Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - CASCEFF (Modelling of dependencies and cascading effects for emergency management in crisis situations)

Executive Summary:
CascEff (“Modelling of dependencies and cascading effects for emergency management in crisis situations”) is an FP7 project addressing different issues of cascading effects and incident involving cascading effects. The CascEff project has focused on four main objectives:

1. Better understanding of cascading effects in crisis situations.
2. Identification of human activities in crises
3. Development of an incident evolution methodology (IEM) and incident evolution tool (IET) for predicting crisis evolution leading to cascading effects
4. Improved incident management for present and future threats.

The CascEff project has produced results and new knowledge regarding several different aspects of cascading effects: general understanding of cascading effects, human activities, decision-making, communication and the use of media during an incident with cascading effects. This has also resulted in a six-step methodology, the CascEff Incident Evolution Methodology (IEM), for identifying and analysing cascading effect. The IEM was then implemented in a web-based tool, the Incident Evolution Tool (IET).

Based on the results from different parts of the project a number of recommendations for improved management of incidents involving cascading effects were derived. In general, it has been shown that one of the key challenges for managing incidents with cascading effects is dealing with an often high level of indeterminacy. Links and dependencies between systems create additional vulnerability because of our fragmented knowledge and powers to deal with societal risks. Successful incident management needs to collect all information relevant to systems and dependencies, from all actors concerned, including those whose responsibility is prevention and recovery. A transdisciplinary approach, in which incident managers transcend their own discipline and actively cooperate across, between, and beyond each involved discipline or organisation, could be most effective in managing the challenges associated with cascading incidents.

Gathering a multitude of actors, with different background, knowledge, dynamics, visions, goals etc., is not an easy task. In order for emergency response organisations and other stakeholders to optimize their efforts, a structure that facilitates the transdisciplinary approach and mentality is required. The Incident Evolution Methodology and Tool are exemplary of a transdisciplinary methodology and tool. The approach is described in the step-by-step IEM and supported by the IET, guiding users through the transdisciplinary process. The IEM provides a structured approach to the collection of all relevant information and asks for the identification of links, relationships, and dependencies and offers an integrated and holistic view of the incident. When used in the preparation and response phase, this methodology will improve the understanding of the evolution of an incident and lead to better, informed decisions.

Being a summary report, it does not include all details and themes that have been addressed during the project period. The report aim at both summarizing the most important results and to guide the reader to sources of more detailed information, e.g. all the deliverables produced in the project. More information can also be found at the project web site (www.casceff.eu), where all public deliverables are published together with other useful information, e.g. the training material developed in the project and instructions on how to reach the IET.

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° 607665.

Project Context and Objectives:
Modern society and today’s socio-technical systems are increasingly characterised by high degrees of dependencies and interdependencies. Whereas these interdependencies generally make systems more efficient under normal operations, they contribute to cascading effects in times of crises. Therefore, the process of emergency preparedness and response is becoming increasingly complex. An incident involving modern socio-technical systems can lead to severe cascading effects and quickly become extremely difficult for emergency services to handle. The more complex the environment where an incident is evolving, or the more vulnerable the exposed systems, the more time pressure, the higher level of indeterminacy by incident responders, and the greater the risk will be for cascading effects. Such incidents can have enormous consequences with respect to life, property and the environment. During response to such instances the incident management needs to be as efficient as possible and build on up to date decision support information.

The aim of the FP7 project CascEff (“Modelling of dependencies and cascading effects for emergency management in crisis situations”) has been to improve our understanding of cascading effects in crisis situations through the identification of initiators, dependencies and key decision points. Strategies, structures and methodologies are needed to meet these evolving challenges, including cross border and multi-agency cooperation in conducting operations and providing or receiving support across borders. It has also been argued that the multidisciplinary approach needs to be developed into a transdisciplinary approach.

The CascEff project has focused on four main objectives:

1. Better understanding of cascading effects in crisis situations.
2. Identification of human activities in crises
3. Development of an incident evolution methodology (IEM) and incident evolution tool (IET) for predicting crisis evolution leading to cascading effects
4. Improved incident management for present and future threats.

The work within the CascEff project was divided into seven work packages:

• WP1: Incident management
• WP2: Originators and dependencies
• WP3: First responder tactics, human activities, interaction and behaviour
• WP4: Incident Evolution Tool development and implementation in existing systems
• WP5: Scenario development and simulated exercises
• WP6: Dissemination
• WP7: Project management

The work has been performed by the CascEff consortium consisting of 11 partners from 5 different countries. The consortium includes organisations (from both the public and the private sector) bringing expertise in risk engineering and fire safety, incident response and incident management, human response and media, technology development and in training. The partners of CascEff are:

1. RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (former SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden), coordinator (SP)
2. Lund University, Sweden (ULUND)
3. Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)
4. University of Ghent, Belgium (UGent)
5. INERIS, France
6. Service Public Federal Interieur, Belgium (KCCE)
7. Safety Centre Europe (also known as FPC Risk), Belgium (SCE)
8. University of Lorraine, France (UL)
9. XVR Simulation, Netherlands (ESM)
10. Campus Vesta, Belgium (CV)
11. University of Sheffield, UK (USFD)

Two other organisations have been involved in CascEff during the course of the project: Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service (NFRS) and University of Leicester (ULEIC).

