Hazards, vulnerabilities, and exposure

Hazards, vulnerabilities, and exposure is a common risk assessment framework used in disaster risk management.

  • A hazard or threat is a natural phenomenon or human activity that poses a danger to a society, such as an earthquake, flood, or terrorist group. Hazards are characterized by their location, intensity, frequency and probability.
  • A vulnerability is a characteristic of a society that makes it prone to harm. For example, if many people in a community are unvaccinated, that community may be more vulnerable to epidemics.
  • Exposure is how a given hazard interacts with one or more vulnerabilities in a society, including the set of people and things that could be harmed by the hazard.


"What is a risk vs threat vs vulnerability?" Blue Glacier.

Bonadonna, Costanza et al. (2021) "Integrating hazard, exposure, vulnerability and resilience for risk and emergency management in a volcanic context: the ADVISE model" Journal of Applied Volcanology vol. 10, no. 7.

Liu, Hin-Yan; Lauta, Kristian C.; Maas, Matthijs M. (2018) "Governing Boring Apocalypses: A New Typology of Existential Vulnerabilities and Exposures for Existential Risk Research" Futures vol. 102, pp. 6-19.


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