This book can help smaller communities understand basic risk assessment and how it can be used to make better decisions on critical issues. The incentive for addressing this issue came from attempts to convince my local village government to install traffic calming devices – in this case, speed humps – on a street heavily used by vehicles and pedestrians.
Community Risk Assessment
What the fire department does
debating the purchase of a new truck.
What town trustees do in calculating a tax increase.
What an ambulance driver does when locating an ambulance
for a show like the 4th of July fireworks.
What a school administrator does deliberating a snow day.
What a consultant does when planning for a community.
Some assessments are casual, but others can require group deliberation and a “check-list” process to assess risk.
What is the risk assessment process?
At its core, it is a common-sense, reasoned way of documenting four things related to a given situation:
- A clear description of the concern – the risk.
- Identification of the factors that make up the risk.
- Determining the amount of harm that can be caused.
- Estimating the likelihood of that risk to cause harm.
Do this and you can compare the bad things that can happen if you don’t make changes, with what can happen if you do. Document the process and you will have a better chance of doing the right thing, as well as better defending whatever decision you make.