The programme includes the IDRC Davos 2016 agenda of sessions, plenary sessions, special panels and workshops. Click on the session title for more details.

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Session 22: Emergency Management: Efficiency and Decision Making Strategies
Tuesday, 30/Aug/2016:
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Session Chair: Olga SPACKOVA, Technische Universität München
Session Chair: Michael BRÜNDL, WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF
Room: Schwarzhorn

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Post-Earthquake Disaster Management and Structural Assessments


The University of Plymouth, United Kingdom

This presentation includes a comparative analysis of theory and practice in the area of post-earthquake disaster management and structural assessment. The analysis was conducted as part of a literature review for a PhD study programme, where it has provided the basis for a critical assessment of systems in use by authorities in Iran. As well as providing an overview of the Iran system for post-earthquake disaster management and structural assessment, the presentation will include an overview of systems used in Italy, Greece and Turkey, which serve as proxies to facilitate the assessment of strengths and weaknesses in the Iranian system. Specifically, this presentation will examine three sub-components of a wider disaster management system, namely: the requirements of an Earthquake Information Management Systems (EIMSs), seismic hazard public education programmes and initiatives to engage communities in the disaster management process. Post-earthquake structural assessment provides the context for the analysis and listeners will take away from this presentation insights on how best to include post-earthquake structural assessment within the three sub-components of a broader post-earthquake disaster management system.

Collaboration and Decision Making Tool for Emergency & Crises Situations


AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Austria

A proper collaboration environment is of utmost importance for crises managers as well as decision makers to get continuous and accurate information about the crises situation and to manage the available resources on the fly. Interoperability of existing systems, tools, methods and standardized processes are needed to allow effective management of emergencies, crises and disasters. Emergency Management and decision making tools shall support and monitor all activities between the evolved actors (e.g. authorities, first responders, volunteers, etc.). In an European funded project called C2-SENSE (Interoperability Profiles for Command/Control Systems and Sensor Systems in Emergency Management, a tool, called Emergency Maps Tool (EMT), has been developed as part of a broader collaboration environment in the C2-SENSE Emergency Interoperability Framework. This tool aims to display all relevant resources (e.g. authorities, organization, object of interests (like roads, railways, bridges), messages, alarms, etc.) involved or of special importance, in order to allow proper management of the crises situation. EMT allows decision makers to set and monitor activities, send and receive event related messages but also to include ad-hoc information from sensors or sensor networks (e.g. water monitoring sensors in case of flooding).

Backbone of this tool is a data, communication and collaboration model realized in a flexible, configurable and extendable way. That means new, so-called “Objects of Interest (OOI)”, can be added on the fly and displayed by the EMT. In principle, such OOIs can be everything, spanning from metadata of responsible authorities to civil protection departments up to alarms, pure measurement values stemming from sensors, or information/messages about blocked roads as well as number of endangered peoples at a specific location.

Systems Analysis of the Data and Models Used for US Federal Emergency Management

Ellie GRAEDEN, Michael VAN MAELE, Justin KERR

Talus Analytics, United States of America

Informed risk-based decision making is key to building resilience against catastrophic natural and man-made disasters. New data resources and modelling tools have rapidly expanded the amount of information available to decision makers when planning for and responding to emergencies. However, there remains a paucity of tools to support decision makers in identifying useful information sources and understanding when, from where, and in what format data are available. In support of a US Federal Government-wide working group, we have inventoried the data and modelling resources required to support both senior-level and operationally-relevant decision making across the federal interagency during all phases of emergency management for nuclear detonation, hurricane, earthquake, flood, and biological hazard scenarios. We performed over 300 interviews with senior policy advisors, emergency managers, and technical subject matter experts to identify and characterize the data and modelling resources available. We developed an ontology to characterize the resources and collated resource metadata in a database with a simple graphical user-interface that provides ready access to the inventory. Network analysis has been used to define linkages between the resources and their users, the results of which identify the interagency relationships necessary to support information sharing for emergency management. From more than 600 identified datasets and models, approximately 250 are included in an interactive inventory providing ready access to information about the resources to the public. The results of our analysis have been used to identify gaps and redundancies in the data and modelling resources available to inform emergency planning and response. This inventory and analysis is the first of its kind and will ultimately enable the entire emergency management community to identify and access the resources available to support decision-making during planning and response to disasters.

