Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2013
From Shared Risk to Shared Value: the Business Case for Disaster Risk Reduction

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GAR13 uses an expanded set of terms and definitions building on those included in GAR09 and GAR11.

Disaster risk is considered to be a function of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. Disaster risk is normally expressed as the probability of loss of life, injury or destroyed or damaged capital stock in a given period of time. Generic definitions of these and other terms are available in the UNISDR Glossary. i The way these terms are used in GAR13 is explained below.

GAR11 uses the term physical (rather than natural) hazard to refer to hazardous phenomena such as floods, storms, droughts and earthquakes. Processes such as urbanization, environmental degradation and climate change shape and configure hazards; therefore, it is becoming increasingly difficult to disentangle their natural and human attributes. Major hazard is used to refer to global or regionally important hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding in large river basins and tropical cyclones. Localized hazard is used to refer to smaller-scale hazards such as flash or surface water flooding, fires, storms and landslides, which tend to affect particular localities. Exposure is used to refer to the location and number of people, factories, offices or other business assets in hazard-prone areas. Vulnerability is used to refer to the degree of susceptibility of these assets to suffer damage and loss, for example, due to inadequate design and construction, lack of maintenance, unsafe and precarious living conditions, lack of access to emergency services etc. Resilience is used to refer to the capacity of systems (ranging from national, local or household economies to businesses and their supply chains) to absorb or buffer losses, and recover.

Extensive risk is used to describe the risk of low severity, high-frequency disasters, mainly but not exclusively associated with highly localized hazards. Intensive risk is used to describe the risk of high-severity, mid to low-frequency disasters, mainly associated with major hazards. Emerging risk is used to describe the risk of extremely lowprobability disasters associated with new patterns of hazard and vulnerability. Geomagnetic storms, for example, have always occurred, but the associated risks are now magnified by the growing dependence of modern societies on vulnerable energy and telecommunications networks. Underlying risk drivers are development-related processes such as badly planned and managed urban and regional development, environmental degradation, poverty, climate change and weak governance, which shape risk patterns and trends.

In this report, data on direct disaster losses refer to damage to human lives, buildings, infrastructure and natural resources. Direct disaster losses to business refer to the damages to factories, offices, equipment and stocks. Indirect disaster losses are declines in business output or revenue incurred owing to business interruption, as a consequence of direct losses or owing to impacts on a business’ supply chain. Wider impacts refer to, for example, loss of market share or damage to a business reputation as clients take their business to competitors, skilled workers move to other employers and relationships with suppliers are severed. Macroeconomic effects can be felt as a consequence of all three types of losses and impacts and can in turn negatively affect business performance through a constrained enabling business environment. Shared risks or costs refer to risks that are transferred in time or space to other sectors or to the wider economy. They can also be referred to as externalised social and environmental costs.

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