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Emergency Management - Man Made Hazards

HOME > LOCAL HAZARDS > Man Made Hazards

Man Made Hazards

For the purpose of this discussion, “man-made hazards” tend to be divided into two categories of technological hazards and terrorism or other criminal acts.  “Man-Made/Caused” incidents are different from natural hazards because they are caused by some human interaction; whether human induced intentionally or caused simply from an accident from something we built.

Technological hazards are those that come from human activities such as the manufacture, transportation, storage, and use of hazardous materials.  For the sake of simplicity, our definition assumes that technological emergencies are accidental and their consequences are unintended.

The term “terrorism” refers to intentional, criminal, malicious acts.  There is no single, universally accepted definition of terrorism, and it can be interpreted in many ways. Officially, terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “...the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” (28 CFR, Section 0.85).  In the State of Michigan, it is defined as means a willful and deliberate act that is all of the following:

(i) An act that would be a violent felony under the laws of this state, whether or not committed in this state.

(ii) An act that the person knows or has reason to know is dangerous to human life.

(iii) An act that is intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or influence or affect the conduct of government or a unit of government through intimidation or coercion.  (MCL 750.543b)

Terrorism is usually further relates to the use of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), including chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons; or arson, incendiary, explosive, and armed attacks; or industrial sabotage and intentional hazardous materials releases; or “cyber-terrorism.” Within these general categories, however, there are many variations of how and why an act of terrorism is committed.  Further, we tend to analyze whether the actor(s) of terrorism are connected to a foreign or domestic terror organization and also try to determine if that organization has a specific motivation or cause in which they are trying to progress.


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