Hazard Risk Analysis (HRA)

Welcome to the Hazard Risk Analysis (HRA) tool

Before completing the analyses below, please read the accompanying pdf documents listed under Resources (on the right hand side) for:

  • a full definition and description of each hazard,
  • sources of information about the hazard,
  • historical information as to when and where hazardous events occurred in Canada in First Nations, Métis or Inuit communities;
  • sources to help you complete your risk analysis; and

Additional resources are also available in the Provincial and Territorial Information Guides under Resources on the top right hand corner.

There are 17 categories of hazards for you to assess. For detailed instructions on using this tool click here.

To begin rating each hazard, click on a hazard title below to reveal the associated factors and rating scales. First, rate each factor by clicking on a radio button to the left. Once you have rated all of the factors, click on a radio button below the Hazard name to rate it. Your responses will be automatically saved when you exit the tool.

There are four types of accidents that will be discussed: air crashes, marine accidents, motor vehicle crashes and rail derailments. There are numerous accidents that happen in communities all the time – many of them tragic. But in this case we are examining accidents that would be considered a disaster for your community. In most small communities, the lack of ambulances or a nearby hospital able to accept seriously injured patients means that even a relatively small crash with multi-casualties can be considered a disaster.

Air Plane Crashes

Marine Accidents

Motor Vehicle Crashes

Train Derailments

This section introduces three types of astronomical or space-based hazards: asteroids, comets and meteors; geomagnetic and ionospheric storms; and space-object crashes. As you will see when completing the risk assessment, the first two are caused are caused by nature and the other is caused by people (human-caused). When developing resilience strategies for these hazards it is important to understand where the primary cause for the hazard lies.  These hazards originate from outer space. In some cases scientists would be able to offer some warnings to communities if they are likely to be affected. However, there are certain times of the year, or certain specific years, that would make it more likely for your community to experience some of these hazards.

Asteroid, Comets, and Meteor Crashes

Geomagnetic and Ionospheric Storms

Space Object Crashes

This section introduces a number of atmospheric hazards: Blizzards, Climate Change, Extreme Cold, Fog, Frost, Hailstorms, Heat Waves, Hurricanes, Ice Fogs, Ice Storms and Freezing Rain, Lake Effect Storms, Lightning and Thunderstorms, Microbursts, Sea Storms and Storm Surges, Seiche, Snow Storms, Tornadoes and Windstorm. As you will see when completing the risk analysis, all are caused by nature but a few are also caused by people (human-caused). The following hazards are weather related. Don’t confuse your community’s ability to cope with the hazard (e.g., a blizzard) with the likelihood of it occurring. For example, you may experience blizzards regularly and thus cope very well – but that doesn’t change the fact that blizzards are very likely to occur.


Climate Change

Extreme Cold




Heat Waves


Ice Fogs, Ice Storms, and Freezing Rain

Lake-Effect Storms

Lightening and Thunderstorms


Sea Storms and Sea Surges



Tornadoes and Waterspouts


This section discusses air pollution and soil and water contamination.  Air pollution and soil and water contamination have harmed the natural environment with chemical, biological, metallic or other substances harmful to humans, animals and plants.

Air Pollution

Soil Contamination

Water Contamination

Dam Failure and Structural Collapse
The section covers both dam failure and structural collapse for buildings and for transportation bridges or overpasses. As you will see when completing the risk assessment both can be caused by nature and by people (human-caused).

Dam Failure

Structural Collapse – Buildings

Structural Collapse – Transportation

This section introduces a number of types of diseases including those that affect animals, humans, and plants. It also includes plant infestations. You will note that for diseases there is one risk assessment for both those that have a natural cause and for those caused by people (human-caused). But diseases can have other causes besides those caused by water, food, insects and animals.

Diseases – Animals – Air & Water

Diseases – Animals – Human Transmitted

Diseases – Animals – Animal Transmitted

Diseases – Human – Air and Water Transmitted

Diseases – Human – Animal Transmitted

Diseases – Human – Human Transmitted

Diseases – Human – Food Transmitted

Diseases – Plants – Human Controlled

Diseases – Plants – General

Diseases – Plants and Pest Infestations

Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Volcanos
This section introduces earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes – all seismically-related hazards.



