Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment

The Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) process helps communities identify capability targets and resource requirements necessary to address anticipated and unanticipated risks.

The THIRA is a three-step risk assessment completed every three years. It helps 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. By understanding its risks, a community can make smart decisions about how to manage risk, including 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.

Core Capabilities

Communities use the core capabilities described in the National Preparedness Goal to organize their capability targets in the THIRA process. The core capabilities provide a common language for preparedness across the whole community. 

The core capabilities are relevant to all five preparedness mission areas:

  • Prevention: Prevent, avoid, or stop an imminent, threatened, or actual act of terrorism. 
  • Protection: Protect our citizens, residents, visitors, and assets against the greatest threats and hazards in a manner that allows our interests, aspirations, and way of life to thrive.
  • Mitigation: Reduce the loss of life and property by lessening the impact of future disasters.
  • Response: Respond quickly to save lives; protect property and the environment; and meet basic human needs in the aftermath of a catastrophic incident.
  • Recovery: Recover through a focus on the timely restoration, strengthening, and revitalization of infrastructure, housing, and a sustainable economy, as well as the health, social, cultural, historic, and environmental fabric of communities affected by a catastrophic incident.

Threats and Hazards Identified


A magnitude 6.9 earthquake along the Mount Rose Fault (April-September), resulting in significant damage/disruption to infrastructure and energy/fuel delivery systems, the moderate to severe damage of 1,200 residential structures, moderate to severe damages to 300 small to medium sized businesses, and other damage out to 40 miles from the epicenter. This event would displace +/- 5,000 persons, inflict moderate to severe injury to 3,000 persons, and cause 50 deaths. 2. A magnitude 6.0 earthquake along the Frenchman Mountain Fault occurs during the peak tourism months (April - September). This earthquake will result in widespread damage throughout the Las Vegas Urban Area, including aging unreinforced masonry buildings and high rise resort hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. The economic loss as a result of the earthquake exceeds $7 billion. Over 15,000 buildings experience major damage. More than 3,600 people will require shelter, over 1,100 mass casualties are expected, and nearly 300 fatalities are likely. 3. A magnitude 7.8 Earthquake on the San Andreas Fault with epicenter near Salton Sea. This earthquake will result in damage out to 60 miles from the epicenter, impacting fuel, vehicular transportation, and power through Cajon Pass and the I-15 corridor to Las Vegas. While mass migration from impact areas within Southern California may occur with as many as 50,000 persons seeking temporary shelter, fuel disruption to the Las Vegas area and McCarran Airport is ongoing for 7-10 days.


A 100/500-year event results in catastrophic flash floods causing flooding to critical infrastructure including: 100 small/medium businesses with moderate to major damage, 15,000 residential homes with moderate to major damages. public roadways and highways damaged including the undercut of 30 miles of primary roadway, 300 culverts blocked or damaged. Discharge/Flow rates in excess of 23,500 cubic feet/second in strained public flood channels.

Wildland Fire

A lightning strike causes a 5,000-10,000 acre wildfire threatening 500 residential and small/medium commercial structures, as well as Critical Infrastructure/Key Resource (CIKR) sites in the urban interface in July. Because of this fire, 2,000 persons are displaced with 500 requiring shelter for a period of three days. Additionally, 100 (reduced from 200) persons have adverse respiratory/medical reactions due to smoke and fire activities requiring hospitalization for 24 hours. There is a displacement of animals and livestock requiring the establishment of sheltering/housing specific to this population, no more than 100, for seven days.


An infectious disease outbreak is introduced to southern Nevada by way of direct air travel into Las Vegas and transmitted efficiently from person to person resulting in large numbers of people being infected. The pandemic wave will sweep across southern Nevada in 1-2 months (New timeframe), and observed after 1-2 months (new observation period) affecting multiple locations both in southern and northern (new location) Nevada, as well as simultaneously impacting other locations outside of state due to transient population movement (new wider population impact). 3.0 % of overall population have minor to moderate infections that impact their ability to work for one to three weeks.

Active Shooter

A coordinated active shooter incident (i.e., Mumbai/Paris-style attack) targeting multiple commercial soft targets along the Las Vegas Strip using small arms and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). 2-5 (new number) gunmen attack various locations, including three (3) luxury hotels/casinos, a hospital and nearby international airport. The attack stretches on for 6 hours. (shortened timeframe). There are 75 fatalities and 250 non-fatal (new human impacts) injuries as a result of the assault and or other actions or mechanisms of injury.

Cyber Attacks

A cyber related incident resulting in the loss of system integrity to information technology systems that also severely compromises essential services. The event creates an inability for systems and their operators to understand, detect, and isolate the event, and destabilizes critical technology systems. One of the consequences is the inability to conduct financial transactions within the impacted systems.


8 years of persistent extreme to exceptional drought that results in: 20% of the county's private wells running dry; municipal water reserves are at emergency levels; and the effect of the drought results in a 20% economic downturn for the county.

Hazardous Release - Chemical

Non-terrorism transportation system release involving rail/freight line derailment near or on major highway corridor causing a chemical or hazardous material (i.e., chlorine) spill and potential plume over a major population area. This results in the displacement of 25,000 persons from 3,000 residential and 750 commercial buildings within the impacted area. Additionally, the release causes injury to 150 persons and death to 50 persons.