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1. Identify the Threats and Hazards of Concern. Based on past experience, forecasting, expert judgment, and available resources, identify a list of the threats and hazards of concern to the community.

2. Give Threats and Hazards Context. Using the list of threats and hazards, develop context that shows how those threats and hazards may affect the community.

3. Examine the Core Capabilities Using the Threats and Hazards. Using the threat and hazard context, identify impacts to the community through the lens of the core capabilities described in the Goal.

4. Set Capability Targets. Looking across the estimated impacts to the community, in the context of each core capability and coupled with a jurisdiction’s desired outcomes, set capability targets.

5. Apply the Results. Plan for the ability to deliver the targeted level of capability with either community assets or through mutual aid, identify mitigation opportunities, and drive preparedness activities. 

APA style 6 pages of an actual work I don’t need a title page only reference page.

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And can be done by 11pm today Threat and Hazard Identification
and Risk Assessment (THIRA)
and Stakeholder Preparedness
Review (SPR) Guide
Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 201
3rd Edition
May 2018

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

2

Preface CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

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Preface
Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 201, 3rd Edition, provides guidance for conducting a
Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and Stakeholder Preparedness
Review (SPR), formerly State Preparedness Report. The 1st Edition of CPG 201 (April 2012)
presented the basic steps of the THIRA process. Specifically, the 1st Edition described a
standard process for identifying community-specific threats and hazards and setting targets for
each core capability identified in the National Preparedness Goal. The 2nd Edition (August
2013) expanded the THIRA process to include resource estimation, streamlined the number of
steps in the process, and provided additional examples of how to develop a THIRA.

CPG 201, 3rd Edition, includes both the THIRA and SPR because they are interconnected
processes that, together, communities use to evaluate their preparedness. The 3rd Edition also
introduces updates to both methodologies. The THIRA includes standardized language to
describe threat and hazard impacts and capability targets. This allows communities to collect
more specific, quantitative information while also providing important context. Through the
updated SPR process, communities collect more detailed and actionable data on their current
capabilities and identified capability gaps. Communities then indicate their intended approaches
for addressing those gaps, and assess the impact of relevant funding sources on building and
sustaining capabilities.
Where appropriate, the 3rd Edition highlights key changes from previous editions of CPG 201.
This 3rd Edition supersedes the 2nd Edition of CPG 201.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition Table of Contents

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Table of Contents

Contents
Preface ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
Table of Contents ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5

The National Preparedness Goal ……………………………………………………………………………………. 5
The National Preparedness System ………………………………………………………………………………… 6
Using the THIRA/SPR Strategically ………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Community-Wide Involvement …………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

The THIRA Process …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 10
Introduction to the Three Steps of the THIRA ………………………………………………………………. 10
Step 1: Identify the Threats and Hazards of Concern ……………………………………………………… 11
Step 2: Give the Threats and Hazards Context ………………………………………………………………. 15
Step 3: Establish Capability Targets …………………………………………………………………………….. 19

The SPR Process ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 23
Step 1: Assess Capabilities …………………………………………………………………………………………. 24
Step 2: Identify and Address Capability Gaps ……………………………………………………………….. 34
Step 3: Describe Impacts of Funding Sources ……………………………………………………………….. 39

Conclusion …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 41
Glossary of Terms ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 42

Introduction CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

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Introduction
The National Preparedness Goal
The National Preparedness Goal, Second Edition (2015)1 defines what it means for all
communities to be prepared for the threats and hazards that pose the greatest risk to the security
of the United States. The National Preparedness Goal (“the Goal”) is:

A secure and resilient Nation with the capabilities required across the whole community to
prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats and hazards that

pose the greatest risk.

The Goal identifies 32 distinct activities, called core capabilities, needed to address the greatest
risks facing the Nation (see Figure 1). 2 The Goal organizes these core capabilities into five
categories, called mission areas.3 Some core capabilities apply to more than one mission area.
For example, the first three core capabilities—Planning, Public Information and Warning, and
Operational Coordination—are cross-cutting capabilities, meaning they apply to each of the five
mission areas.

The National Preparedness Goal describes the five mission areas as follows:

• Prevention: Prevent, avoid, or stop an imminent, threatened, or actual act of terrorism.

• Protection: Protect our citizens, residents, visitors, and assets against the greatest
threats and hazards in a manner that allows our interests, aspirations, and way of life to
thrive.

