Studying disaster impact escalation to improve emergency responses


Mapping common pathways along which the effects of natural and man-made disasters travel allows more flexible and resilient responses in the future, according to UCL researchers.

Naturally occurring extreme space weather events or man-made cyber security attacks affect critical infrastructure through shared points of vulnerability, causing disasters to cascade into scenarios that threaten life and the global economy.

“We’re quite good at responding to high-frequency threats, such as floods, but aren’t well equipped to deal with risks that indirectly cause loss of life,” explained lead author PhD candidate, Gianluca Pescaroli (UCL Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction).

“It’s often the knock-on effects rather than the initial event that threaten life as access to technology that provides electricity, food and clean water is compromised. We’ve developed a strategy to test disaster preparedness and increase our response to unknown, complex, high-impact, low-probability events.”

Source: Tracing how disaster impacts escalate will improve emergency responses

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