The composition can be broken down as follows:
• Emergency response organizations, trainers of emergency responders, and national agency for civil protection providing expertise in incident response and incident management. These organisations also represent the target end users of the developed technologies and therefore are perfectly placed to support the development and the implementation of the proposed methodology. MSB, KCCE, CV, NFRS and INERIS belong to this group.
• Research providers comprised of both institutes and universities (SP, ULUND, UGENT, INERIS, UL and ULEIC/USFD). These partners bring a wide range of expertise required to the project, in a wide array of necessary disciplines including infrastructure safety, fire engineering (smoke modelling, evacuation modelling, CFD and fire modelling, forest fires, structural fire engineering); human response to crises; interaction with and use of the media in crises.
• Developers of incident command and management, and training platforms (SCE, UL and ESM). SCE’s platform, the incident management system NoKeos, has already been used in the Port of Antwerp. UL’s platform iCrisis is a system for organizing a virtual crisis simulation and for facilitating the debriefing of such a simulation. ESM’s platform, XVR, is a VR training software which is used to educate and train operational and tactical safety and security professionals.

Some of the partners represent more than one group listed above.

The work in CascEff can be divided into different fields and stages, relating to the different objectives, even though the subdivision of the work did not completely coincide with the described objectives. The main parts of the work within the project are:

1. Studies and categorization of incidents with cascading effects.
2. Human behaviour, communication and use of media during incidents.
3. Development of the Incident Evolution Methodology, IEM
4. Development of the CascEff IET
5. Improved incident management
6. Development of training material

Depending on the needs and applicability, different methodologies and techniques have been used to find information for and address the issues in the numbered list above. This report summarizes the work within these fields and results from this work. More details on these and also other areas within CascEff can be found in specific deliverables.

Project Results:
1 Understanding cascading effects
Many of the systems that provide essential services and goods to society, such as power supply, transportation, health care and communication systems, have become increasingly interdependent upon each other. While this has given rise to more efficient services, it has also introduced new types of vulnerabilities and changed the risk picture. In particular, this means that a disruption in one system may give rise to disturbances, and possibly disruptions, also in those systems dependent upon its services. These effects are called cascading effects and they give rise to additional societal consequences, significantly larger than the consequences from the initiating event and beyond what is normally accounted for when only having a limited sector-by-sector perspective (see also the definition of cascading effects given in Section 1.1). These effects also make the response and recovery processes much more challenging and complex, both with respect to minimizing the direct consequences in the occurrence of a crisis event (such as flooding, wildfire or power outage) and with respect to minimizing restoration times of essential infrastructure services.

Understanding of cascading effects to some extent can be obtained through the knowledge and experience of representatives from these infrastructures (such as operators). However, it is argued that these types of experience based approaches have to be complemented by systematic collection and analysis of data from past events, identified as generally lacking in the scientific literature. Such information is crucial for the prevention and mitigation of cascading effects, for the response to and restoration of critical infrastructure services, and lessening the overall impact on society. The work presented here was mainly conducted in WP2 of the project (D2.1-2.3).

1.1 Definition and conceptual model of cascading effects
Broadly speaking, cascading effects are the effects arising when an incident affecting one system in society propagates to another system and giving rise to service disruptions, due to a dependency between them. More specifically, cascading effects are within the CascEff project defined in the following way:

The impacts of an initiating event where:
1. System dependencies lead to impacts propagating to other systems, and;
2. The combined impacts of the propagated event are of greater consequences than the root impacts, and;
3. Multiple stakeholders and/or responders are involved.

Based on the definition, a conceptual model was developed. This model was used as a basis for developing a structured method for collecting data about cascading effects in historical large-scale events. The systems that are affected either by the initiating event or due to dependencies to other systems are referred to as the impacted system(-s). The initiating event could, for example, be a natural event such as an earthquake, an accidental event such as an explosion, an internal system failure, or a malevolent attack. Due to dependencies to other systems, cascading effects occur when impacts in on system, referred to as originating system(-s), spreads to other systems, referred to as dependent system(-s). If these impacted systems give rise to additional impacts to other systems, there is a continuation of the cascading effects. The first resulting effects from directly impacted systems from the initiating event to dependent systems are defined as “first-order cascading effects”. If this line of propagation continues, second, third, etc. order cascading effects arise. This in turn also means that a single system can be both a dependent system, e.g. in a first-order cascading effect, and an originating system, e.g. in a second-order cascading effect.



1.2 Method to collect data about cascading effects in past events
Based on the conceptual model a method to collect data of cascading effects in past events was developed. Data was collected from written material in terms of official reports, investigations or, in some occasions, media reports. The purpose of the method is to enable systematic descriptions of key characteristics of cascading effects in past events. Furthermore, the method also supports descriptions of critical conditions that either mitigated or aggravated the development of the cascading effect, which is important for judging the possibility of generalizing the findings to other specific contexts. Based on the collected data, analyses with respect to both the individual events as well as for discerning general patterns of cascading effects across the different events were performed. These results can for example be used for guiding policy making, predictive modelling and simulation efforts and integrated into operational decision support tools.

