Risk is the estimated impact that a hazard would have on the people, services, facilities, and structures within a community. Level of risk depends on three factors: hazard, vulnerability, and exposure.
Hazards are events that could cause harm. In Cumberland County, we categorize hazards as natural, technological, or human-caused. The hazards listed below are not a comprehensive list, rather the hazards that are most likely to impact us.
Natural Hazards are naturally occurring events that have negative effects on humans. Our natural hazards include flooding, severe summer storms, severe winter storms, wildfires and coastal erosion.
Technical Hazards stem from technological or industrial conditions created by humans. These are typically no-warning accidental events. Our technical hazards include power failure, transportation incidents, urban fires, hazardous materials incidents, and dam/levee failure.
Human-Caused Hazards are intentional events created by humans.. Our human-caused hazards include cyber-attack, civil disturbance, and acts of terrorism.
Vulnerability describes the characteristics of a person, community, or thing that make them susceptible being damaged by a hazard. In the context of individual vulnerability, these are physical, social, economic, or geographic factors that render a person less resilient in the event of a disaster. For instance, if you are unable to evacuate on your own, you are vulnerable during a disaster.
People, services, facilities, or structures that could be harmed by any of the hazards listed above would be considered exposed. For example, if you live inland, your exposure to a hurricane is much lower than those living on the coast.