NIST risk mitigation guide gives planners a head start

March 02, 2007

Identifying the most important hazards threatening buildings and other constructions and taking action to eliminate them or reduce their potential impact make sense, but the task can be daunting. What are the risks associated with various natural and man-made hazards? What strategies might mitigate the threats? How do you select the most cost-effective combination of strategies? The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) directs you to some answers in a new Web-enabled Risk Mitigation Toolkit.

The Toolkit is an interactive document version of the printed NIST report, A Guide to Printed and Electronic Resources for Developing a Cost-Effective Risk Mitigation Plan for New and Existing Constructed Facilities (NISTIR 7390). Building managers and owners as well as other key decision makers can turn to the annotated bibliography of printed and electronic resources for useful disaster mitigation data and tools. The guide and toolkit are organized around three main topics: risk assessment, risk management and economic evaluation. References are provided for relevant software programs, data and studies. Appendices outline a step-by-step template for developing a risk-mitigation plan, list relevant clearing houses and web portals for specific types of information and cite key risk mitigation-related research studies on risk-mitigation strategies. Two comprehensive indexes, one organized by subject and one organized by author, make it easy to find key reference documents, databases and software tools. An extensive glossary of economic terms used in evaluating the cost effectiveness of disaster mitigation investments in constructed facilities also is included.

The web-enabled Toolkit includes all features of the printed version plus active Web links to more than 300 cited sources. The indexes and all the Web links within the three main topics are active, enabling users to browse documents and data sources on other sites. Many of the Web links in the guide permit documents and data files to be downloaded for future reference and use. The Toolkit is set up as a PDF file and requires Adobe Acrobat Version 7.0 or higher.

The Toolkit, by providing information on key resources needed to perform a rigorous economic evaluation, makes it easier to use resources such as the "Cost-Effectiveness Tool for Capital Asset Protection," a NIST economic analysis software product described in "Software Addresses Terrorist Building Threats" (

The Toolkit version of the printed guide is available for download at Single complimentary printed copies of NISTIR 7390 can be requested by sending an e-mail with mailing instructions to An electronic version of the printed report is available for download at

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

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