Homeland Security and Emergency Management

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety


Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA)

The Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process helps communities understand the normal set of risks it faces.  By identifying and prioritizing those threats, a community can then make smarter decisions. Leaders need to  manage the risks through
  • Appropriate planning
  • Mitigation strategies
  • Developing needed capabilities
Risk is the potential for an unwanted outcome resulting from an incident, event, or occurrence, as determined by its likelihood and the associated consequences. By considering changes to these elements, a community can understand how to best manage and plan for its greatest risks across the full range of the threats and hazards it faces.

THIRA Overview:

The Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) is a three-step risk assessment process that 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 that form this process lay the foundation for determining a community's capability gaps as part of the Stakeholder Preparedness Review.

  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 its 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 the 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 that a threat or hazard may have on a community.
  3. Establish Capability Targets: Using the impacts identified 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.

State Preparedness Report:

The Stakeholder Preparedness Review (SPR) is a self-assessment of a jurisdiction’s current capability levels against the targets identified in the Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA). The Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006 requires an annual report from any state or territory receiving federal preparedness assistance administered by the Department of Homeland Security. In 2018, Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) and Tribal Homeland Security Grant Program (THSGP) grantees will also complete an SPR. This assessment replaces the previous version of the assessment, the State Preparedness Report.
The SPR supports the National Preparedness System by helping jurisdictions identify preparedness capability gaps and sustainment requirements. States, localities, tribes, territories, Urban Area Security Initiative partners, and the federal government use this information to help make programmatic decisions to build and sustain capabilities, plan to deliver capabilities, and validate capabilities. Jurisdictions submit their assessment to FEMA by December 31 each year.
In 2018, FEMA worked with jurisdictional partners to develop an updated capability assessment methodology. Jurisdictions begin by completing standard capability targets in the THIRA process to determine the level of capability they plan to build to and sustain over time. They then assess their current preparedness levels directly against those targets. Jurisdictions set targets for the 32 core capabilities defined in the National Preparedness Goal.
Using the targets from the THIRA, jurisdictions identify their current capability and how that capability changed over the last year, including capabilities lost, sustained, and built. Jurisdictions also identify capability gaps related to Planning, Organization, Equipment, Training, and Exercises, and indicate their intended approaches for addressing gaps and sustainment requirements. In addition, jurisdictions will identify how FEMA preparedness grants helped to build or sustain capabilities.
The outputs of this process inform a variety of emergency management efforts, including: emergency operations planning, mutual aid agreements, hazard mitigation planning, grant investment strategies, and training and exercise efforts

State Preparedness Report 

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.