Technical Rescue

ASSESSING THE VULNERABILITY OF BUILDINGS

Issue 1 and Volume 160.

BY ROGER L. KEMP From a homeland security standpoint, office, storage, and manufacturing buildings are typically not the target of a man-made disaster such as a terrorist attack. Such attacks would more likely be limited to critical locations such as key government buildings (“symbols of democracy”), transportation centers, nuclear power plants, and factories that produce war materiel (e.g., airplanes, helicopters, missiles, and other combat-related items). Nonetheless, standards are emerging for property owners and building managers to assess the vulnerability or risk level of their sites and facilities to a possible terrorist attack. The vulnerability assessment categories and ratings given below may seem diverse and complex, but they offer a method for evaluation. A site’s potential vulnerability and risk can be determined by rating the facility using these criteria and a numerical rating for each category. The final score or assessment rating determines the site’s potential exposure to a possible terrorist…

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