How your community develops a CRR plan
According to the NFPA, the very first step in developing an effective CRR plan is to conduct a Community Risk Assessment (CRA). A CRA is a comprehensive evaluation that identifies, prioritizes, and defines the risks that pertain to the overall community. It requires local data to help define characteristics of the community, such as its demographics, building stock, geographic landscape, and public safety response capabilities.
In a recent blog post on the NFPA website entitled, “Your Data Toolbox in the Age of COVID-19: Feeding your Community Risk Assessment,” the author makes an important point about the power of data. He points out: “Data help you tell a story about your demographics, economy, critical infrastructure and other profiles so you can make informed decisions to increase community safety during the pandemic.”
CRA involves a blend of both qualitative and quantitative data. This means that while actual hard data is critical, some information can only be provided by members of the community like small businesses. The purpose of the CRA is to offer CRR developers an understanding of the community’s risks, capabilities, and characteristics related to demographics, geography, economics, hazards, etc. The information must be very specific to a community as it relies on local data.