The COVID-19 pandemic challenge to the All-Hazards Approach for disaster planning

Kobi Peleg, Moran Bodas, Attila J. Hertelendy, Thomas D. Kirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The current paradigm in disaster risk planning and reduction is the All-Hazards Approach (AHA) framework, which suggests that different hazards share commonalities allowing for the generalization of parts of the preparedness to all. A growing body of literature suggests that this approach has many flaws, rendering it suboptimal in promoting disaster readiness. The Novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) outbreak is a major wake-up call in this regard. This perspective article uses the experience from the COVID-19 pandemic that disproves or at least undermines, many aspects of the AHA, including early warning, medical public health response, reliance on international assistance, lead agency, and politicization of the crisis. A pandemic is a unique disaster with little relationship to other disaster types and requires an entirely different way of planning. The COVID-19 pandemic is a call to action for a consolidated alternative framework called the Top-Hazards Approach (THA), arguing that inherently different events require different planning and mitigation tactics, and therefore should be prioritized according to likelihood and severity in each local context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102103
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • All-hazards approach
  • COVID-19
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Top-hazards approach


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