Volcano-Ash Falls, Projectiles and Lateral Blasts, Pyrochlastic Flows and Lava Flows

This section introduces a number of types of fires: brush, bush and grass fires; forest or wildfires, peat bog fires, urban/structural fires and wildland/urban interface fires. You will note that for most of these fires there are two risk assessments: one is for those that are caused by nature (e.g., lightning) and the other is for those caused by people (human-caused). When you come to developing resilience strategies for these hazards it is important to understand where the primary cause for the hazard lies.

Brush, Bush and Grasss Fires

Forest Fires or Wildfires

Peat Bog Fires

Urban/Structural Fires

Wildland/Urban Interface Fires

Food Shortages
This section discusses the potential food shortages. Food shortages are not something that we normally associate with Canada; however, there are a number of situations in Canada where isolated communities have run out of food as a result of a disaster.

Food Shortages: For Communities that depend mostly on local food for sustenance

Food Shortages: For communities that depend mostly on food grown elsewhere for sustenance

Geological Hazards
Geological hazards are related to the soil or the earth. These six hazards include: Dust and Sand Storms, Erosion, Accretion and Desertification, Expansive Soils, Landslides, Land Subsidence and Sinkholes, Submarine Slides. Many geological hazards can have natural causes and can also be caused by humans.

Dust and Sand Storms

Erosion, Accretion and Desertification

Expansive Soils


Land Subsidence and Sinkholes

Submarine Slides

Hazardous Material Spills, Explosions and Oil Pilepine and Gas Leaks
This section discusses explosions and hazardous material spills and leaks both in situ (on a specific site) or during the transportation of hazardous materials. Various explosions and leaks are presented including those involving gas, mines and other causes. Hazardous material spills are discussed both when occurring on a specific site, or in situ, and those occurring during the transportation of hazardous materials.

Gas Explosions and Gas Leaks

Mine Explosions

Oil Pipeline Leaks

Other Explosions

Hazardous Material Spill – On Site

Hazardous Material Spill – Air Transport

Hazardous Material Spill – Marine Transport

Hazardous Material Spill – Land Transport

Hazardous Material Spill – Rail Transport

Hydrological Hazards
This section discusses hazards that are related to water or snow. This includes: Avalanches, Debris Avalanches, Debris Flows and Torrents, Drought, Flash Floods, Local Floods, Rain Storm Floods, Ice Jam Floods, Snow Melt Floods, Glaciers, Iceflows, Icebergs, Ice Islands and Sea Ice, Lake Outburst.  Many of them are both naturally caused and caused by humans.

Avalanches – Natural & Human Caused

Debris Avalanches, Debris Flows and Torrents

Drought – Natural and Human Caused

Flash Floods

Ice Jam Floods

Local Floods

Rain Storm Floods

Snow Melt Floods


Iceflows, Icebergs, Ice Islands and Sea Ice

Lake Outbursts

Nuclear Failure
Nuclear accidents can be caused by nature or by people (human-caused). Resources are available to assist you in completing this assessment in the Risk Assessment Resources section.
Power and Water Outages This section introduces both power and water outages. Power and water outages can be caused by both natural events and caused by humans.

Nuclear Accidents

Power and Water Outages
This section introduces both power and water outages. Power and water outages can be caused by both natural events and caused by humans.

Power Outages

Water Outages

This section introduces riots. Although not common in small rural communities they can happen.


This section discusses a number of potential types of terrorist attacks. It is not possible to conceive of every possible terrorist attack that could occur on Canadian soil; however, there are some general questions that should allow you to determine whether or not further research is needed to determine the risk of terrorism in your community. Assessing the risk of terrorism should always be done in conjunction with the local police.

Terrorism – General

Terrorism – Biological

Terrorism – Chemical

Terrorism – Cyber Terrorism

Terrorism – Explosives and Bombs

Terrorism – Nuclear