"The purpose of this guide is to provide a resource for use by State and local officials in preparing an analysis of hazards. By presenting a general approach, definitions, processes, and models, it is hoped that a common framework for local, State and nationwide analysis of hazards will be established. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is developing an Integrated Emergency Management System (IEMS) approach to comprehensive emergency management. The initial step in this approach is the systematic analysis of the hazards in individual communities or jurisdictions. Before a community can plan how to deal with potential disasters, the hazards that can lead to these disasters must be identified and priorities for action must be assigned. Hazards analysis is an essential element in disaster preparedness planning to minimize loss of life, human suffering and damage to public and private property. […] This guide incorporates material developed by the National Governors' Association (NGA), the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) in San Francisco, California, contractors to FEMA, and other organizations. The term 'hazards analysis' is used throughout this guide. Other writings treat the same subject under the terms vulnerability assessment, loss study or analysis. Because vulnerability is one of several aspects of the analysis of hazards, the more general term hazards analysis was chosen. As a final note, the term 'community' is used to denote the area being studied and analyzed, such as a county, or any other jurisdiction."
Federal Emergency Management Agency, Emergency Management Institute: http://www.training.fema.gov/