• Mitigation: Reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of future
disasters.

• Response: Respond quickly to save lives; protect property and the environment; and
meet basic human needs in the aftermath of an incident.

• Recovery: Recover through a focus on the timely restoration, strengthening, and
revitalization of infrastructure, housing, and a sustainable economy, as well as the
health, social, cultural, historic, and environmental fabric of communities affected by an
incident.

The mission areas and core capabilities organize the community-wide activities and tasks
performed before, during, and after disasters into a framework for achieving the goal of a
secure and resilient Nation.

1 For additional information on the National Preparedness Goal, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-
preparedness-goal.
2 For additional information on core capabilities, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/core-capabilities.
3 For additional information on mission areas, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/mission-areas.

https://www.fema.gov/national-preparedness-goal

https://www.fema.gov/national-preparedness-goal

https://www.fema.gov/core-capabilities

https://www.fema.gov/mission-areas

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition Introduction

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Figure 1: Five mission areas organize the 32 core capabilities needed to address threat and hazards of

concern.

The National Preparedness System
Communities assess, build, sustain, and deliver the core capabilities through an organized
process called the National Preparedness System.4 The National Preparedness System has six
components (see Figure 2), each of which ties into the others to guide community-wide
preparedness activities and achieve the Goal of a secure and resilient Nation.

4 For additional information on the National Preparedness System, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-
preparedness-system.

https://www.fema.gov/national-preparedness-system

https://www.fema.gov/national-preparedness-system

Introduction CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

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Figure 2: There are six components of the National Preparedness System.

Using the THIRA/SPR Strategically
The THIRA/SPR sets a strategic foundation for putting the National Preparedness System into
action. Communities complete the THIRA every three years and use the data from the process to
assess their capabilities in the SPR, which is an annual review. It is important that communities
complete the THIRA on a multi-year cycle, as it enables them to assess year-over-year trends in
changes to their capabilities, while still periodically reviewing the capability targets to keep them
relevant.

The three-year THIRA/SPR cycle starts with the first step in the National Preparedness System:
Identifying and Assessing Risk. Risk is the potential for an unwanted outcome resulting from an
incident or occurrence, as determined by its likelihood and the associated consequences.5 In the
THIRA, communities identify risks with the potential to most challenge their capabilities and
expose areas in which the community is not as capable as it aims to be. These areas, or capability
gaps, create barriers in a community’s ability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and
recover from a threat or hazard. Understanding the risks they face will make it easier for
communities to determine what level of capability they should plan to build and sustain.
Communities can use the information that comes from the THIRA/SPR process to answer five
key strategic questions about their preparedness risks and capabilities (see Figure 3).

5 DHS Risk Lexicon, June 2010: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/dhs-risk-lexicon-2010_0.pdf.

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/dhs-risk-lexicon-2010_0.pdf

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition Introduction

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Figure 3: Communities use the THIRA/SPR to answer five key questions.

Since 2012, communities have used the THIRA/SPR to answer these questions, helping them
better understand the risks their communities face. This helps communities make important
decisions on how to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from the threats
and hazards that pose the greatest risks.

In addition to the Identifying and Assessing Risk component of the National Preparedness
System, communities use the THIRA/SPR for Estimating Capability Requirements. This
involves determining the specific level of capability that best addresses a community’s risks.
These community-specific capability levels are what communities use to determine their current
level of capability, identify their capability gaps, and identify how they can close those gaps. At
the end of the three-year THIRA/SPR cycle, communities reassess their risks by completing the
THIRA again and the process restarts. The outputs of the THIRA/SPR provide communities a
foundation to prioritize decisions, close gaps in capability, support continuous improvement
processes, and drive the other National Preparedness System components (see Figure 4).

Introduction CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

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Figure 4: The THIRA/SPR fuels NPS implementation.

