The fundamental challenge for analyzing the consequences of a terrorist event is how to measure the intangible and secondary effects. DHS’s consequence analyses tend to limit themselves to deaths, physical damage, first-order economic effects, and in some cases, injuries and illness. Other effects, such as interdependencies, business interruptions, and social and psychological ramifications, are not always modeled, yet for terrorism events these could have more impact than those consequences that are currently included. This is discussed in Chapter 4. Even though DHS is not responsible for managing all these aspects of risk—for example, the Department of Health and Human Services has the primary responsibility for managing public health risks—it is appropriate and necessary to consider the full spectrum of consequences when performing risk analyses.
Synopsis of Challenges for Risk Analysis in DHS