Elements at risk

All objects, persons, animals, plants, activities, and processes that may be adversely affected by hazardous phenomena, in a particular area, either directly or indirectly. This includes buildings, infrastructure, production facilities, population, livestock, economic activities, cyber networks, public services, environment, and cultural heritage among others.


1. See also “Disaster risk assessment”.


Caribbean Handbook on Risk Information Management, ACP-EU Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme.


Understanding elements at risk from multi-hazard risk assessment

The Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) classifies elements at risk into physical, economic, societal, and environmental categories that can be linked to vulnerability. While existing data sources such as cadastral and census data can provide some information, additional data is often required to fully understand elements at risk for vulnerability assessment. This additional data can be collected by mapping different aspects, including building types and construction materials, population characteristics, basic infrastructure, and environmental problems like waste disposal and polluted areas. Participatory mapping can also be conducted by members of the local community. By collecting and analyzing this information, researchers and policymakers can better understand the risks faced by different communities and develop effective strategies for disaster preparedness and risk reduction.



  • Westen, CJ. (n.d.). Characterization of assets - Elements at Risk. Carribean Handbook on Risk Information Management.
  • Westen, C. V., Kingma, N., & Montoya, L. (n.d.). Session 4: Elements at Risk. In Introduction to Risk Assessment. CENN.