Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky


Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_164


Danger; Frequency of danger; Frequency of threat; Threat


Hazard is an event, phenomenon, process, situation, or activity that may potentially be harmful to the affected population and damaging to the society and the environment. A hazard is characterized by its location, magnitude, geometry, frequency or probability of occurrence, and other characteristics.


Hazard involves something which could potentially be harmful to a person’s life, health, and property; to the society as a whole; or to the environment. There is a lack of a common ground among different disciplines and schools of thought regarding what hazard means and different disciplines apply the term in different ways (e.g., Alexander, 2002; EEA (European Environment Agency), 2006; Emergency Management, 1998; ISSMGE (International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering), 2004; TRADE (The Training Resources and Data Exchange), 1999; UNISDR (United Nations International Strategy...

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  1. Alexander, D. E., 2002. Principles of Emergency Planning and Management. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Emergency Management Australia, 1998. Australian Emergency Manuals Series Manual 3: Australian Emergency Management Glossary. Canberra: Emergency Management Australia. Compiled and typeset by Peter Koob, Tasmania State Emergency Service. ISBN 0 7246 4675 2.Google Scholar
  3. European Environment Agency (EEA) 2006. Multilingual Environmental Glossary. http://glossary.eea.eu.int/EEAGlossary/.
  4. International Society for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering (ISSMGE) – Technical Committee 32 (Risk Assessment and Management), 2004. Glossary of Risk Assessment Terms – Version 1. http://www.engmath.dal.ca/tc32/2004Glossary_Draft1.pdf
  5. The Training Resources and Data Exchange (TRADE) 1999. Glossary and Acronyms of Emergency Management Terms, 3rd edn. Prepared for the Office of Emergency Management U.S. Department of Energy. http://orise.orau.gov/emi/prod-trng/files/glossary-emt.pdf
  6. United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR) 2009. UNISDR Terminology on Disaster Risk. http://www.unisdr.org/eng/terminology/terminology-2009-eng.html

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Centre for GeohazardsNorwegian Geotechnical InstituteOsloNorway