"Despite being impacted by three major hurricanes in 2004, Haines City Fire & Rescue [HCF&R] has never conducted a critical infrastructure assessment for Haines City and is therefore placing the citizens at risk for the continuity of essential services during major emergencies. The purpose of this research is to identify the recommended components of a community infrastructure risk assessment for the Haines City, determine the benefits of a critical infrastructure risk assessment, identify Haines City's critical infrastructure sites and determine if HCF&R can successfully mitigate the risks at the sites posing the greatest risks to the community. The action research method was used to answer the following questions: (1) What are the components of a community risk assessment; (2) What are the benefits of a community risk assessment; (3) How can HCF&R complete a community risk assessment; (4) Which critical infrastructure sites pose the greatest risk for Haines City; and (5) Can HCF&R successfully mitigate the risks at the critical infrastructure sites posing the greatest risks to the community? These questions were answered using a combination of literature review, surveys, and interviews. The results found that the risk assessment process helps to prepare the community for handling responses to any community hazard. Recommendations include linking the community risk assessment process to the department goal of pre-incident planning for community target hazards, insuring that Best Practice Guideline (BPG) for updating target hazards is conducted annually, development of a new BPG for conducting pre-incident plans, participation in table top exercises or other training opportunities with business and other city departments, and the development of a process to review and continually improve the risk assessment document."
United States Fire Administration: http://www.usfa.fema.gov/