​​​​​​Risk and Capability



The Risk and Capability division is tasked with the following key responsibilities:

  • Oversees the State Strategic Risk Framework and State Risk Project.
  • Develops the State Strategic Capability Framework and State Capability Project.
  • Oversees production of the annual​ Emergency Preparedness Report.
  • Promotes a consistent profile of risk across the state from all priority hazards.
  • Works to ascertain strategic capability and resources required in relation to risk profiles.
  • Advises agencies on hazards, vulnerabilities and methodologies of risk assessment​​ (see risk tools).
  • Develops policy advice and guidance ​for implementing risk managemen​t and capability.
  • Represents the state on a national subcommittee.


Western Australia is subject to a wide variety of hazards that have the potential to cause loss of life, damage and destruction. These hazards result from both natural and technological events and sources.

Risk Management aims to lower the risks that are posed to Western Australia by natural and man-made hazards to a tolerable level. A risk management approach to emergency management is needed to keep pace with challenges such as climate change, a growing and changing population distribution, expanding infrastructure, resource developments regionally and urban expansion. This approach allows Western Australia to allocate its scarce resources most effectively.

Risk is determined by considering the hazard itself (e.g. cyclone), the exposure to the hazard (e.g. towns sitting in the cyclone path) and finally the vulnerability of the communities impacted (e.g. poor building construction, limited mobility of residents).

Disaster Risk = function (Hazard, Exposure, Vulnerability)

For planning, prevention and preparation at a State, district and local level, it is useful to identify these hazards (and their sources) and the risk they present to key aspects of the regions. These key aspects include the people, the economy, the social fabric, the governance, the infrastructure and the environment.

In December  2012, the SEMC endorsed six Core State Objectives to measure the risk posed to our communities:



PE​​​OPLE: Protect lives and wellbeing of persons

ECONOMY: Maintain and grow the State's productive capacity, employment and government revenue

SOCIAL SETTING: Ensure that there is public order, that people are housed and fed in a safe and sanitary manner and have access to social amenities including education and health services, and that things of cultural importance are preserved

GOVERNANCE:  Ensure that there is, at all times, an effective and functioning system of government and societal respect for rule of law


INFRASTRUCTURE: Maintain the functionality of infrastructure, particularly key transport infrastructure and utilities required for community health, economic production and effective management of emergencies 

​​​ENVIRONMENT: Protect ecosystem and biodiversity


The Western Australian State-level Risk Assessment for the seven sudden onset natural hazards report has been completed and is available on the Rep​orts and Reviews page.

​Learn more about ​the State Risk Project...




The Emergency Management Capability Framewor​​k builds from the previous Capability Framework to reflect the current best thinking on assessing preparedness within Western Australia. 

The framewor​​k encompasses 7 capability areas and 32 core capabilities. Each core capability within the framework is underpinned by achievement objec​​​​​tives. ​

For any queries or further information please email info@oem​.wa.gov.au.​​