Disaster risk is most detailed at a micro-social or territorial scale. As we aggregate and work at more macro scales, details are lost. However, decision-making and information needs at each level are quite different, as are the social actors and stakeholders. This means that appropriate evaluation tools are necessary to make it easy to understand the problem and guide the decision-making process. It is fundamentally important to understand how vulnerability is generated, how it increases and how it accumulates. Performance benchmarks are also needed to facilitate decision makers’ access to relevant information as well as the identification and proposal of effective policies and actions. The system of indicators proposed for the Americas permits a systematic and quantitative bench marking of each country during different periods between 1980 and 2000, as well as comparisons across countries. Four components or composite indicators have been designed to represent the main elements of vulnerability and show each country’s progress in managing risk.