H [Hazard]

“A dangerous phenomenon, substance, human activity or condition that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, loss of livelihoods and services, social and economic disruption, or environmental damage. [UNISDR] Comment: Such hazards arise from a variety of geological, meteorological, hydrological, oceanic, biological, and technological sources, sometimes acting in combination. In technical settings, hazards are described quantitatively by the likely frequency of occurrence of different intensities for different areas, as determined from historical data or scientific analysis.” (UNISDR 2009)

Ex [Exposures]

“People, property, systems, or other elements present in hazard zones that are thereby subject to potential losses. [UNISDR] Comment: Measures of exposure can include the number of people or types of assets in an area. These can be combined with the specific vulnerability of the exposed elements to any particular hazard to estimate the quantitative risks associated with that hazard in the area of interest.” (UNISDR 2009)

V [Vulnerabilities]

“The characteristics and circumstances of a community, system or asset that make it susceptible to the damaging effects of a hazard. [UNISDR] Comment: Examples may include poor design and construction of buildings, inadequate protection of assets, lack of public information and awareness, limited official recognition of risks and preparedness measures, and disregard for wise environmental management. Vulnerability varies significantly within a community and over time. This definition identifies vulnerability as a characteristic of the element of interest (community, system or asset) which is independent of its exposure.” (UNISDR 2009)

R [(Emergency / Disaster / Catastrophe) Risk]

“The combination of the probability of an event and its negative consequences. [UNISDR] Comment: The word ‘risk’ has two distinctive connotations: in popular usage the emphasis is usually placed on the concept of chance or possibility, such as in ‘the risk of an accident,’ whereas in technical settings the emphasis is usually placed on the consequences, in terms of ‘potential losses’ for some particular cause, place and period.” (UNISDR 2009)