The simplified equation of a disaster implies consideration of the disaster risk by combining the hazard risk and the vulnerability level; if the reduction of the hazard risk implies actions modifying the causes, the reduction of the vulnerability of the affected elements, implies effect reduction actions.
The risk assessment in case of disasters is highly relevant, given that the hazards interact at various space and time levels, subject to a local, regional and international development. Besides the individual study of prospective hazards, it is also important to have a multidisciplinary grasp and an integrated analysis of various processes, since there are times when disasters are of a complex nature (a hazard may generate a disaster which, in its turn, may generate another hazard or a subsequent hazard).
The vulnerability assessment is a key component of risk management; it is mandatory to assess, from both the quality and the quantity perspective, the vulnerability of the objects and systems as exposed to the disaster risk.
The assessment of prospective destructions of certain systems, of the infrastructure, of the environment, of the society, stands for the base of the risk financial management, nevertheless the vulnerability is yet an insufficiently clarified concept from the scientific perspective. A rigorous quantification is rather difficult, particularly in reference to indirect destructions occurring as a consequence to a disaster- social destruction, cultural heritage, environmental systems.
Several factors contributing to the increase of the disaster vulnerability level may be stated:
a) fundamental causes – poverty level, limited access to resources, population cultural pattern;
b) a deficit of education, skills, local investments, decreased intervention capacity of public institutions;
c) degree of urban planning, environmental degradation, population increase, transition status of cultural patterns/ values;
d) uncertainty/non-safety conditions;
e) fragile environment – dangerous locations, buildings and infrastructure with a high danger level;
f) fragile local economy – reduced living standard;
g) lack of public information and awareness.
The risk assessment methods are essential elements to the methodological effort of understanding the prospective effects of hazards on the human activities and the environment. Thus, techniques are developed to provide an integrated view on time and space of the risk analysis, in order to support the elaboration of the risk management strategy.
The integrated risk management includes both risk assessment and vulnerability evaluation, and the possibility of certain influence factors occurring under an increased unpredictability level. Measures and methods are thus sustained for the prevention and the implementation of monitoring, registration, forecast, early warning, decision making activities, and of management systems.
Within the CROSSRISKS project we shall carry out an inventory on the vulnerabilities existing in the two counties composing the Bihor Hajdu-Bihar Euroregion (respectively Bihor County, and Hajdu-Bihar County), a history data base shall be created to include the most relevant risks, respectively we shall analyze the social-economic impact of the identified risks.
This secondary activity shall subsequently allow us to define a joint Risk Prevention and Disaster Management Strategy within the Bihor Hajdu-Bihar Euroregion, which may become the main instrument of planning and integration of the capacities on the cross-border level, so as to improve the quality of the emergency situation interventions.