Broadly the method consists of three steps, conducted for all pairs of originating/dependent systems and also for all pairs of initiating event/originating systems in an event. In each step extensive data collection takes place in accordance to pre-defined categorizations, to be able to generalize the findings across events, but also in free-text formats.
1) Impacted System – Identify and describe a system that was impacted in the event.
2) Dependency Impacts –Describe how the system was directly affected by either the initiating event or one or several originating systems, for example how many components of the system that failed. Structured data collection concerns for example description of the magnitude of the strain, relevant conditions, and characteristics of the dependency.
3) System Impacts – Describe the consequences for the system due to the initiating event or dependency, e.g. that 50 % of the power system costumers lost electric power supply (System Impact) due to the failure of two power stations (Dependency Impact). Hence, this step pin-points the system’s capacity to cope with the strain stemming from the initiating event or a dependency to an originating system. Structured data collection concerns for example description of the consequences, magnitude of the impact, geographical extent, and relevant conditions.

1.3 Characteristics of cascading effects in past events
According to a selection approach presented in D2.2, a list was assembled with 74 potential cases to study. The list covered a rather large variety of different types of events. Data was in the end collected for 40 major events that involved cascading effects, such as Hurricane Sandy in 2012, UK floods in 2007, and the London bombing in 2005. The aim was to cover a wide variety of initiating events, such as hurricanes, IT-disruptions, terrorism, fires, ice storm, earthquakes, heat waves and flooding. Based on the structured data various aggregated analyses were carried out in the pursuit for patterns and generalizations of the data across the events.

Central to the identification of impacted systems is system boundaries and the ability to categorize different types of systems. There exist a number of different categorisations of the systems the society is made up of and there is no single standard that can be straightforwardly adopted in the CascEff project (see the comparative study and subsequent discussions in D2.1). Drawing on existing categorisations we ended up with 22 different systems.

The main results from these aggregated analyses were:
• In events where a large number of systems are involved it is likely that they will also have higher order of cascading effects (or vice versa). However, there is no clear correlation between the number of systems involved or the size of the cascade and the total duration of the event, which means that it does not necessarily take longer to recover from an event where many systems are involved or where long cascades occur.
• The most frequent originating systems are Power, Telecommunication, Water Supply, Sewage and Oil & Gas – findings concurrent with those infrastructures that are normally regarded as backbone infrastructures in the society. The most frequent dependent systems are the Public, Business & Industry, Health Care and Education – i.e. those that are frequently receivers of cascading effects. The result also suggest that some systems seems to attenuate cascading effects, such as Power systems and Emergency response while other seem to amplify the cascading effects, such as Telecommunication and Maritime transportation. However, power systems, or the disruption of power, could also give rise to aggravating cascading effects.
• There is generally, across the events, a rather short time delay, in the order of hours to days, after the start of an initiating event to when systems are impacted (i.e. consequences arise). For example the systems Public and Environment are often instantaneously impacted and systems such Power, Telecommunication, Education and the different modes of Transportation are affected within a day. Some system seems to cope longer, e.g. Water Supply, Oil & Gas and Finance - in the order of days to weeks.
• For most systems, there is very limited time delays between when the system they depend upon are affected and when impacts arise in the system itself, e.g. for the systems Food supply, Sewage and Health care it is instantaneously (i.e. might signal a lack of buffers for these systems). For some systems, effects occur within hours to a day, e.g. Power supply and Rail transportations, while for some other systems there are time delays up to several days, e.g. Water supply and Oil & Gas. This type of information signals “windows-of-opportunity” for breaking chains of cascading effects and for which systems this might be possible. However, the results indicate that these windows are generally extremely narrow.
• With respect to geographical extents, it is further clear from the results that cascading effects is as much a local (e.g. municipal) and regional (e.g. counties) issue as it is a national and global issue. Hence mitigating actions for cascading effects should be directed at all hierarchical levels. Furthermore, the results also reveal that both the initiating events and the impacts in different systems are geographically bounded. For example systems such as Water supply and sewages systems mainly give local or regional effects while systems such as Power, Telecommunication and Air transportation give national to global effects, important insights for the design of coping strategies.
• The most frequent mitigating condition for hindering or lessening the cascading effects is coping capacity, mainly in terms of access to external resources but also in terms of buffers, structural integrity and preparedness plans. Other commonly mitigating conditions is the operational state (being in an above normal capacity state), and the timing of the event (time of day and weekends). The most frequent aggravating conditions are when the operational state is below normal capacity and when the coping capacity (buffers and external resources) was lacking or below normal. These types of conditional aspects can hence aid in using the generalized results in a specific context.

Above results leads to the following main overarching conclusions:
• Cascading effects including many systems and high cascade orders is a real issue, as evidenced by the empirical data, which needs addressing.
• Some infrastructure systems clearly constitute the backbone of society, e.g. Power and Telecommunication, while others are receivers of cascading effects, e.g. the Public Business & Industry and Health Care.
• There is generally only a rather short time window (hours to days) of opportunity for taking responsive actions once a disaster strikes and it starts affecting systems.
• There is generally very limited time delays (seconds to hours) for the cascading of effects between system, which stresses the importance of efforts in e.g. planning, preparedness and resilience actions (e.g. ensuring swift recovery of infrastructure services) in addition to emergency response efforts.
• Cascading effects is as much a local (e.g. municipal) and regional (e.g. counties) issue as it is a national or global issue - efforts at all hierarchical levels is necessary.
• The identification of mitigating and aggravating conditions (and also near misses) for cascading effects suggest that specific contextual factors for the unfolding of a given event are important.