“Save Yourself”: Predicting Whether Communities Will be Able to Prepare Themselves from Disaster


Birkbeck, University of London, United Kingdom

The extent and duration of severe natural events can challenge the capacity of emergency authorities to deploy sufficient resources to control the event and assist communities. Many governments have created an expectation that communities themselves will have to be involved in disaster preparedness. This means emergency authorities and communities must establish whether communities are in fact able to do this.

Earlier work (Gibson, 1999; Goddard, 2001; Sampson, 2004) shows that an important predictor of community preparedness is the collectively held belief they have the necessary skills and resources to carry out such activities. Although studies such as (Campion, Metzger, & Riggs, 1993; Kozub and McDonnell, 2000; Pescosolido, 2001; Sampson, Raudenbush, & Earls, 1997; Ronan et al., 2008) have used the construct of perceived community efficacy in domains such as education, business, health care, crime reduction, and sports, none have focused on emergency preparedness.

The present study created a new composite model that was used to investigate how social and community aspects influence beliefs and behaviours of residents. The model was used as a guide for the thematic analysis of qualitative interviews that led to the construction of a quantitative study of residents of flood risk zones. The major finding was the creation of a measurement scale of Perceived Community Efficacy as a predictor of a community undertaking preparedness measures. The findings show that this community profiling measure can assist emergency professionals in deciding where and when to deploy resources. The research has established the application of social cognitive theory in disaster and emergency research and extends the current body of knowledge on community preparedness research. The implications for the profession and future research are discussed.

How Critical Infrastructure Orients International Relief in Cascading Disasters

Gianluca PESCAROLI1, Ilan KELMAN1,2,3

1Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, University College London, United Kingdom; 2Institute for Global Health, University College London; 3Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Oslo

Critical infrastructure and facilities are central assets in modern societies. Growing evidence analyses their role in cross-boundary crises, but their impact on international disaster relief remains mostly associated with emergency logistics or developing countries. The emerging literature on cascading disasters suggests the need of new perspectives that could integrate the non-linear progress of events and the amplification of secondary emergencies. This article provides an in-depth analysis of three case studies with the comparison of official documentation: the 2002 floods in the Czech Republic, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and Fukushima meltdown in Japan. We explore how the failure of critical infrastructure can orient the delivery of international disaster relief by shifting its priorities during the evolution of the response. We argue that critical infrastructure can influence the whole process of aid request and delivery, changing needs to address the cascade of events triggered by the primary disaster. Our evidence suggests that the failure of critical infrastructure can be reflected in the extra efforts put in at the international level not just in logistical terms, but also and most of all to address and contain cascading technology-based events. The conclusions suggest remaining challenges with applying our findings.

This paper is currently in review in a major peer reviewed of the sector.

Special and Multi- Purpose Disaster Management Bases at District and Subdistricts Levels, a Way to Increase Urban Resiliency in Tehran


Tehran Disaster Mitigation and Management Organization (TDMMO), Iran, Islamic Republic of

Tehran with a population of more than 8 million and an area over 680 square kilometers, is center of economic, political and administrative issues. The city is located on an seismic prone area and according to historical background Tehran and it's suburb had been suffered several times from impacts of severe earthquakes. According to studies, due to high population density, weak urban texture in some parts and existence of active faults, occurrence of earthquake in Tehran will lead not only to serious losses and damages but also may make disaster management a severe problem.

With taking into account these facts from one hand and with the aim to facilitate and accelerate mitigation, preparedness and emergency response processes in order to increase urban resiliency from other hand, the idea of construction of 125 disaster management seismic resistant bases in three types special, multipurpose and supporting provinces disaster management bases became operational by Tehran Municipality at district's level. In line with construction of bases, equipping them with rescue and relief and other related equipment launched.

Each base constructed in an area of 1250 square meter. Multi‐purpose bases allocated to women sport and offices for different disaster management related organizations e.g. EMS and RCS. The Special disaster management bases are used as Districts Disaster Management Headquarters and supporting provinces bases will be used by supporting provinces responsible for emergency response operations following occurrence of severe earthquakes or other disasters.

Besides the above mentioned usages, they may be used for training and public awareness issues in order to improve knowledge and to increase public participation in disaster management.

Throughout this article you will find how this increase urban resiliency and what the results are.

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