continuing and renewed commitment to maintaining the observing networks, basic data, and hazard forecasting capacities.
WMO DRR Programme Activities related to hazard risk assessment
The WMO DRR Programme has established the Expert Advisory Group on Hazard/Risk Analysis (EAG-HRA) (First meeting in September 2012) to focus on issues related to standards and guidelines for hazard definition, standardization of hazard databases, metadata and statistical analysis and forecasting techniques of hazard characteristics to support risk modeling.
As a first step the WMO DRR Programme in partnership with the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), one of the leading custodians of global disaster impact databases, is in the process of development of a joint WMO / CRED annual report on the impacts of meteorological, hydrological and climate-related hazards with the goal of producing a prototype report for the year 2011 by the fourth quarter of 2012.