1.4 Implications for society
Increased understanding of how cascading effects can have implications for society and that strategic decision and policy making needs to take into account that the indirect consequences can be considerably higher than expected due to cascading effects. This understanding can hence aid in directing investments to where the largest risk reducing and resilience increasing effects can be obtained in a more holistic manner. In addition, during a crisis event, better understanding of typical cascading effects can make operational decisions more effective by directing response resources either to try and lessen the cascading of effects or in an earlier stage anticipate consequences that will arise in systems other than those directly affected by the initiating event.

2 Human behaviour, communication and use of media during incident
2.1 Human activities during crisis situations
Crises with cascading effects involve many groups of human actors such as responders, NGOs, or political actors, alongside systems, structures or natural-physical phenomena. These crises also involve a variety of communities, citizens, and audiences, which fall under the general umbrella term of “public”. All these human actors are directly or indirectly affected by a crisis, but they also manage their response to it: before, during, and after cascading disasters, these actors could share or withhold information; they could take action or decide not to intervene. These choices and activities also depend upon how people think, feel, and their previous experiences. Thoughts, feelings, and experience, all intervene in determining how people with different roles make sense of events and what action they decide to take. This “human” factor makes examining and managing crisis situations more complex. For this reason, the project used WP 3 to examine human activities during disasters, with the aim of producing knowledge that could improve approaches to managing disasters with cascading effects.

In WP3, D3.2 used academic literature, interviews, and case studies, to examine decision-making in emergencies with cascading effects. The deliverable focused on decision-making and interactions flow in the response to events with cascading effects. It placed emphasis on the need to understand the nature of how decisions are made in a specific context, and it described decision-making as a situated, distributed activity interwoven with other activities. The primary aim of that report was thus to offer a comprehensive view of factors and models, in support to the development of robust incident evolution analyses supported by the IET and the methodology of the CascEff Project. The deliverable acknowledged that design and procedures of responding organisations, together with training, support tools, and other issues of management, determine the complexity of an emergency, and that technology plays a first role in supporting situation awareness. It then advocated that a strong model of decision-making in crises with cascading effects is based on the collaborative engagement of many groups in a negotiation over information, decisions, and actions.

In this way, D3.2 informed the modelling task of D3.1, which further contributed to knowledge about how decisions could be made in a specific context. Specifically, D3.1 provided a model of first responder decision-making, illustrating the functions, activities, resources and performance-shaping factors to be considered in decision-making during cascading effects and in the presence of multiple human actors affected by, or managing, related information or response actions.

A specific, important aspect to consider, which was examined in D3.2, is that these human activities are unavoidably often based on biases. This is due to uncertainty, constraints, and other natural or circumstantial limits and tendencies related to the ways in which human actors make sense of developments around them. Such uncertainty and constrains become even more intense during crises. Biases and heuristics tend to shape human actors’ interpretation of information and knowledge, and their feelings; they can shape the content of the information they share, or determine what they share, how, when, and with whom; they can delay required actions or prompt unexpected ones. The strong emotions that are usually associated to emergency situations can largely strengthen the role of biases in decision-making.

In relation to the CascEff methodology, these more unpredictable human activities were part of the so-called “logical dependencies”. D4.2 (Section 3.2.3 “Definition and examples of logical dependencies”) specifically defines logical dependencies as “related to the human components of the systems, both organisational, or individuals, etc.” and occurring “when a state change in one system results in a state change in another, without a geographical or functional dependency causing this change ... They are aspects of cognition and social life or dynamics, and they can affect any of the actors involved in incidents”.

As a consequence, human actors can complicate emergency management, making the desired outcomes of crisis management more difficult to obtain. In particular, the presence of a multi-media dynamic environment gives to the information produced and shared by the variety of actors a crucial power in determining the outcomes of emergency management procedures and policies. This phenomenon calls for more and continuous negotiation before, during, and after crises, among a wider and flexible range of actors, which takes into full account opportunities and challenges of traditional and new media for emergency management purposes. This point is linked to issues of mediated communication and public engagement with the media, which were examined in D3.3 and D3.4 (constituting the other half of the material of WP3), and which are discussed more in detail in Section 2.2.

In general, and while the nature of human activities makes their prediction very difficult, it is possible to assess them and to develop flexible policies and strategies for emergency management purposes. This requires contextualised and comprehensive approaches based on continuous negotiations among actors involved, as suggested by the work presented in WP3.

This approach is mirrored by the discussion on transdisciplinarity presented in D1.3 and D1.5. In the context of incident management, the added value of a transdisciplinary approach is the recognition that designed divisions in disciplines and specialisations are not taken into account by reality, i.e. designed divisions in disciplines and specialisations do not reflect real dynamics of human and natural phenomena. This reality is more than the sum of fragmented knowledge, and a transdisciplinary mentality, methodology, and tools require actors to take umbrella views on links between and across the whole event and perspectives/disciplines.

The models and guidelines developed for this area of work can be used by first-responders and other actors involved in emergency situations, to reflect on the complexity of the tasks involved in emergency management, and organise their responses in more coordinated and successful ways.

2.2 Communication during crisis
Communication during (or about) crises can be understood in two main ways. In the first case, it can be understood as the communication that is needed between actors shaping prevention, response, or recovery actions, where these actors have a direct responsibility to protect communities that could be affected by crises. These are the actors practically and officially managing the emergency and its various stages. In the second case, communication during crises can be understood as the wider sharing of information about the crisis between institutions, organisations, and citizens, which develops through the media in the so called “public-sphere”.

