Risk Assessment Paper

 Risk Assessment Paper

Terrorist attacks continue to increase risks on buildings as time advances. Identification of the impending dangers on such structures will aid in mitigating any probable attacks. The manual by the Federal Management Agency FEMA offers apparatus for assessment and mitigation against terror and related attacks (Assessment, 2005). Some of the strategies include reducing physical damage by bombings and attacks involving chemical, biological and toxic radioactive agents. This paper tends to focus on identification of the threat and its scale of risk, assessment of asset value, assessment of the vulnerabilities, assessment of the imminent risk and mitigation options available against the building I work.

Threat identification and rating

According to FEMA, assessment and identification of threats related to terror attacks on buildings start with understanding the attackers (Assessment, 2005). I work in the police department building where we have employed different security measures such as electric fences, cameras and use of key and passcodes to access floors. To identify threats my work building is exposed to referring to terror attacks, there has to be an understanding by the relevant security personnel, the nature of the weapons used by terrorists (Assessment, 2005). The process of risk assessment in my work place includes identification of the weapons, tactics, and tools. This can processes have helped boost the security designs and therefore boosting the security design and the prospects survival against terrorism attacks.

The risk assessment in my workplace also includes identifying risks linked to technology. This information helps to determine the parts of the building that are more vulnerable to attacks such as parking spots in the basements and the tops of the building. The cameras, screening devices and floor access keys are closely monitored and tested to avoid any hacking and rigging since this might compromise security giving attackers access to the premise.

Identification and risk assessment of terror threats in my work building focuses on getting to know the methods being used by the aggressors (Assessment, 2005). This includes understanding tactics such as weapons, monitored and reinforced surveillance. Weapons consist of antitank guns, rifles, hand grenades and airborne contaminations composed of radiological, chemical and biological compounds (Assessment, 2005). The building’s has an extensive network of air-conditioning vents since it houses many people, inmates, police and civilians and this can be exploited by terrorists to launch an airborne contamination attack.

Asset value assessment

This process starts with understanding the implication of an asset in evaluations procedures by FEMA (Assessment, 2005). The organization considers an asset to be any person or item possessing great value requiring protection against damage (Assessment, 2005). Some of the asset assessment employees in my work place are tenants, buildings, infrastructure and activities on the premise. Intangible elements such as reputation are also be included. The assessment process, in this case, aims at identification of the value of individuals working in the building, the value of the activities carried out in the building and quantifying the exact value of the facility (Assessment, 2005).

To accurately conduct the process interviewing the people familiar with the building is crucial. Such input is significant as the people can be used in identifying the most valuable assets within the premise such as the armory and holding cells. Reduction of risks in my work place is achieved through prioritizing and identifying critical assets in the building. It aids in the development of strategic mitigation tactics against terrorism on the building (Assessment, 2005).

Accurate assessment can be arrived at by valuation of the infrastructure such as the cameras, security access systems and weapons among others. Asset quantification within my work building is crucial as stated in the FEMA guidelines (Assessment, 2005). Asset value determination in the building would enhance the establishment of tactical preventive measures against terrorists (Assessment, 2005). This also guides activities such as the installation of security infrastructure on the most vulnerable floors such as the top floor.

Vulnerability assessment

According to FEMA, this process involves determining the weaknesses that can be exploited by a terrorist to accomplish an attack (Assessment, 2005). A detailed evaluation is engaged on the functions of the asset leading to the identification of the flaws that can be exploited by the aggressor (Assessment, 2005). In the case of my work building, the top floor can only be accessed via an elevator hence no other exit route in case of an emergency. Vulnerability assessment is vital to the implementation of the mitigation actions based on the understanding of the nature, level, and variation of the terrorist threat attacks on the building. A comprehensive process encompasses improvement and installation of advanced disaster recovery planning and response in conjunction with relevant authorities as mitigation procedures.

Risk assessment

Assessment of the risks associated with terror attacks on my work building includes the future analysis of damage or loss of the structure (Assessment, 2005). The risk potentials are compared and measured against the threats and susceptibilities related to it (Assessment, 2005). Many techniques and methods can be employed in the assessment process of the building to terrorist attacks. A perfect example includes assembling of the building’s value assessment, threats, and susceptibilities to determine the numeric value of the associated risks with every asset. Due to the security screening points before accessing the building, this exposes the building to forced entry via suicide bombers, vehicle bombs or cyber-attacks. The risk is equated to the value of the asset which is then multiplied by the threat and vulnerability rating (Assessment, 2005).

The identification process of terror threats to the building is followed by a susceptibility assessment helping in identifying of the flaws and gaps that might be exploited by the terrorists (Assessment, 2005). The building though reinforced by an electric fence and mesh wire, some spots are left unmanned both in the day and the night. The building also neighbors a hospital which can be used as a conduit to access the building and execute an attack. Understanding of the potent risks related to terrorism on the building can thus be used as procedures for the formulation of tactical mitigation strategies that enhances accomplishment of sustainable levels of protection against terror attacks.

Mitigation options

Mitigation measures include determination and sealing of all the potential loopholes that the aggressors could exploit to execute their attacks (Assessment, 2005). This process exclusively depends on adequate risk assessment.  Mitigation measures in my work place should encompass security reinforcement of highly vulnerable spots in the building both inside and outside such as the armory.

The communication lines should also be secured and encrypted to ensure uninterrupted information flow, security alerts within the structure and facilitate faster and easier movement of people and other assets in the event of an attack.

There should be inclusion of more emergency exit routes that are safe for everyone in the building such as in the top floor in even of an attack.

The mitigation actions should include determination of location accessibility, the efficiency of response teams and facilities within the building (Assessment, 2005). The staff within the police department building needs to be adequately trained to use the disaster response facilities in the premise.


Assessment, F. R. (2005). A How-To Guide to Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attacks Against Buildings. FEMA, 452, 3-6.

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