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The term is strongly related to the terms "Consequence" and "Impact" and further work is needed in order to distinguish between these terms. In some cases, the term "Effect" is also used as synonymous.


European Definitions


Severity is the impact of the disruption or destruction of a particular infrastructure, with reference to (1) public effect (number of members of the population affected); (2) economic effect (significance of economic loss and/or degradation of products or services); (3) environmental effect; (4) political effects; (5) psychological effects; and (6) public health consequences. [1]

National Definitions


Severidad: Daño causado por una amenaza generalmente relacionada a la intensidad del fenómeno. [2]


Η ένταση της καταστροφής καθορίζεται από το μέγεθος των απωλειών ή ζημιών που αφορούν στη ζωή, στην υγεία και στην περιουσία των πολιτών, στα αγαθά, στις παραγωγικές πηγές και στις υποδομές.
(The severity of the disaster is assessed based on the quantity of losses and damages with reference to the life, health and property of citizens, to assets, to productive resources and to infrastructures) [3]

Other Definitions

Ontario (Canada)

Severity is the extent of disruption and/or damages associated with a hazard.

(Gravité: étendue des perturbations et/ou des dommages causés par un danger.)[4]


The severity of a risk combines its likelihood and impact into a single measure. [5]

This combination often follows the guidance of [6], though some practitioners opt to use their own scale.

Low Medium High
High Low Medium High
Medium Low Medium Medium
Low Low Low Low


Severity: Hoe ernstig een zwakke plek van een digitaal systeem is. [7]

See also

For alike definitions, also refer to the term impact.