Community-Wide Involvement
Recognizing that preparedness is a shared responsibility, the National Preparedness System calls
for everyone—not just government agencies—to be involved in preparedness efforts.
Community-wide involvement is an important principle in preparedness that entails involving
stakeholders throughout preparedness development, and ensuring preparedness materials reflect
their roles and responsibilities. Including stakeholders early on and throughout the THIRA/SPR
process helps the community to conduct accurate and comprehensive assessments. Furthermore,
involving stakeholders throughout the process empowers them to use the data to help drive
priorities and investments within their own organizations.
As such, developing a comprehensive and accurate THIRA/SPR requires active community
involvement from stakeholders and subject-matter experts (SMEs), such as:
 Colleges/universities, and other research organizations
 Cybersecurity experts
 Emergency management/homeland security agencies
 Emergency Planning Committees
 Federal agencies (e.g. Department of Health and Human Services)
 FEMA regional offices
 Fire, police, emergency medical services, and health departments
 Hazard mitigation offices
 Infrastructure owners and operators
 Major urban area and state fusion centers
 National Laboratories
 National Weather Service offices
 Port or transit organizations
 Supply chain stakeholders
 Private sector partners (including the 16 critical infrastructure sectors)

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition The THIRA Process

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 Professional associations
 Tribal governments
 U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Protective Security Advisors
 Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD)
 Other organizations or agencies with significant impact on the local economy

Communities should also include SMEs
from planning, exercises, mitigation,
training, and other key areas in their
THIRA/SPR process. Including the
perspectives and expertise of these key
stakeholders gives communities critical
information regarding planning factors
and capability levels across all mission
areas. As a result, emergency managers
will be well-positioned to provide
essential information about the status of
capabilities and consider THIRA/SPR data in their planning efforts, including the development
of strategic, operational, and tactical plans.

Importance of Community-Wide Involvement

The outputs of the THIRA/SPR process inform
all other preparedness activities; helping

communities identify challenges, drive priorities,
and close gaps in capabilities. Therefore, when

developing and updating THIRA/SPRs,
communities should ensure their assessment and
planning efforts include community-wide input

and perspectives.

The THIRA Process
Introduction to the Three Steps of the THIRA
The THIRA is a three-step risk assessment completed every three years. It helps communities
answer the following questions:
 What threats and hazards can affect our community?
 If they occurred, what impacts would those threats and hazards have on our community?
 Based on those impacts, what capabilities should our community have?

The THIRA helps communities understand their risks and determine the level of capability they
need in order to address those risks. The outputs from this process lay the foundation for
determining a community’s capability gaps during the SPR process.

This section describes the three-step process for developing a THIRA (see Figure 5):

Figure 5: There are three steps in the THIRA process.

THIRA Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

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1. Identify Threats and Hazards of Concern: Based on a combination of experience,
forecasting, subject matter expertise, and other available resources, develop a list of threats
and hazards that could affect the community. When deciding what threats and hazards to
include in the THIRA, communities consider only those that challenge the community’s
ability to deliver at least one core capability
more than any other threat or hazard; the
THIRA is not intended to include less
challenging threats and hazards.

2. Give Threats and Hazards Context:
Describe the threats and hazards identified in
Step 1, showing how they may affect the
community and create challenges in
performing the core capabilities. Identify the
impacts a threat or hazard may have on a
community.

3. Establish Capability Targets: Using the impacts described in Step 2, determine the level of
capability that the community plans to achieve over time in order to manage the threats and
hazards it faces. Using standardized language, create capability targets for each of the core
capabilities based on this desired level of capability by identifying impacts, objectives, and
timeframe metrics.

THIRA: Key Changes
▪ FEMA now recommends that

communities complete the THIRA on a
three-year cycle, rather than annually.

▪ The THIRA is now a three-step
assessment; FEMA has removed
THIRA Step 4—Apply Results—from
the process.

Step 1: Identify the Threats and Hazards of Concern
In Step 1 of the THIRA process, communities develop a list of threats and hazards (see Figure
6).

Figure 6: The output of Step 1 of the THIRA is a list of threats and hazards of concern.

Categories of Threats and Hazards
For the purposes of the THIRA, threats and hazards are organized into three categories.
 Natural hazards: acts of nature
 Technological hazards: accidents or the failures of systems and structures
 Human-caused incidents: the intentional actions of an adversary

Table 1 provides example threats and hazards for each of the three categories.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 1

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Table 1: Example threats and hazards by category.

