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Modification of the Priority Risk Index: Adapting to Emergency Management Accreditation Program standards for institutes of higher learning hazard mitigation plans

Joseph B. Harris, PhD, Geoffrey Bartlett, BS, T. Andrew Joyner, PhD, Matthew Hart, BS, William Tollefson, MS


The Priority Risk Index is increasingly used as a methodology for quantifying jurisdictional risk for hazard mitigation planning purposes, and it can evolve to meet specific community needs. The index incorporates probability, impact, spatial extent, warning time, and duration when assessing each hazard, but it does not explicitly integrate a vulnerability and consequence analysis into its final scoring. To address this gap, a new index was developed—the Enhanced Priority Risk Index (EPRI). The new index adds a sixth category, vulnerability, calculated from a vulnerability and consequence analysis of the impacts on seven sectors identified in Standard 4.1.2 of the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). To obtain a vulnerability score, impacts are ranked by sector from low (1) to very high (4), then a weighting factor is applied to each sector. The vulnerability score is added to the EPRI and provides risk levels based on the number of exploitable weaknesses and countermeasures identified within a specific jurisdiction. The vulnerability score and resulting EPRI are scalable and can be applied across jurisdictions, providing a transferable methodology that improves the hazard identification and risk assessment process and provides an approach for meeting EMAP accreditation standards.



Priority Risk Index, hazard mitigation planning, vulnerability analysis, consequence analysis, hazard identification, risk assessment

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