The first step in planning and preparing for potential disasters is to conduct a threat analysis to determine where and what risks exist. We undertook the Gulf of Mexico Coastal All-Hazards Risk and Threat Assessment to provide a detailed assessment of plausible risk to the coastal states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. This assessment may be useful for emergency professionals pursuing regional preparedness planning.
The assessment investigated how threats from natural and man-made infrastructure, such as oil production or chemical manufacturing facilities, overlap to augment environmental risk during potential hazards. The spectrum of hazards evaluated for this project included natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunami waves), pollution accidents (oil or chemical spills), and potential biological events (harmful algal blooms). The study area was comprised of 73 counties and parishes throughout Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The final product is an assessment report with maps linking to a GIS viewer, including our online environmental data mapping tool ERMA®, and is intended for regional contingency planners.