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Hazards & Risk Assessment

The core of emergency management: knowing about the hazards and risks that could cause emergencies in our community.

Hazard identification and risk assessment produces a community risk profile that helps set priorities and guide development of the emergency management elements: prevention & mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.

A hazard is an event or physical condition that has the potential to cause fatalities, injuries, property damage, infrastructure damage, agricultural loss, damage to the environment, interruption of business, or other types of harm or loss.

Hazards Posing Risk in Barrie

Natural:

  • Severe winter storms: heavy snow, strong winds, freezing rain
  • Severe summer storms: heavy rain and flooding, strong winds, lightning, hail, tornadoes 
  • Extreme heat and cold waves
  • Human disease and epidemic

Technological:

  • Interruption to lifelines and utilities: especially power outages
  • Structure fires
  • Major industrial and/or transportation accident involving hazardous materials

Human-caused:

  • Human error, vandalism and terrorism

Evolving Hazards in Barrie

  • Expansion of industry and commerce in the south part of the City may increase the use or manufacture of toxic chemicals.
  • Plans for highway expansions will increase traffic volume and accidents involving multiple vehicles and/or hazardous materials.
  • Climate change is increasing the risk of weather extremes causing drought, flooding, heat waves, and severe storms.
  • Human health emergencies, including influenza pandemic, are increasing internationally.
  • Acts of terrorism may target critical infrastructure, major industries and key government facilities.
  • Computer viruses are more common.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a hazard?

A hazard is an event or physical condition that has the potential to cause fatalities, injuries, property damage, infrastructure damage, agricultural loss, damage to the environment, interruption of business, or other types of harm or loss.

Natural
Natural hazards are sometimes called “Acts of God” and result from the forces of nature. For example: severe weather and extreme temperatures; geological events such as earthquakes and landslides; hydrological events such as droughts and floods; human health emergencies and epidemics.

Technological
Technological hazards come from the manufacture, transportation, and use of modern technology and substances such as chemicals, explosives, flammables and radioactive materials. For example: structural fire and collapse, explosion; failure of critical infrastructure such as natural gas, power, drinking water; hazardous material spill; transportation accident.

Human-caused
Human-caused hazards are the direct result of human actions, such as civil disorder, sabotage and terrorism.

What is risk?

Risk is the chance of something happening that will impact the community or environment. It is measured in terms of probability or likelihood and consequences.

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