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One approach to rating qualitatively is to establish general ranges of impact for key indicators.  In this example, I have used factors most commonly reported in media reports: deaths, injuries, extent of property damage, and the degree to which community services still function.  The range of each factor is variable based on the size of the community.  For example, a school bus accident that kills 15 and injures 20 in a rural community might well be a high impact event.  In a major city, the same casualty count may be a normal weekend evening loading generated by the routine level of urban violence.