Once we look at recent emergencies in context, however, it is more difficult to distinguish the two levels of communication, the official, internal or external, communication for emergency management purposes, and communication about the crisis developing in the public sphere between institutions and citizens. Firstly, this is because communication during crises has moved from a top-down approach (from responsible institutions to others) to a more “democratic” shared approach, where the variety of groups directly or indirectly affected by a crisis can have a voice by producing and sharing information about a crisis. Secondly, this has happened especially as a consequence of the rise of the new and mobile media, and social media in particular. By giving the power to shape messages about crises to a variety of different actors, social media present today relevant challenges, but also great opportunities, for emergency management.

The deliverables D.3.3 and D3.4 specifically examined the role of the media for crisis management, providing guidelines for effective crisis communication with the public through traditional and new (digital) media. They highlighted how mediated communication has always had a fundamental role for emergency management. In particular, traditional media, like TV and radio, have always played a first role in informing citizens about actions to take, and where to find help, during crises. The two deliverables also showed that, while these media are still the most trusted source of information during crises, the rise of the new media has accelerated the need to support emergency managers in re-gaining control of information. Cases like Project X Haren, when hundreds of youths gathered in a small town in the Netherlands in 2012 following a digital word of mouth about a special party event, clearly reveal the wide power of digital media in shaping events. These new media can create dangerous situations that defy traditional approaches in emergency management.

D3.4 specifically examined the role of the media in the information flows that emerge around crisis situations. This report explored how decision-making by relevant stakeholders are communicated to members of the public throughout the disaster cycle. In this way, the report aimed to contribute to the CascEff project by providing an overview of the role of the media in the information flows during crisis situations. To achieve this aim, the report relied on literature review and existing research, it presented the results of 41 semi-structured interviews conducted with key stakeholders in 2014-2015, and it examined information flows of three large-scale emergencies in Europe (the floods in South-West England, December 2013-February 2014; the Pukkelpop music festival disaster in Belgium, 18 August 2011; and the ‘Project X’ riots in Haren, the Netherlands, 21 September 2012).

Findings confirmed that print and broadcast media remain the most trusted source of information during crisis situations. They also showed that traditional media still play an important role in educating the public on disaster risk, but are less effective for real time or context specific information. Finally, the report clearly revealed the importance of content verification of digital material by the journalistic sector, and user generated content in particular, and the need to take into account how emotional discourses in disaster media coverage can affect human behaviours. On the basis of its findings, the report made a first strong call for a communication mix of both digital and traditional media by emergency managers, one which can take into account the variety of approaches and attitudes of all the groups of actors interested by a crisis.

D3.3 focused instead on how human behaviour can be influenced by communication strategies of emergency management during crisis situations. It aimed to explore how key decisions are communicated to the public, and also how citizens are likely to respond to and act upon these messages. In order to achieve this aim, the report provided an overview of the key themes in the crisis and risk communication literature. It also relied on the results of 41 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders (2014-2015), and the analysis of three large-scale emergencies in Europe (the floods in South-West England, December 2013-February 2014; the Pukkelpop music festival disaster in Belgium, 18 August 2011; and the ‘Project X’ riots in Haren, the Netherlands, 21 September 2012), to assess the characteristics and effects of crisis communication.

On the basis of the results of this analysis, the D3.3 report outlined a set of guidelines for effective communication during each stage of a crisis situation. These guidelines are:

1) Study the information-seeking behaviours of your audience before deciding upon which communication platforms to use during crisis situations;
2) Prepare for the loss of critical infrastructure during such incidents by employing a communication mix that includes both traditional and digital media;
3) Engage key stakeholders e.g. civil society organisations in order to ensure that the information shared with the general public is both accurate and consistent
4) Always consider the ethical implications of using crowdsourced information obtained from social media sites; and
5) Knowledge gained from previous incidents should be used to inform future communication strategies.



These ‘SPEAK’ guidelines represent a versatile and easy to access material that can be used by any actor involved in communication about emergencies. The report also offered a flowchart, which helps locating different actions for effective communication across the different stages of a crisis situation (mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery). These guidelines and flowchart should therefore help prevent the disruption to information relations among the different groups involved in a crisis and other elements of the socio-technical system.

In general, both reports support the development of productive information management in the context of multidirectional communication flows, and where multiple actors and media intervene in shaping public information of various kinds. This new context calls for a profound change in the management of communication during crises. It makes the need for negotiating between a variety of actors even more important for crisis management. The ability to continuously and quickly engage with different external groups through a variety of media, and on any topic that may emerge in the debate about the crisis, has become a crucial aspect of emergency management work. The need to strengthen this ability has a parallel evolution in the call for transdisciplinarity as developed in D1.5. The transdisciplinary approach accentuates the need for incident managers to adopt an umbrella view of the situation, or plan, and to take in aspects across, beyond and between the input of each individual participating discipline.

The two deliverables represent versatile reports that go in this direction, supporting the development of this negotiating ability in relation to mediated public information. The reports can be approached by a variety of actors, and they have also been reorganised in the training material about the role of the media for crisis management (see Section 2.3). It is expected that citizens, emergency managers, as well as digital volunteers and other actors involved in shaping current communication, will benefit from the analysis contained in these deliverables and the guidelines they offer.

