Validating local hazard impacts

The purpose of Step 2 of the risk-based approach is to build a picture of the possible consequences and impact of a natural hazard event. This stage combines technical and lay knowledge as stakeholders may have important information about patterns of exposure that need to be integrated into the overall assessment. This can include public expectations for the area such as future development interests, and important localities that require particular protection (e.g., key access routes, important buildings). The engagement strategy and in particular the stakeholder assessment should identify stakeholders whose views are important to include.

Risk communication at this step serves two purposes:

1. To ground-truth information about natural hazard impacts and key vulnerabilities by ensuring that generic knowledge and information held by the local authority is accurate at smaller scales, and takes adequate notice of community concerns.
2. To build awareness and capacity amongst stakeholders and communities to prepare for later contribution to decisions about natural hazard management and land-use planning.

Actions from this step

  • Assess what (if any) were the main points of contention
  • Assess whether there are any major differences in perception about the hazards, which may require another communication effort
  • Revise engagement strategy and stakeholder analysis
  • Input information into the Risk-Based Planning Approach


Information to share:

  • Hazard maps, inundation maps, overlays of current and proposed development
  • Consequence analysis – what does a minor – severe event look like?
  • Keep it simple

Questions to ask and information to gather:

  • If a major event happened to this locality what would be the main issues of concern?
  • What are the expectations about how this area is to be managed into the future? (e.g. housing, or commercial development)
  • What are key matters affecting exposure e.g. important buildings; access ways, vulnerable communities; important icons?
  • What do people want to know more about?

Be prepared for…

  • Conflict may arise due to stakeholders’ unfamiliarity with risk estimation and the uncertainties and value assumptions associated with the method.
  • This step will also reveal what are the ‘sticking points’ – areas of biggest concern or areas where beliefs about the hazard and associated risks are most at odds with those of hazard technical advisors.

Engagement approach options:

  • Assessments undertaken in-house of the natural hazard impacts and consequences (using the consequence table) can be verified through surveys, field visits, interviews, and specialist working groups.
  • Open days, and road shows of natural hazard information depicting likely impacts at a local scale can build awareness amongst stakeholders and communities. Information regarding key concerns, locally important assets, and vulnerabilities can also be gathered this way [see Coromandel example]
  • Workshops that include discussion opportunities and hands-on tasks build awareness, and capacity for participants to make focused contributions to land use planning decisions [see Otago example,and Squamish example]. Possible elements to include are: presentations of natural hazard impacts at a local scale
  • Tangible opportunities for participants to review and discuss the likely impacts across not only life and personal property but also local economy, infrastructure, and significant cultural and social assets
  • Exercises that allow participants to come to grips with the task of ranking the severity of a risk and considering the possible management response.