Natural Technological Human-caused

Avalanche

Drought

Earthquake

Epidemic

Flood

Hurricane/Typhoon

Space weather

Tornado

Tsunami

Volcanic eruption

Winter storm

Dam failure

Hazardous materials release

Industrial accident

Levee failure

Mine accident

Pipeline explosion

Radiological release

Train derailment

Transportation accident

Urban conflagration

Utility disruption

Active shooter incident

Armed assault

Biological attack

Chemical attack

Cyber-attack against data

Cyber-attack against
infrastructure

Explosives attack

Improvised nuclear attack

Nuclear terrorism attack

Radiological attack

Communities consider two criteria when
identifying threats and hazards for the
assessment: (1) the threat or hazard is
reasonably likely to affect the community;
and (2) the impact of the threat or hazard
challenges at least one of the 32 core
capabilities more than any other threat or
hazard. As a single incident may most
challenge the ability to perform multiple
core capabilities, the number of threats and hazards that each community includes will depend
on the specific risk profile of the community.
See Figure 7 for an example where a community selected an earthquake, a cyber-attack, a flood,
an active shooter, and a chemical hazmat release—each of which most challenged at least one
core capability.

The Most Challenging Threat or Hazard

For the purposes of this Guide, if a threat or
hazard “most challenges” a core capability, it
means that the community would struggle to

deliver the core capability during that specific
incident more so than for any other threat or

hazard.

THIRA Step 1 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

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Figure 7: A single threat or hazard may most challenge more than one core capability.

Sources of Threat and Hazard Information
Consulting multiple sources during the THIRA process helps establish a comprehensive list of
the threats and hazards that communities may face. These sources may include, but are not
limited to:
 Existing Federal, state, local, and tribal strategic and operational plans
 Existing threat or hazard assessments (e.g., the Hazard Identification and Risk

Assessment)
 Forecasts or models of future risks due to changing weather and demographic patterns or

emerging threats
 Hazard mitigation plans
 Intelligence fusion center bulletins and assessments
 Local, regional, tribal, and neighboring community THIRAs
 Records from previous incidents, including historical data
 Homeland security and emergency management laws, policies, and procedures
 Private-sector plans and risk assessments, including those for lifeline functions

(communications, energy, transportation, and water)6
Factors for Selecting Threats and Hazards
When identifying threats and hazards to include in the THIRA, communities consider two key
factors: (1) the likelihood of a threat or hazard affecting the community; and (2) the challenge
presented by the impacts of that threat or hazard, should it occur.

6 Lifeline functions are functions that are essential to the operation of most critical infrastructure sectors. For
additional information on lifeline functions please visit:
https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/national-infrastructure-protection-plan-2013-508.pdf.

https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/national-infrastructure-protection-plan-2013-508.pdf

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 1

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Factor #1: Likelihood of a Threat or Hazard Affecting a Community
For the purposes of the THIRA, “likelihood” is the chance of a given threat or hazard affecting a
community. Likelihood is important to consider because communities must allocate limited
resources strategically. A particular threat or hazard might be possible, but communities should
determine whether the likelihood of its occurrence is large enough to drive investment decisions.
Through the THIRA, communities
identify the threats and hazards that
are challenging enough to expose
their capability gaps, and are likely
enough that a community can
justify investing in the capabilities
necessary to manage those threats
and hazards.
The ability to predict the likelihood
of a specific incident varies greatly
across threats and hazards. Some
hazards, such as floods, have
mature prediction models that can
allow communities to calculate the
numerical probability of a specific
incident, such as 1 in 100 or 1 percent a year, with a moderate degree of accuracy. Other
incidents, such as terrorism, are more difficult to predict and communities may most easily
express them on a logarithmic scale, such as 1 in 1,000, or on an ordinal scale, such as low,
medium, and high. Regardless of how communities express the probability of a specific
incident, understanding the likelihood of their threats and hazards can help communities
understand capability requirements and prioritize investments.
Including estimates of probability in the THIRA is not necessary, but communities may do so if
they deem it appropriate. Communities can also consider additional sources for useful likelihood
and consequence information to inform their threat and hazard selections, such as hazard
mitigation plans. Regardless of whether probability is included in the THIRA process,
communities only consider those threats and hazards that could realistically occur.
Factor #2: The Impacts of a Threat or Hazard
The projected impacts of threats and hazards determine the level of capability that a community
will need to address those impacts. To understand their risks effectively, communities should
identify and select threats and hazards that have impacts that most challenge their communities,
and therefore their capabilities. When assessing impact, it is important to consider that different
incidents present different types of challenges. In some cases, the sheer magnitude of the
incident may be substantial. In other cases, there may be operational or coordination
complexities or economic and social challenges.
Communities may include as many threats or hazards in their THIRA as they desire but should,
at a minimum, include as many threats and hazards as needed to most challenge each of the 32
core capabilities.