2.3 The role of the media and the information flows that emerge during crisis situations
Disruption to information relations has been identified as one of the most common triggers of cascading effects in other elements of the socio-technical system (Pescaroli and Alexander, 2014). Despite the growth of social media, the news media remains the most effective vehicle for mass communication during disasters and also for the collection and dissemination of crisis information. The reduction of uncertainty and anxiety amongst disaster-affected populations remain important objectives throughout the stages of the incident for those emergency managers who are attempting to prevent disruption of other components of the socio-technical system.

The work provides an overview of the key themes that have emerged in the literature on the role of the news media in information flows during crisis situations, assesses how social media has shaped media coverage of recent disasters, and presents the key findings from a critical thematic analysis of 41 semi-structured interviews conducted with key stakeholders between December 2014 and May 2015. In addition, three large-scale emergencies in Europe were analysed in order to explore how the media contributes to information flows during crisis situations. These were:

1) The floods in South-West England (December 2013 - February 2014);
2) The Pukkelpop music festival disaster in Belgium (18 August 2011); and
3) The ‘Project X’ riots in Haren, the Netherlands (21 September 2012)

Key findings included:
1) Print and broadcast media remain the most trusted and authoritative sources of information during crisis situations such as cascading disasters. The persistence of the digital divide militates against the use of social media for risk and crisis communication in many geographically isolated areas. However, a communication mix of both digital and traditional media should ideally be utilised by emergency managers. Disaster-affected populations are still likely to use whatever communication channels are at their disposal to search for information on disaster response and recovery.

2) Media coverage also helps citizens interpret the meaning of man-made and natural disasters, as well as providing practical advice on how to prepare for and respond to these incidents.

3) The disruption of information relations has been identified as one of the most frequent triggers of cascading effects during large-scale emergencies and those with cascading effects. Therefore, a prerequisite for effective emergency management (EM) should be the cultivation of productive information flows during crisis situations.

4) Traditional media have long played an important role in educating the public on disaster risk. However, media interventions appear to have a greater influence upon general behaviours e.g. handwashing to prevent the spread of the ebola virus disease (EVD) and are not as suitable for the provision of real-time, context-specific information.

5) The news media can make significant contributions to information flows during and after cascading disasters. The verification of user generated content (UGC) and the quelling of rumours and misinformation can help prevent further disruption to other elements of the socio-technical system. However, ‘disaster myths’ perpetuated by professional journalists may also hinder response and recovery initiatives through their distortion of the behaviour and needs of affected populations.

6) Emotional discourses in disaster media coverage can help raise aid donations and invite members of the public to care about ‘distant suffering’, through charitable donations to disaster relief appeals or help increase preparedness amongst vulnerable communities by sharing lessons from previous incident. However, critics argue that this focus on ‘death and destruction’ has disproportionate influence upon the allocation of resources, and is often appropriated by political elites to serve their respective agendas, e.g. in order to convince citizens to accept restrictions on civil liberties that they would ordinarily be opposed to.

7). The classic Euro-US model of top-down disaster management has gradually been replaced by one of ‘shared responsibility’, in which citizens are encouraged to play an active role in the production and sharing of crisis information via social media. This reflects the explosion of UGC online and the inability of emergency managers and professional journalists to control information flows during cascading disasters.

However, professional journalists continue to play a key role in the information flows that emerge before, during and after disasters with cascading effects. Previous research has indicated that the most retweeted content during crisis situations is still likely to originate from the accounts of news media organisations and professional journalists. Their verification of UGC and the quelling of rumours and misinformation can help prevent further disruption to other elements of the socio-technical system

8) The role of the news media has shifted from gatekeeping to gatewatching, whereby they publicise and share relevant news content rather than focus solely on its production. However, the most shared content during cascading disasters is still likely to originate from the social media accounts of news media organisations and professional journalists.

9) ‘First informers’ and citizen journalists provide eyewitness perspectives on disasters that help emergency managers build situational awareness. Digital volunteers can also help identify those areas that are most in need of disaster relief. This harnessing of collective intelligence via social media has the potential to create new information flows during the response and recovery stages of cascading disasters that could prevent disruption spreading to other elements of the socio-technical system.

10) Social media can also facilitate multi-directional information flows that have psychosocial impacts for populations affected by cascading disasters and help to build resilience against future incidents. Facebook and Twitter in particular bring disaster-affected communities together and help them cope with the trauma associated with these incidents. However, it should be noted that this often privileges the voices of better off residents at the expense of poorer ones, who typical lack the skills and expertise to make themselves heard online.

Deliverable D3.4 compiles the above work. It contributes to the overall project and the IEM by highlighting the important role played by the media in the information flows that are a prerequisite for the collaborative model of decision-making proposed elsewhere in the project. It also highlights how social media may provide opportunities for emergency management officials to both push and pull information that enhances the quality of decision-making.

3 Incident Evolution Methodology, IEM

Cascading effects modelling aims at dynamically spreading disturbances between dependent systems within a given geographical area. The main goal of the Incident Evolution Methodology (IEM) was to provide methodological support on cascading effects modelling to emergency responders, competent authorities, critical infrastructures operators, and others needing to determine dependencies, vulnerabilities and the risk for cascading effects. The IEM was developed to be able to be used in different phases (preparedness and response) of emergency management of small and large incidents with cascading effects in a specific region (case area).

