Emergency situations occur when risks materialise and become real hazards with a potential of damage to humans, to property and to the environment.
Risk assessment focuses on the identification of potential hazards, the assessment and the selection of an appropriate mitigation policy.
In theory Emergency Planning starts with the results of an extensive risk assessment process and thus takes only the realistic unpreventable risks into account.
This is however not very realistic, because:
- on the one hand, most organisations see risk assessment -> avoidance -> emergency planning as a continuum, whereby some steps are iterative and require an integration between risk and hazard; and,
- on the other hand, typical safety study based risk assessment are too theoretical and too restrictive to be able to make realistic comprehensive emergency plans.
Hence, CEMAC is regularly involved in semi-quantitative risk assessement or/and the development of a risk management strategy.
CEMAC has gained extensive know how in risk assessment as partner in a Belgian public-academic partnership project aimed at developing a community oriented risk mapping, analysis, evaluation and exploitation tool compatible with UNEP's APELL methdology.
The techniques and concepts developed prior to this project, during the project and later on are the core of a very understandable yet complete method for risk assessment.
Starting from a 52 risk category checklist, potential risks and their consequences and the prefered course of action (strategic orientation) are discussed with the client in order to determine the full scope of the future emergency plan.