Homeland Security National Risk Characterization
Risk Assessment Methodology
In 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) asked RAND to design and implement a homeland security national risk assessment to help inform DHS strategic planning by identifying and characterizing natural hazards and threats to the nation. This report responds to that request. It presents a risk assessment methodology that can be used to identify the greatest risks to homeland security and support prioritization of DHS mission elements. The methodology is also designed to address important critiques made by the U.S. Government Accountability Office in its assessments of the 2010 and 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Reviews. The framework is designed to assist DHS in describing a set of threats and hazards that is strategically relevant; to describe threats and hazards in a consistent way; and to provide DHS with a methodology that is repeatable and transparent.
This report describes the risk assessment methodology itself. A companion volume, not available to the general public, presents summary sheets of threats and hazards to inform discussion of DHS risk management priorities.
Table of Contents
Selecting Threats and Hazards
Selecting Risk Attributes
Data Collection and Characterization of Threats and Hazards
Conclusion: How Risk Assessment Informs Risk Management
Draft Lists of Recommendations for Threats and Hazards to Be Included
Definitions of Threats and Hazards
Literature Consulted in the Identification of Potential Attributes to Describe Threats and Hazards
Attributes Identified Through Literature Review