The methodological framework was divided into six steps:
1. Set the case area and the individual systems in a given territory: all the systems are described in terms of functionality/provision services, vulnerability and potential outgoing effects.
2. Identify dependencies between systems: geographical, functional and logical dependencies between systems.
3. Propagate the effects between systems: an initiating event is set in the case area, threatening the systems which can be impacted and which can impact, through cascading effects, other dependent systems.
4. Determine temporal aspects: buffer time, time-delay and overviews of timeline and tree-view are assessed in order to evaluate the potential time gap emergency responders have for mitigating effects.
5. Assess the impacts: social, human, economic and infrastructure impacts are evaluated for each impacted system in order, for the emergency responder, to compare impacts of cascading effects.
6. Identify the key decision points: the combined assessment of timeline (step 4) and impacts (step 5) help the emergency responders to identify critical points and prioritize mitigation or recovery actions.
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The methodological framework was assessed using a demonstration case: the flooding of the French Seine river impacting roads and an industrial chemical plant in the vicinity of a Primary school. For more details, see D4.2.

The methodology was in D4.2 also illustrated by two other cases (based on the scenarios developed in D1.4 and D5.1):

• (a) a wildfire nearby the Swedish Gothenburg city threatening telecommunication systems, lakes Stora and Lilla Delsjön, and an hospital, and
• (b) a power blackout in The Netherlands and Belgium affecting power supply, telecommunication, health care, public, main road transport axes (A58 and A12), rail transport, marine transport in the Port of Antwerp, air transport, water supply, BASF industrial plant and emergency response.

This methodology was the basis for the development of the incident evolution tool (IET), aimed at being used by emergency responders, critical infrastructure operators and other stakeholders involved during crisis preparation, planning, response and recovery phases. The IET and the relation to the six steps in the IEM are presented in Chapter 4.


The methodology has been tested for validation by external participants (representatives of emergency stakeholders) in the Consortium activities (validation workshops) at Campus Vesta (Belgium) and University of Lorraine (France) by using:
• A blind table-top emergency situation to gauge the knowledge level of the participants.
• A learning session introducing the methodology.
• A knowledgeable table-top emergency situation to gauge improvements over the baseline with the new knowledge of the methodology

The Campus Vesta scenario was dedicated to the cross-border black out scenario already used for calibrating the IEM; it is a large-scale scenario. The University of Lorraine scenario dealt with a smaller scale case study, called “Séchilienne”, initiated by a mountainous slope movement impacting a river followed by impacts on roads, chemical industry and surrounding population.

The validation tests aimed at evaluating the performance of the methodology in terms of:
• Usability/Practicability: this is the degree to which the methodology can be applied as designed to real-world situations (being understandable, usable in terms of ergonomics and with an acceptable level of effort);
• Credibility: this is the reliability of the results of IEM application;
• Added-value: this is what the IEM brings compared to current existing methodologies or/and knowledge;

Reports of the participants related to the validation criteria were in questionnaire forms. The results are that, as for preparation phase and for response phase, the IEM is perceived, by most participants, as bringing added-value mainly because it provides a global structure for modelling cascading effects which appears to be credible. More generally, it is recommended to use the IEM during preparation phase and on small scale scenario to get familiar with the concepts and to build a geographically specific database on systems, timelines and impacts. Once familiar with the IEM and once having existing data, it is then easier to use the IEM in response phase. More details on the validation of the IEM can be found in D5.4.

The IEM content has been already published on the CascEff website . The next step of dissemination will be a scientific publication in a peer-reviewed journal on the IEM content. The use of the IEM is subject to an Attribution ShareAlike license.

4 CascEff Incident Evolution Tool, IET
Emergency services today rely on various tools to support the incident management. These tools in most cases are either databases with relevant information, e.g. on how to handle hazardous material or information management systems which ensure that all involved parties have relevant, updated and validated information during an incident. However, there were at the time of the start of this project scarcely no tools aimed at incident response or crisis management which are focused specifically on predicting the cascading effects between different systems. This represented a significant and widening gap in the arsenal of tools available to incident commanders.

The aim of the CascEff Incident Evolution Tool (IET) is that it can be used in the different phases of incident management: preparedness (planning & training) and response. That means that the tool can be used in different ways and by different organisations based on their current needs. The primary end user is the emergency services, but the results from the tool are relevant and useful also for other agencies or organisations, e.g. agencies responsible for risk and vulnerability analyses, other competent authorities and critical infrastructure providers.

The CascEff IET is a web based tool, which can be accessed as an authenticated user through any browser on pc or tablet. The IET is built on the methodology (IEM) described in Chapter 5. The description below of the IET is based on the six steps of the IEM and the IET can be used to follow the six-step methodology.

Step 1: set Case area and define its systems
The IET is based on a case area, its systems and their properties and an initiating event. As per IEM, the IET user starts by defining a case by its area. A Case is defined on a map with specific case attributes defining the date, time and weather circumstances for the simulation. Next the user adds information on the systems within the case area. Systems are defined independently from a particular case to enable reusability in multiple cases. A “system” refers to a distinct societal unit (such as a sector, function, collective, infrastructure or nature resource) which may be affected by, or give rise to, consequences in another unit [D1.6].

Every system is categorised according to the categories and subcategories per D2.3. Vulnerabilities for different incoming effects must be defined and consequences (“impacts”) for each system given for the five impact categories (Economic, Social, Infrastructure, Environmental and Human) and subcategories.

