Community Emergency Risk Assessment (CERA) is an all hazards risk assessment tool which aims to identify, mitigate and reduce risk within the community following the Australian Standard for risk management, ISO 31000.

CERA identifies the hazard risk as a broad statement such as “There is a Riverine Flood Risk in this Municipality”. As no risk is the same across an area as large as a municipality, the committee, agencies and community firstly can plan for the risk as a whole. This will then assist in identifying any gaps in mitigation and also identifying specific areas in the community that may be at greater risk and therefore need more mitigation than other areas.  

 

Who should be involved?

Municipalities, agencies and community members should all be engaged as part of the CERA process. The risk assessments are performed under the guidance of a VICSES facilitator at Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committees (MEMPC) level and used to inform their planning, mitigation and response to all hazards. The integrity of the risk assessment outcomes is reliant on having the relevant subject matter experts and agencies in the room to provide key information, guide discussions and assist with validating risks.

 

What are the steps in the CERA process?

The CERA process is designed to be undertaken over two facilitated sessions:

The first session the MEMPC must:

  • Identify what risks they have in their municipality- based on previously identified risks, historical data and subject matter expert knowledge.
  • For each of the risks identified they then have to consider the consequence and likelihood.
  • Discuss the causes, impacts and existing treatment strategies currently in place for these risks.
  • Some risks may already have been identified and a sub plan in place, which can speed up the CERA process. The subject matter expert for each hazard is required to validate the risk assessment and mitigation.

The second session:

  • Participants analyse the selected local risks
  • The facilitator then leads the group in voting on a scale 1-5 their analysis on the “Maximum Foreseeable Consequence”, “Current Mitigation”, “Residual Consequence” and “Residual Likelihood/ Frequency” for each hazard.
  • Assign confidence level to each risk rating
  • Identify opportunities to improve collaboration with other agencies and municipalities to address the common risks.
  • Identify opportunities for mitigation and action to address the identified risks.
  • Discuss / tease out frequency, worst case scenario and the last significant event to occur (Local, Municipality, State, nationally and internationally).

To finalise the CERA process VICSES staff support the committee by loading the data from the group discussions into an excel-based risk assessment tool that will calculate the levels of risk and create risk sheets (that can be exported) as well as heat maps for inclusion in Municipal Emergency Management Plans.

CERA Resources

If you would like more information on CERA or the above resources please contact emp@ses.vic.gov.au