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Risk Assessment: A How-To Guide to Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attacks Against Buildings

NCJ Number
Milagros Nanita Kennett; Eric Letvin; Michael Chipley; Terrance Ryan
Date Published
January 2005
245 pages
This guidebook is part of a risk management series outlining methods for identifying and assessing the critical assets and functions within buildings which would be vulnerable to a terrorist attack.
The primary focus of this guidebook is to provide a method of risk assessment for use by architects, engineers, building owners and designers, and State and local government officials to identify and mitigate the risks to buildings from terrorist attacks. The intent of the method is to reduce the physical damage to structural and non-structural components of buildings and its related infrastructure, and to reduce the extent of casualties resulting from a conventional bomb attack, as well as the use of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons. The risk assessment is conducted in a five-step process with multiple tasks included in each step. Step 1 of the process is to conduct a threat assessment where the threat or hazard is identified, defined, and quantified. Step 2 involves identifying the value of a building's assets that need to be protected. Step 3 of the process is to conduct a vulnerability assessment which evaluates the potential vulnerability of the critical assets against a broad range of identified threats and/or hazards. Step 4 of the process involves the risk assessment - analyzing the threat, asset value, and vulnerability to determine the level of risk for each critical asset against each applicable threat. The final step of the process, step 5, is to consider the mitigation options that are directly associated with the major risks identified in step 4. Once the mitigation options are identified, decisions can be made on how best to minimize the risks of attack and how to accomplish this over time. Figures, tables, and appendixes