Know your risks

The Civil Contingencies Act (2004) requires the Staffordshire Resilience Forum to produce a local Community Risk Register (254 KB) to allow you, as an individual and as part of the community, to be aware of local risks and thus prepare for emergencies. It also prioritises risks in order to identify current main concerns for Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Community Risk Register covers all types of hazards and all the plans and controls we have in place to protect the community of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. The risk scenarios are worse case assumptions upon which our risk assessments are based. It’s a case of plan for the worst, hope for the best!

The risk information on this site covers only non-malicious events (namely hazards) not threats (terrorist incidents). Our risk assessment work does cover threats, but because the information is highly sensitive, we do not publish specific details.

The Staffordshire Risk Matrix is a colour-coded and visual respresentation of the risks identified in the Community Risk Register. 

The National Risk Register 2020 explains the risks of major emergencies that could affect the UK in the next five years and provides resilience advice and guidance. 

There are also a number of national risk categories that by their very nature do not relate to Staffordshire and are therefore not included in the register- such as the risk of coastal flooding to Staffordshire!


The risk rating process works as follows:

a. An assessment of the likelihood of an event occurring in Staffordshire over the next two years is given a score of one to five; one being the lowest (negligible) and five being the highest (probable).

b. The impact of an event occurring in the area is mapped against the impact on the health, social, economic and environmental aspects of our community. The scoring values are also one to five, with one being the lowest (limited) and five the highest (catastrophic).  


Hazard - an accidental or naturally occurring event or situation with the potential to cause physical (or psychological) harm to members of the community (including loss of life), damage or losses to property and/or disruption to the environment or to structures (economic, social, or political) upon which the community's way of life depends.

Threat - the deliberate / malicious intent to cause loss of life or create adverse consequences to human welfare, the environment or security of a place or the UK. (This includes causing disruption.)

Risk - measures the significance of potential emergencies, in terms of likelihood and impact in the context of the CCA.

Impact -measures the consequence of the event.

Likelihood - measures the probability and frequency of the event occurring in the next 5 years.The table below sets out the definitions of each level of risk and enables the reader to understand how the likelihood scoring has been assessed.



Stated Chance in five years




Between 1 in 20,000 and 1 in 2000




Between 1 in 2000 and 1 in 200




Between 1 in 200 and 1 in 20




Between 1 in 20 and 1 in 2




1 in 2 or more


Using the 6 stage process as follows:

1. Contextualisation

This involves defining the nature and scope of the risk and agreeing how the risk management process will be undertaken.

2. Identify hazards & threats

  • Physical-mechanical failings of structures.
  • Environmental / natural-severe weather.
  • Organisational / infrastructure - staff illness or loss of building.
  • Social / community-loss of homes.
  • Health (human & animal) -pandemics, foot & mouth.
  • Technological-dam collapse, system failures.

3. Risk analysis

Assessing the likelihood of hazards occurring within the next five years, which is the timescale adopted nationally. This is done by considering the description of an outcome of an incident before assessing how likely an occurrence would be within this timescale.  These assessments have been carried out by a small team of professionals from the Emergency Services, Environment Agency, Local Authorities, NHS and Civil Contingencies Unit in Staffordshire based on their experience and knowledge.

4. Risk evaluation

  • Identify hazards & threats.
  • Analyse the risks (evaluate them).
  • Consider Historical data, national and regional risk assessments, statistical information, experience, enquiry reports and lessons learned.

View the Risk Matrix populated with the Staffordshire Risks.

5. Risk treatment

  • Recognise/ develop plans for unacceptable risks.
  • Test individual and multi agency plans and capabilities.

6. Monitoring and reviewing

In Staffordshire, the Community Risk Register is reviewed regularly and formally at least once every year. This ongoing process makes the Community Risk Register a living document and an ongoing project.

The risk process is used by the Staffordshire Resilience Forum to inform its multi-agency planning, training and exercise activity uses the risk process. This ensures partners can work together in the event of a risk being realised in an incident.