Terms and Definitions.

Contingency Plan

A Contingency Plan is a plan to secure protection, rescue and relief in case of disasters or disaster forecast situations.


A damage (is the social concept which) classifies an impact of some event to have negative consequences.

Elements at risk

Objects of the environment, which are (spatially, temporally) exposed to hazards.


Forecast denotes methods to estimate or calculate in advance, especially to predict future conditions by analysis of available data.


A hazard is an event, which causes damage. This includes both the actual event and the potential event. The term hazard thus depends on the definition of damage.

Hazard maps

Hazard maps can generally be described as a major output of hazard assessment and constitute a decisive element in risk management. These maps assist the identification, evaluation and reduction of risk by using an optimal combination of measures. In a general definition the term hazard map encompasses both the map and all the expertise.


A Landslide is a movement of a mass of rock, debris or earth down a slope.


A loss is a damage quantified by values.


Measure is the final (event-like) plan, which is oriented specifically at providing solutions for one known problem situation.

Return Period

This period is a statistically defined recurrence interval between hazard events of the same type and intensity.


Here risk is seen as a quality (the probability) of an impact, which is classified as damage. In more casual language this would mean that risk is the probability that something (anything) negative will happen.


A scenario is a description of a course of future events, based on a consistent and plausible set of assumptions about future conditions.


A situation describes the perceived part of reality which is the basis for action.

Standard operating procedures

These are a formalised structure to handle specific operational activities of emergency.


A value (is the social concept which) classifies an object according to a specified value scale.


Vulnerability is the quality of (objects of) the environment, which determines damage, given a defined (hazardous) event. Vulnerablity is thus the quality of an object, which describes its probability of getting harmed in an event. Vulnerability can be seen as inversely related to the capacities of objects to anticipate, to cope with, to resist and to recover fram an extreme event.