Considering the Location of Threat and Hazard
Consequences

Although incidents may have wider regional or national
effects, communities completing the THIRA should

focus strictly on the consequences within their
community. In some cases, it may be useful to include
threats and hazards that occur in other locations if they

trigger local effects.

For Example:
An industrial accident at a chemical plant located in one

particular community could affect people in another
community who are downwind or downriver from the

accident.

THIRA Step 2 CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition

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Step 2: Give the Threats and Hazards Context
In Step 2 of the THIRA process, communities create context descriptions and estimate the
impacts of the threats and hazards identified in Step 1 (see Figure 8). Context descriptions and
impacts inform THIRA Step 3 where communities determine the level of capability they would
like to achieve. When creating context
descriptions and estimating impacts,
communities should consider community-wide
sources, such as real-world incidents, SMEs,
exercises, response and recovery plans,
modeling, or tools. Identifying different sources
provides communities with key data points that
they can use to determine how a threat or hazard
may affect their community. For example, SMEs
can help shape context descriptions by outlining
the time, place, and location of the threat or
hazard in a way that shows how it challenges a
community’s capabilities.
Identifying sources of information is extremely
important for continuity of the assessment
process. Communities may not update the THIRA for several years, so there may be changes in
staff involved in the process between updates. The potential resulting loss in knowledge and
experience after staff turnover can make it challenging to maintain continuity between updates.
Citing sources helps to complete future THIRA updates, increasing consistency, improving data
credibility, and reducing duplication of effort.

THIRA Step 2: Key Changes
▪ Communities now identify the impacts

for their chosen threats and hazards in
Step 2, rather than Step 3, because this
flows more naturally from developing
context descriptions.

▪ Communities now estimate the impacts
of each threat and hazard using
standardized impact language
(numerical entry), rather than providing
free-text impacts, establishing a
common language for describing
impacts at all levels of government.

Figure 8: The outputs of Step 2 of the THIRA are context descriptions and impact numbers.

Step 2.1: Context Descriptions
In Step 2.1 of the THIRA, communities add context to each threat and hazard identified in Step
1. Context Descriptions are the details about a threat or hazard needed to identify the impacts it
will have on a community and includes critical details such as location, magnitude, and time
of an incident.
If an element of the scenario is essential to understanding the impact of an incident and the
capabilities required to manage it, that element should be included in the context description.

CPG 201: THIRA/SPR Guide—3rd Edition THIRA Step 2

16

For example, at night, residential structures have a higher occupancy, while during the day,
schools and office buildings have higher occupancies. In this example, search and rescue
missions would target different locations based on the time of the day the scenario occurs. See
Table 2 for more examples on how critical details can influence a context description.

Table 2: Questions to Consider When Developing Context Descriptions

Best Practices for Developing Context Descriptions
Questions to Consider Examples in Practice

How would the timing of an incident affect the
community’s ability to manage it? What time of day
and what season would be most likely or have the
greatest impact?

Community A is a very popular summer tourist
destination. A tornado occurring at 7:00 p.m. in
June might have the greatest impacts, as large
numbers of tourists will be on the roads
returning to their hotels.

How would the location of an incident affect the
community’s ability to manage it? Which locations
would be most likely or have the greatest impacts
(e.g., populated areas, coastal zones, industrial or
residential areas)?

Community B has a high population density in
the north and very low population density in the
south. A pandemic might result in the greatest
impacts in the north, where the disease can
spread among the population more quickly.

What other conditions or circumstances make the
threat or hazard of particular concern (e.g.,
atmospheric conditions like wind speed/direction
and relative humidity, or multiple incidents
occurring at the same time)?

Community C experiences a hazardous
materials release. The worst impacts might
occur on a day with increased wind speed
directed towards the highly populated
residential areas in the community.

What social or physical vulnerabilities make the
threat or hazard of particular concern? (e.g., flood
prone areas, populations with limited or no ability to
evacuate)?

Community D is located in a mountainous
region, with its population spread between the
suburban areas in the foothills and the rural
mountain …

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