of impacts


Robust emergency management and resiliency planning starts with identifying the problems that emergency managers are likely to face. This includes understanding impacts, risks, opportunities, and vulnerabilities that occur during and after a natural disaster. Traditional hazard risk assessment models (e.g., basic HAZUS) tend to focus on “direct damages” and “indirect impacts” quantified through a variety of engineering and economic modeling techniques. These emphasize accumulated damages in economic terms or use generic damage functions, but often do not provide actionable data regarding specific qualitative local hazard impact concerns, such as potential communications disruptions and facility disruptions due to a damaged generator. The Hazard Consequence Threshold Model integrates qualitative critical infrastructure concerns, collected directly from local facility managers, into numerical storm models. By identifying “Consequence Thresholds” for specific critical infrastructure elements, the identified concerns may be directly linked to the storm prediction models in near real-time or for planning purposes.

Consequence Thresholds

“Consequence Thresholds” include five components:

The asset – An asset the stakeholder perceives can be directly impacted by a storm force.

The specific location of the asset – The latitude and longitude of the asset the stakeholder believes can be directly impacted by a storm force. 

A modeled hazard – A storm force (or range of forces) that the stakeholder perceives as a risk to the asset, can be quantified such as inundation depth or wind velocity, and is modeled by a numerical storm simulation.

The threshold(s) – The storm force threshold that when exceeded at the location of concern triggers a consequence according to the stakeholder or other data source. For example, winds above 100 mph or flooding above one foot.

The consequences – The outcomes if the storm force exceeds the threshold at the location of concern according to the stakeholder.


The approach allows critical facility managers’ expertise about impacts to be integrated in model outputs in the same way that “damage functions” are traditionally utilized to model potential structural or economic damages. The concerns collected directly from end-users of the model make outputs directly relevant to emergency managers as they allocate resources and anticipate the challenges of an imminent storm at the Emergency Operations Center (EOC).


case study
Research in Westerly identified 108 "consequence thresholds" resulting from impacts to 11 critical infrastructure facilities in the floodplain.

case study
Research in Providence identified 302 "consequence thresholds" resulting from impacts to 105 assets across the 45 critical infrastructure facilities in the floodplain.

Naval Station Newport
on Aquidneck Island
case study
Our latest case study focuses on "A hazard resilient future for Naval Station Newport within its coastal Community: Military installation resilience review for short-term preparedness and long-term planning."
Impact of Nor'easters
case study
This case study examines Nor'easters' impact on National Parks.