The University of Arizona

Method - Root Cause Analysis

Members of the MWPERLC team used Root Cause Analysis (RCA) methodology to interview 13 emergency preparedness subject matter experts (SME) to uncover the root causes and antecedent conditions (issues and barriers) as to why communities do not engage in mitigation strategies to lessen the impact of disasters ... read more about the SMEs.

The SME’s responses were combined in order to create a visual representation of the root causes along with the antecedent conditions (issues and the barriers) that were identified.

The resulting Root Cause Analysis (RCA) logic map is named the Community Mitigation Map. It shows the interrelationships between the root causes of the problem and all of the antecedent conditions (issues and the barriers). By analyzing the information on this map:


  1. Strategies can be developed to reduce and/or eliminate the root causes of the problem.
  2. Main themes leading to the problem have be identified. The four themes identified for this problem are: Perception of Vulnerability, Lack of All Hazards Planning, Sharing Hospital Personnel, and Patient Care Costs. Once identified, four individual maps where created to highlight each theme.


The Community Resilience Portal was then developed to share these findings and provide communities a knowledge base from which to create successful mitigation strategies. This portal also allows communities to contribute and share resources of importance to be adequately prepared for public health emergencies and mass casualty events.