Reducing Risk


The Natural Hazards Mission of the USGS is to develop and apply science to help protect the safety, security, and economic well-being of the Nation. USGS provides a diverse set of expertise, data, and resources to reduce risk from multiple hazards.

USGS Risk Plan

USGS Risk Plan

A plan to advance USGS capabilities in risk assessment, mitigation, and communication.

Read the Plan

Plan Implementation



Learn more about the Strategic Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment on DOI Resources (SHIRA) Project.

Learn More



Explore the Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR) project.



March 26, 2021

Natural Hazards Newsletter - Vol. 2 | Issue Spring 2021

In this issue: When will Mauna Loa next Erupt?, ShakeOut rollout to the Pacific Northwest, Big Sur Landslides, new storymaps for earthquakes and wildfire science, expanding coverage of the "Total Water Level and Coastal Change Forecast" tools, New Reducing Risk 2021 projects, and more.

Date published: March 23, 2021

CONNECT! Natural Hazards Mission Area Facebook Account Exceeds 20K Followers, and New @USGS_Quakes Twitter Account Now Has More Than 200K Followers

Through coordinated communication activities, the Natural Hazards Mission Area is committed to sharing news and science with broad audiences. Social media is an important part of this communications portfolio.

Date published: March 19, 2021

Announcing the 2021 Reducing Risk Awardees

Each year, as part of implementing the USGS Risk Plan, the Natural Hazards Mission Area issues a bureau-wide request for proposals (RFP) to award seed funding to projects that focus on innovative risk research and applications.

Attribution: Natural Hazards


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Year Published: 2019

The HayWired earthquake scenario—Societal consequences

The HayWired Earthquake Scenario—Societal Consequences is the third volume of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5013, which describes the HayWired scenario, developed by USGS and its partners. The scenario is a hypothetical yet scientifically realistic earthquake sequence that is being used to better understand...

Detweiler, Shane T.; Wein, Anne M.
Johnson, L.A., Jones, J.L., Wein, A.M., and Peters, J.A., 2020, Analysis of communities at risk in the HayWired scenario, chap. U of Detweiler, S.T., and Wein, A.M., eds., The HayWired earthquake scenario—Societal consequences: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017–5013–R–W, 139 p.,

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Year Published: 2019

Assessing hazards and risks at the Department of the Interior—A workshop report

On February 27–28, 2018, the U.S. Geological Survey and Department of the Interior (DOI) Office of Emergency Management (OEM) hosted a workshop to gather input from DOI subject matter experts (SMEs), resource managers, facility managers, emergency managers, and law enforcement personnel. Workshop goals were to (1) determine how DOI Bureaus and...

Wood, Nathan; Pennaz, Alice; Ludwig, Kristin; Jones, Jeanne; Henry, Kevin; Sherba, Jason; Ng, Peter; Marineau, Jason; Juskie, John
Wood, N., Pennaz, A., Ludwig, K., Jones, J., Henry, K, Sherba, J., Ng, P., Marineau, J., and Juskie, J., 2019, Assessing hazards and risks at the Department of the Interior—A workshop report: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1453, 42 p.,

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Year Published: 2018

Science for a risky world—A U.S. Geological Survey plan for risk research and applications

Executive SummaryNatural hazards—including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, hurricanes, droughts, floods, wildfires, geomagnetic storms, and pandemics—can wreak havoc on human communities, the economy, and natural resources for years following an initial event. Hazards can claim lives and cause billions of dollars in damage...

Ludwig, K.A.; Ramsey, David W.; Wood, Nathan J.; Pennaz, A.B.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Luco, Nicolas; Koenig, Todd A.; Hudnut, Kenneth W.; Davis, Donyelle K.; Bright, Patricia R.
Attribution: Natural Hazards
Ludwig, K.A., Ramsey, D.W., Wood, N.J., Pennaz, A.B., Godt, J.W., Plant, N.G., Luco, N., Koenig, T.A., Hudnut, K.W., Davis, D.K., and Bright, P.R., 2018, Science for a risky world—A U.S. Geological Survey plan for risk research and applications: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1444, 57 p.,