Finally! THIRA is Here!

After months of waiting, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released the much anticipated guidance for conducting "Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments (THIRAs). The THIRA process provides a common way to more fully understand all of the risks communities face and is now required for homeland security and emergency management grantee states and Urban Areas under the UASI program. The process ties the risk of a threat or hazard to capabilities to look at gaps as part of a comprehensive preparedness cycle. (See links below.)

FEMA's Deputy Administrator Tim Manning authored the following blog to help announce the new guidance which is formally known as Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 201.

Here is Tim's Blog on THIRA:

At FEMA, we’ve been working hard to ensure that our nation continually strengthens its resiliency and becomes as prepared as it can be against all hazards. Today we took another step forward in that ongoing effort with the release of the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide 201: Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. The THIRA process builds on the progress we’ve achieved so far with the National Preparedness Goal and the description of the National Preparedness System. Ultimately, the THIRA process provides a common way to more fully understand all of the risks communities face – thus helping the emergency management team make wise decisions to keep people safe. 

What makes the THIRA unique is that it doesn’t just look at natural hazards or terrorist threats. Instead it takes into account the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to a community—regardless of the cause. The preparedness guide lays out a five-step process on how to do that, and it is adaptable to the needs and resources of our local, tribal, territorial, and state homeland security and emergency management partners. The five steps are: 

  • Identify the threats and hazards of concern - What could happen in my community?
  • Give the threats and hazards context - Describe how a threat or hazard could happen in my community, and when and where it could happen. 
  • Examine the core capabilities using the threats and hazards - How would each threat or hazard affect the core capabilities identified in the National Preparedness Goal?
  • Set capability targets - Using the information above, set the level of capability a community needs to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from its risks.
  • Apply the results - Use the capability targets to decide how to use resources from the Whole Community.
Throughout the THIRA process, our goal is for communities to find out what data and information they should check regularly and keep updated so that they can recognize when their community’s threats and hazards change. THIRA helps jurisdictions focus on key information about their community and how that jurisdiction and community interacts with its partners at all levels – local, state, and federal. 

And it’s important to note that while the THIRA will be used to inform resource allocation and planning, the THIRA will not replace hazard mitigation plans. In fact, the THIRA will take into account the Hazard Identification and Risk Assessments that have already been written by local and state governments for the last decade. 

To learn more about our overall preparedness efforts, we encourage you to read up on Presidential Policy Directive 8: National Preparedness.

See more information here:

You can download the guidance here:


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