Earth Science News  





.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Model Aims To Reduce Disaster Toll On City's Social, Economic Fabric

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was hit by a devastating flood in the summer of 2008, and Purdue University researchers used the disaster in demonstrating a computer model that predicts how damage from such events would affect a city's social and economic fabric. The model is a potential tool to help reduce the severity of impacts and manage the aftermath of a catastrophe and fortify infrastructure against future disasters. (Photo courtesy of Cedar Rapids Fire Department)
by Staff Writers
West Lafayette, IN (SPX) Oct 08, 2010
Researchers have created a computer model that predicts how a disaster's impact on critical infrastructure would affect a city's social and economic fabric, a potential tool to help reduce the severity of impacts, manage the aftermath of catastrophe and fortify infrastructure against future disasters.

"The model works for any type of disaster that influences the infrastructure," said Makarand Hastak, head of construction engineering and management and a professor of civil engineering at Purdue University. "If we can identify in advance the most vulnerable elements of the critical infrastructure, then we can take proactive measures to reinforce them or at least find alternatives."

The model simulates how a disaster affects elements such as bridges, roads, municipal water and wastewater treatment services, along with vital economic and social components such as employers, hospitals, schools and churches.

"It can be most effectively used as a planning tool before a disaster because it enables you to put preventative measures in place," said Hastak, who is working with doctoral student Abhijeet Deshmukh.

"But it can also be used while the disaster is unfolding to anticipate what will happen next and make decisions about where to evacuate and where to direct disaster relief, as well as after the disaster is over to assess the economic and social impacts."

The model was created by Eun Ho "Daniel" Oh, a former Purdue doctoral student who is a research specialist at the Korea Institute of Construction Technology in Seoul.

The researchers demonstrated their prototype on several cities, including Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which was hit by a devastating flood in the summer of 2008.

Findings on how to quantify impacts from disasters will be presented during the International Conference on Disaster Management on Nov 15 and 16 at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu. The paper was written by Hastak, Oh, Deshmukh and J. Eric Dietz, director of the Purdue Homeland Security Institute and an associate professor of computer and information technology.

Related publications written by Deshmukh, Oh and Hastak, show how the model was used to study 2008 flood damage to infrastructure in St. Louis, Gulfport and Des Plaines, Ill., and Terre Haute, Ind.

Cedar Rapids, however, sustained the brunt of the disaster, which exceeded a 500-year flood, blocking access to the city's government center and overwhelming the Cedar River, which is vital for industry, commerce and transportation.

"Cedar Rapids is a good case study because it relies on a major river," Hastak said.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation's Infrastructure Management and Extreme Events program. The simulation model is called a "disaster impact mitigation support system."

"The model helps you identify the most vulnerable parts of the infrastructure so that a community can target spending in preparing for a disaster," Deshmukh said. "For electricity, you could have generators; you could have alternatives for water or wastewater; for transportation and the supply chain, you could have a warehouse that stores products away from the river."

A report using the method to document infrastructure damage caused by the Cedar Rapids flood was completed in 2009.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Purdue University
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Pakistan stability in play with flood aid: UNHCR official
Geneva (AFP) Oct 5, 2010
A UN refugee official suggested on Tuesday that Pakistan's geopolitical stability was at stake unless international aid accelerates to help about 20 million Pakistanis hit by devastating floods. The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said that the situation remained "critically difficult" in some areas, while shelter and recovery for hundreds of thousands of people was s ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Model Aims To Reduce Disaster Toll On City's Social, Economic Fabric

Slow return to school for quake-hit Haiti's students

Pakistan stability in play with flood aid: UNHCR official

Bin Laden concerned by climate, Pakistan floods: audiotape

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Japan seeks solutions for rare earth curb

GetJar out to make mobile phone applications free

No 3D magic for new Harry Potter movie

US parents want better privacy protections for kids: survey

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Seals help map ocean floor

Ocean Census Reveals Life Rich, Connected, Altered World

Coral Oasis Found In Mediterranean Desert

Environmental groups slam report on bluefin tuna quotas

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Himalayan climate change action urged

Disappearing Glaciers Enhanced Biodiversity

Argentine Congress votes to restrict mining near glaciers

Putin says Arctic must remain 'zone of peace'

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Sinochem seeks Ottawa's support for Potash Corp bid: media

Saving Tropical Forests By Valuing Their Carbon And Improving Farm Tech

Protecting biodiversity will 'help' ASEAN economies: experts

Anti-GM crop petition tops million signatures

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
One dead, thousands affected in Philippine floods: police

Hurricane Otto forms in Atlantic

More than 1,000 villages flooded on China's Hainan island

Otto becomes a tropical storm in Atlantic

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Sudan military says south troops crossed disputed border

Zambia backs off threat to shut down Internet providers

UN's Ban decries shortage of troops, supplies in restive DRC

UN envoys put spotlight on Sudan conflict fears

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Study finds brain changes during sleep

Canadian helps severely disabled speak through music

Suicide rate rises among China's elderly: state media

China marks 30 years of one-child policy


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement