Outputs & Uses

Riskscape Uses 

A key question is - what uses does a multi-hazard model such as RiskScape have for natural hazard management? There is potential to apply RiskScape model outputs to activities performed within each of the 4 R’s of emergency management; Reduction (risk), Readiness, Response, Recovery. Specific activities include:   

Standardised hazard and impact assessment framework: RiskScape has the potential to become a nationally applied hazard and impact assessment tool enabling a standardised approach across the country. Currently there is no standardised approach to assessing the impacts and risk from different hazards making regional comparison difficult.

Risk Reduction: The most obvious relates to increasing the resilience of our communities through prudent mitigation measures. The model will be capable firstly of defining the risks that communities are currently exposed to. As additional hazards are added, then the importance of each peril to a community will become apparent and prioritization of measures to reduce the risk of that mitigate or other hazards can be assessed (i.e. where do we get the best benefit for $’s spent on risk reduction). The provision of active fault locations and classes will be included within RiskScape, at least on a regional scale. Where more accurate detail is known, this can be introduced and if the accuracy is sufficient, RiskScape can provide input into both LIM reports and planning controls.

Within RiskScape there is the ability to manipulate building attributes to test risk reduction policies such as changes in floor levels or structural reinforcement. By changing this data, the differences in damage can be assessed which can assist with policy evaluation.

Realistic Emergency Response Exercises: the application of hazard scenarios will enable realistic planning exercises to be developed for the range of hazards present. “What-if” scenarios can be followed through such as major bridge failures or water supply disruptions or what areas should be attended to first. The multi-hazard approach will enable response teams to focus on both likely and the more severe infrequent events.

Response to a Disaster Event: with the inclusion of the near real-time response scenario following or during an actual event, the RiskScape model provides a valuable tool in prioritising responses to specific events and quickly estimating the scale of damage and casualties to guide allocation of resources. This will be possible both at local/regional and central-government levels and emergency management response strategies developed accordingly. This use of RiskScape during an event is contingent on having previously developed a full suite of hazard-risk scenarios and the appropriate asset databases have been implemented.

Land-use Planning: Natural disasters are largely man-made. The most effective way to reduce the impact from these hazards is through changing the use of resources in areas at risk. A key approach for doing this is land use planning. To plan land uses so that they are sustainable and sensitive to the natural processes of nature, it is necessary to identify and map areas at risk and have a good understanding of what the potential consequences might be. RiskScape has the potential to become an integral part of the planning process by providing this information.

Critical Infrastructure: Asset owners can input their own asset information (confidentially if necessary) and determine possible impacts such as structural damage, disruption and outage and functional downtime (under development). 


Riskscape Outputs

  • Hazard maps: flood depth, wind field...
  • Impact maps: $losses, injuries, casualties, displacement, business disruption...
  • Shape files
  • PDF reports
  • Summary tables
  • KML files that can be displayed in Google Earth 

Output examples:

These are example outputs from a 200yr flood scenario along the Heathcote River in Christchurch.




Affected buildings and inundation depth above ground




Number of affected population




Aggregated number of affected population (mesh block)




Aggregated number of affected population as KML output (Google Earth)




Front page of RiskScape PDF report