Improved disaster and crisis preparation for Europe
A new EU-funded project that aims to get Europe better prepared for disasters has just got under way.
CRISMA ('Modelling crisis management for improved action and preparedness'), funded with EUR 10 million under the 'Security' Theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), brings together researchers from Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy and Portugal. The aim is to develop a decision-support tool to help authorities and community actors alike better prioritise the most important measures for saving lives and mitigating the effects of a crisis.
Coordinated by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and due to run until 2015, CRISMA's focus is on crises such as natural disasters, toxic emissions, forest fires and aircraft accidents.
The project's main aim is to improve European citizens' safety by providing information on disasters and the effects of the various decisions taken to address a particular crisis. The researchers will develop modelling and simulation technologies to evaluate the effects of measures taken on hypothetical scenarios.
The project will help make complex and ambiguous issues more clear for those responsible for making difficult decisions. In turn, it will help us better understand how various accidents and crisis scenarios affect people, society, infrastructure, buildings, services and the economy.
The project will come up with solutions to complex crisis scenarios that can result in massive damage and that require cooperation between various authorities, often including transboundary cooperation. The project will help provide crisis-management decision-makers with information on how to prepare for extensive disasters, what measures are available during a crisis, and what their effects are.
The integrated modelling system being designed as part of the project will simulate both likely crisis situations and more remote scenarios, as well as the required measures to tackle different situations. Domino and multi-risk effects will also to be taken into account, as the integrated modelling system will provide opportunities to assess the impact of natural disasters on chemical, nuclear and other industrial activities and critical infrastructures. The system will be used for both short- and long-term planning, and will also serve as a valuable training tool for emergency services staff.
Ascertaining whether a planned location for a protective structure is the correct one, or which evacuation options should be considered, are just two examples of the type of questions the integrated modelling system will address.
For example, the progress of an unforeseen flood can be simulated during the crisis through the coupling of historical information with real-time field information. This provides a basis for decisions regarding evacuation, where the rescue resources should be targeted, and where additional flood protective structures could be constructed.
It will also be possible to use the simulation tools in planning collaboration among organisations over vast geographical areas. The simulation portal can be used to fuse information provided by different parties, as at the moment there is little coordination between the relevant parties' different systems.
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Data Source Provider: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Document Reference: Based on information from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
Subject Index: Security; Coordination, Cooperation; Scientific Research