The RDLS defines taxonomies for describing risk data. In this section you will find a short summary of the taxonomies recommended for the RDLS, as well as the other main taxonomies for disaster risk assessments.

Hazard taxonomies

There are several existing taxonomies that could have been adopted to describe hazard data. The RDL project performed a review of most of them.

This resulted in an new taxonomy to unify the existing taxonomies for the purpose of risk data classification, focusing on those hazards and processes that are more often required in disaster risk assessments while mapping and matching alternative definitions into one consistent framework.

The RDLS Hazard Taxonomy classifies hazard phenomena as main hazard (8 categories) and hazard process (27 categories):

Hazard type Process type
Coastal Flood Coastal Flood
Coastal Flood Storm Surge
Convective Storm Tornado
Drought Agricultural Drought
Drought Hydrological Drought
Drought Meteorological Drought
Drought Socio-economic Drought
Earthquake Primary Rupture
Earthquake Secondary Rupture
Earthquake Ground Motion
Earthquake Liquefaction
Extreme Temperature Extreme cold
Extreme Temperature Extreme heat
Flood Fluvial Flood
Flood Pluvial Flood
Landslide Landslide
Landslide Snow Avalanche
Tsunami Tsunami
Volcanic Ashfall
Volcanic Ballistics
Volcanic Proximal hazards
Volcanic Lahar
Volcanic Lava
Volcanic Pyroclastic Flow
Wildfire Wildfire
Strong Wind Extratropical cyclone
Strong Wind Tropical cyclone

Other hazard taxonomies

For a mapping between RDLS Hazard Taxonomy and other existing hazard taxonomies, please see this here.

List of other hazard taxonomies below:

  • UNDRR (formerly UNISDR) recently proposed an extended taxonomy that covers 300 natural and anthropogenic hazards in 8 categories (Meteo-Hydrological, Geohazard, Environmental, Extraterrestrial, Chemical, Biological, Technological, Societal).

  • Disaster Risk Management Knowledge Centre covers 32 natural and anthropogenic hazards in 8 categories (Geophysical, Hydrological, Meteorological, Climatological, Biological, Technological, Transportation, Malicious).

  • Inspire covers 25 natural hazards in 6 categories (Geological/hydrological, Meteorological/climatological, Fires, Biological, Cosmic, Other).

  • EM-DAT covers 34 natural and technological hazards in 9 categories (Geophysical, Meteorological, Hydrological, Climatological, Biological, Extraterrestrial, Industrial accident, Transport accident, Miscelleanous accident).

  • Munich-RE covers 27 natural hazards 13 main categories (Geophysical, Meteorological, Hydrological, Climatological, Biological, Extraterrestrial).

Exposure taxonomy

The exposure schema can accomodate different descriptions of assets using a taxonomy which describes their characteristics (e.g. building occupancy, construction, age, height, etc. or road surface type).

GED4all has been developed by GFDRR under the UK-DFID Challenge Fund, this open exposure database schema is meant for multi-hazard risk analysis. GED4ALL can be populated with building-level data from OpenStreetMap (OSM) following the guidance from the Humanitarian OSM Team, which collects contributions from the community on how OSM tags can be best aligned with the GED4ALL taxonomy. This is the suggested option for classification of exposure data in the RDL.

Other exposure taxonomies

GEM-OpenQuake: developed specifically for the Global Earthquake Model (GEM), this taxonomy is dedicated to buildings for which it describe the size and properties (height, number of storeys, age, occupancy, material, type of roof, floor and foundations).