Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky


  • Jörn BirkmannEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_296


Risk and risk analysis constitute a multidisciplinary research field. In this context, the term “risk” is defined differently by various disciplines and fields of work. In natural hazard and disaster risk reduction research, risk is most commonly defined as the result of the interaction of a hazard (e.g., flood, hurricane, earthquake, etc.) and the vulnerability of the system or element exposed, including the probability of the occurrence of the hazard phenomena (UNDRO, 1980; Cardona, 1990; UN/ISDR, 2004, 2009; Birkmann, 2006b). Risk is estimated by combining the probability of a hazard occurrence, such as the likelihood of a flood (with a specific magnitude or intensity) and the potential scale of consequences (e.g., injury, damage, and loss) that would arise if the event strikes society or exposed elements. The analysis of the potential consequences cannot solely be based on an evaluation of the hazard phenomena. Rather, the vulnerability of the exposed element, e.g., the...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Environment and Human SecurityUnited Nations UniversityBonnGermany