Course Title: Hazards Risk Management

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Session No. 2

Course Title: Hazards Risk Management

Session 2: Introduction to Hazards Risk Management

Time: 3 hours


    1. Introduce the concept of risk, and explain how and why individuals and societies continue to face exposure to a range of hazards

    2. Explain how and why the nature of hazards is changing over time, and why an understanding of these changes is important to the management of risk

    3. Use open class discussion to consider the definitions related to hazards risk management and reach agreement on specific definitions that will be used throughout the course.

During this session, the instructor will give students a general overview of the risk management discipline, and explain how and why risk has been changing over time in American communities (as well as worldwide).The instructor will also provide detailed definitions of key terms that will be used throughout the course. The instructor will facilitate class discussions to explore the different preconceptions students bring about the nature of hazards, disasters, and risk, and explore how these preconceptions influence how risk management is practiced.

Student Reading:
It is not anticipated that students will have had an opportunity to have read any course materials at this early point in the course.
Instructor Reading:
No supplemental background knowledge is required for this session. However, the instructor can expand upon the session discussions with information from the following articles and resources:
Coppola, Damon. 2011. Introduction to International Disaster Management. Chapter 1: The Management of Disasters; Chapter 3: Risk and Vulnerability. Butterworth Heinemann. Burlington.
Derby, S. L., and R. L. Keeney. 1981. “Risk Analysis: Understanding ‘How Safe is Safe Enough’”. Risk Analysis. 1:217-224.
Jardine, Cynthia G., and Steve E. Hrudey. 1997. Mixed Messages in Risk Communication, Risk Analysis, Vol. 17, No. 4, 1997.
Kaplan, Stanley. 2006. The Words of Risk Analysis. In Risk Analysis: An International Journal. Vol. 17. No. 4. Pp. 407-417. August.
A list of instructor course references/resources is included at the end of this session.

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