pacts over a prolonged period of time; almost immediately exceed private sector authorities in the impacted area; and significantly interrupt government operations and emergency services to such an extent that national security could be threatened.

Emergency preparedness practices

Practices that develop the resources needed to support emergency response.


An inherent physical or chemical characteristic that has the potential for causing harm to people, the environment, or property.

Hazard exposure

The geographical areas that could be affected by a hazardous incident.

Hazard mitigation practices

Practices that provide passive protection to persons and property at the time an incident occurs.

Hazardous incident

An event that is perceived by some segments of society as producing unacceptable impacts or as indicating the danger that such impacts might occur in the future.

Inherently safer processes

A process can be described as “inherently safer” than other process alternatives in the context of one or more specific hazards if those hazards are eliminated or greatly reduced relative to the alternative processes, and if the process characteristics which eliminate or reduce the hazards are a permanent and inseparable element of the process. This means that safety is “built in” to the process, not added on. Hazards are eliminated, not controlled, and the means by which the hazards are eliminated are so fundamental to the design of the process that they cannot be changed or defeated without changing the process.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement