Top hazards approach – Rethinking the appropriateness of the All-Hazards approach in disaster risk management

Moran Bodas, Thomas D. Kirsch, Kobi Peleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


For decades, the All-Hazards Approach has been the principle framework of disaster planners. According to this approach, different hazard scenarios share certain commonalities and therefore should be managed with a common plan for hazard mitigation and preparedness. The All-Hazards approach presents several arguable advantages; yet, when tested against reality, it often fails to deliver optimal results in terms of public preparedness. Despite best intentions, this framework has some inherent weaknesses, most notably the artificial consolidation of dramatically different hazard scenarios. Given the depth of difference across hazard types, we should contemplate the implications on the architecture of disaster planning and response. Here we argue for an alternative approach, the Top-Hazards Approach, which delineates that hazards should be prioritized according to local risk indicators and then differentially dealt with, so that top-ranking hazards are given priority in preparedness and planning activities. The Top-Hazard Approach retains some of the key benefits of the All-Hazards Approach, namely cost-effectiveness while offering a more robust framework for achieving better levels of preparedness.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101559
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • All-hazards
  • Disaster management
  • Disaster planning
  • Disaster response
  • Hazards
  • Risk

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research


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