Hazard is defined as “a process, phenomenon or human activity that may cause loss of life, injury or other health impacts, property damage, social and economic disruption or environmental degradation”. Hazards may be single, sequential or combined in their origin and effects. Each hazard is characterized by its “location, intensity or magnitude,
frequency, and probability”.
Exposure is defined as “the situation of people, infrastructure, housing, production capacities and other tangible human
assets located in hazard-prone areas”. As stated in the UNIDRR glossary, “measures of exposure can include the number
of people or types of assets in an area. These can be combined with the specific vulnerability and capacity of the
exposed elements to any particular hazard to estimate the quantitative risks associated with that hazard in the area of
Vulnerability is defined as “the conditions determined by physical, social, economic and environmental factors or
processes which increase the susceptibility of an individual, a community, assets or systems to the impacts of
hazards”. Vulnerability is multi-dimensional in its nature, and next to the four dimensions above, some authors also
include cultural and institutional factors. Examples include, but are not limited to; poor design and construction of
buildings, inadequate protection of assets, lack of public information and awareness, high levels of poverty and
education, limited official recognition of risks and preparedness measures, disregard for wise environmental
management or weak institutions, and governance (e.g. including corruption etc.).
Disaster Risk Management is the application of disaster risk reduction policies and strategies, to prevent new disaster risks, reduce existing disaster risks, and manage residual risks, contributing to the strengthening of resilience and reduction of losses. Disaster risk management actions can be categorized into; prospective disaster risk management, corrective disaster risk management and compensatory disaster risk management (also referred to as residual risk management).