Disaster risk assessment

Qualitative and quantitative approaches to determine the nature and extent of disaster risk by analyzing existing or potential hazards and evaluating existing or potential conditions of exposure and vulnerability that together could lead to harm to people’s lives and livelihoods and to the property, services, livelihoods, and the environment on which they depend.


1. Disaster risk assessments include the identification and review of the technical characteristics of hazards such as their intensity, frequency and probability (hazard assessment or analysis); the analysis of the levels of exposure of population, assets, infrastructure, cultural heritage, amongst other aspects, to specific hazards (exposure assessment or analysis); and the vulnerability of these items, including the physical, social, health, environmental and economic dimensions of such vulnerability (vulnerability assessment and analysis). These assessment processes should be linked sequentially, iteratively, and temporally.

2. Based on qualitative decision-making criteria in relation to acceptable or tolerable levels of risk for likely scenarios, risk assessments serve as a basis for prospective and corrective actions for delivery of critical services through infrastructure.

3. See also “Elements at risk”.


UNDRR Sendai Framework Terminology on Disaster Risk Reduction (2023)


RiskScape: A tool for Multi-Hazard risk analysis

RiskScape is an open-source software that enables users to customize risk analysis to their domain and input data. It calculates consequences to people, buildings, infrastructure, environment, and other exposed elements. RiskScape provides a flexible data processing framework for building and executing geospatial risk models, taking various input layers, and geospatially stitching them together. Developed in a collaboration between the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), Toka Tū Ake EQC, and Geological and Nuclear Sciences in New Zealand, RiskScape can analyze the impact of various natural hazards.