Step 1: Assess Vulnerability
Hazard Vulnerability Assessment
The Hazard Vulnerability Assessment (HVA) is a useful tool in evaluating how at-risk your organization is to specific hazards. It also allows the organization to see which hazards they are most vulnerable to. Work with your Emergency Planning Committee on this document, and answer the questions as best you can. It provides a systematic approach to recognizing hazards that may affect demand for the facility's services or its ability to provide those services. The risks associated with each hazard are analyzed to prioritize planning, mitigation, response and recovery activities. The Hazard Vulnerability Assessment serves as an initial needs assessment for your organization's emergency preparedness program.
This process should involve community partners and be communicated to public safety officials. The Hazard Vulnerability Assessment should be reviewed and updated annually to identify new hazards and changes in risk based on your preparedness and mitigation activities.
You can complete a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment using this tool developed by Kaiser Permanente.
How to Use the Kaiser Permanente HVA Tool
- Download the Kaiser Permanente Hazard Vulnerability Assessment tool.
- Schedule a time to complete it with your Emergency Planning Committee. Consider inviting your jurisdiction's public safety officials to this meeting. They can help answer questions about specific hazards in the area.
- Review the "Menu of Hazards" to identify the applicable hazards for your organization. These are only some recommended hazards to get you started. Your facility and Emergency Planning Team may identify additional, unique hazards that are not found on this list. Be sure to include them in your assessment.
- Once the Committee has identified the hazards, enter each hazard on a new row in the Kaiser Permanente tool. You can keep adding rows until all relevant hazards have been included. You'll need to adjust the vulnerability formula at the bottom of the chart.
- Use the template to calculate the facility's vulnerability to each hazard type. Some hazards will have a standard risk level across the entire jurisdiction. Some hazards may have a different impact on the facility depending on location and proximity to the hazard source (e.g., flooding, hazardous material spill or release, etc).
- Need a hand getting started? Click here to view an example of a completed Hazard Vulnerability Assessment using the Kaiser Permanente tool and the Menu of Hazards.
NH Department of Labor
The list of hazards you identify during the Hazard Vulnerability Assessment can be utilized in the NH Department of Labor Safety Summary Form where it asks for safety and health hazards present within your company.
It is important to understand that the Hazard Vulnerability Assessment does not substitute a full risk analysis process that your organization's Risk Manager may complete. It is only intended to identify hazards and risks that are the most applicable to your organization.
It is also a good idea to look at Nashua's Risk Assessment to get an idea of what hazards have occurred historically and which hazards are most likely to occur in the future. This assessment is found in the City's Hazard Mitigation Plan, which is updated every five years. Here is the 2013 Nashua Hazard Mitigation Plan (see page 23-36 for Risk Assessment).
Don't forget, if you are having trouble answering any of the questions, contact emergency management and planning staff.
A resilient organization looks beyond existing hazards to ensure it is prepared for future risks. Two resources can enhance your Hazard Vulnerability Assessment.
US Climate Resilience Toolkit
The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit contains an interactive Climate Explorer with data specific to Nashua, NH. Individuals, businesses, and communities of all sizes can use the Climate Explorer to understand how climate conditions in Nashua may change over coming decades. This information—derived from global climate models developed for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—can help organizations make decisions and build resilience to extreme events. The tool highlights projected temperatures and precipitation through 2100.
Climate Change in Southern New Hampshire
A second resource, Climate Change in Southern New Hampshire, is a detailed and localized report completed by the University of New Hampshire and Climate Solutions New England. The report identifies overall, southern New Hampshire has been getting warmer and wetter over the last century. It incorporates Nashua-specific projections that an organization can include in their hazard vulnerability assessment.
More information on how to make your facility resilient to future risks can be found in the Resilient and Sustainable Buildings section.
Community Emergency Planning Spotlight
The local Boys and Girls club wants to conduct a Hazard Vulnerability Assessment. Using the Kaiser Permanente tool provided by the Resilient Nashua Toolkit, the Emergency Planning Committee works together to identify the probability and severity of hazards specific to their area. When they don't know their vulnerability to some hazards in their area, they consult local experts at the City for help.