Climate change continues to affect our environment, including extreme weather events. As Halifax continues to grow rapidly in both industrial and residential areas, the need for a full understanding of how to mitigate and prepare for potential extreme hazards is important. Developing a structure for an in-depth analysis that will assess community vulnerability from a wide spectrum including the physical, social, economic, and cultural impacts, will help the municipality better prepare for natural and human caused emergencies and disasters.
To keep improving how decisions are made, understanding community vulnerabilities, and mitigate emergency risks and hazards, the Halifax Regional Municipality Emergency Management Division is conducting a Hazard, Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (HRVA).
What is HRVA?
An HRVA is a multi-dimensional process that identifies the likelihood and severity of consequences experienced during an emergency event by assessing potential hazards, likelihood, physical, social, economic, and cultural vulnerabilities and impacts.
- Emergency planning: effective emergency management plans must be supported by an HRVA.
- Resource allocation: the HRVA will make recommendations to outline priorities based on risk mitigation and preparedness initiatives.
- Public education: through the engagement process, community leaders and invitations to the general public will help educate and engage broader communities, increasing awareness and in turn awareness.
- Support for services: for municipal operations that may require risk assessments for specific programs, parts of the HRVA will be made available for internal municipal use. Certain aspects of the HRVA may also be made public to help promote awareness and personal preparedness.
- Business continuity planning: the HRVA will be available for municipal operations and services to help better inform their business continuity processes in the event of an emergency.
- Collaborative processes: the HRVA serves as a platform for collaboration between different stakeholders in support of response, preparedness, mitigation and community recovery.
The HRVA process is an assessment of the following:
- Potential hazards: sources of harm to human health, infrastructure, and natural environment, and social vulnerabilities.
- Risks: severity and possibility of impacts.
- Vulnerabilities: conditions that may be influenced by physical, social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors which increase the impacts of a hazard on a community.
- Impacts: identifying potential consequences on individuals, community, businesses and natural and economic resources.
- Resiliency planning: Identifying mitigation strategies to help the municipality and its communities be better prepared and resilient to the identified hazards. This includes future identification and preparedness of potential risks and hazards.
How you can contribute to the HRVA
You can attend a public engagement session in your district and/or contribute to the online survey.
View the Public Engagement Schedule for a list of engagements near you, all engagements are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. unless otherwise stated. Public engagement sessions are not limited to residents of that specific district and are open to all HRM residents.