Once the systems have been created, they can be added to a specific case

Step 2: identify dependencies between systems
Using the vulnerability properties of a system together with its geographical coordinates, it is possible for the IET to calculate the geographical dependencies. However, there might also be other types of dependencies, e.g. a system might be dependent on power from a another system or on the decision of an authority. This kind of functional and logical dependencies between different systems in a case can be added by the user.

Step 3: Propagate effects
The final item to define is the Initiating Event, i.e. the event that starts the casacading effects. When this is done a simulation can be run on the case.

Step 4: Determine temporal aspects
Step 4 of the IEM is to determine the temporal aspects. IET uses the inserted propagation time and endurance time to calculate e.g. buffer times and create timeline views and tree views. The information can be used both to find and visualize the dependencies between systems, and to find the potential time available for mitigating effects.

Step 5: Assess Impacts
The IET uses the impact from each system to calculate the impact for different impact categories and impact subcategories. The results are shown both in the timeline view and in a table with all the impact results per system and per impact subcategory.

Step 6: Identify Key Decision Points
The IET does not yet by itself identify key decision points. Through possibilities to manipulate the views (as described in the sections above) and to exclude systems from the simulations, the IET enables the user to evaluate what systems, parameters, effects, etc. have the greatest influence on the cascade and its impacts.

For more details on the IET, how to use it and what the different parameters mean, the reader is referred to the web site and the IET Getting Started User Guide, available on the casceff.eu web site. In the project it has been discussed how to use the IET together with different incident management or information management systems. A strategy for needed implementations and suggested format for transfer of information are described in D4.5.

The IET has been presented at national focus group meetings during the development phase. Their opinions and conclusions from discussions with potential end users are summarized in D5.3. In general terms, conclusions by end users seeing or testing the IET have been that it can be useful in the preparedness phase and not so much in the response phase due to the short time available and much data needed. However, if used in the preparedness phase, including gathering relevant information, it could be useful even in the response phase, especially for incidents with long duration. It has also been stated that the IET could be very useful in vulnerability and dependency analyses, giving more structured analyses, and also giving a very useful possibility for visualizing the results. Some such results, including ideas on using the IET together with IMTs, are presented in D5.2. The discussions with end users have also resulted in some more general recommendations, which are described in D1.5 (see also Section 5.4).

5 Improved incident management
5.1 Challenges of managing incidents with cascading effects
Large-scale incidents are, as a rule, characterised by a high level of situational complexity, uncertainty, time pressure / a sense of urgency, and a significant threat of potential damages. These key characteristics of incident management to a great extent apply to both incidents with or without cascading effects. However, there are some dissimilarities. For large-scale incidents, the scale and extent of the damages is emphasized in the denomination. For incidents with cascading effects, the main differentiating criterion is the ‘multi-cause/multi-hazard and multi-consequence aspect that is a consequence of system dependencies. This general hallmark of incidents with cascading effects results in a number of incident management challenges:

• The level of complexity might be higher, due to the fact that dependencies create additional risks and a possible chain of events;
• The level of uncertainty might be higher, especially the level of indeterminacy, which refers to the lack of an overview and overall insight in the system as a whole and/or because of institutionalised fragmentation of information and knowledge and the lack of insight in links, relations and dependencies;
• Time pressure and the sense of urgency will not necessarily be different for cascading incidents, but might be bigger because of the multiple consequences to handle. The additional notion of buffer time is specific for cascading incidents;
• Cascading effects do not per definition involve large scale damages. Since dependencies and the corresponding vulnerabilities are omnipresent in today’s society, a second (or n) order event can occur as a consequence of minor events as well. The notion of ‘incidents with cascading effects’ is generally reserved for more severe events, fulfilling the criteria for incidents (complexity, uncertainty, urgency, scale).

The central characteristic of incidents with cascading effects has proven itself to be the high level of indeterminacy that incident managers face when dealing with such a situation. This is a result of vulnerabilities due to links, dependencies and interactions between different systems, as multiple systems are impacted in the case of cascading effects.

Over the course of the project, it was confirmed that preparedness is of vital importance for a successful response to a complex incident having cascading effects. This includes establishing solid relationships that transcend the individual objectives of the organisations involved, in order to be able to ensure an efficient management of the situation from an incident perspective rather than a discipline perspective. Due preparation also ensures that informed decisions can be made quickly during the response. However, current incident management practices are usually based on mono- or multi- disciplinary responses where each organisation is concerned primarily with fulfilling its own specific objectives.

5.2 Improved incident management
Incidents in general and specifically incidents with cascading effects, require incident managers to deal with a wide range of actors, risk- and incident related information (for planning resp. response). A structured approach supports both the emergency planners and incident managers to deal with complexity and uncertainty by systematically guiding them through the collection and interpretation of all relevant information. This is the premise of the development of the IEM/IET, which facilitates the identification of relevant information from the involved disciplines and systems and provides an overview on links, relations and dependencies.

A related method for the improvement of the quality of information for planning and response is the use of scenarios. The elaboration of scenarios enables the transformation of static data on actors, resources, risks, etc. into applicable information both for emergency planners and incident command managers. This is because the use of scenarios necessitates the identification of relevant risk or incident related information, and facilitates the task of putting it in perspective, based on a possible evolution of the incident. The IEM supports scenario elaboration by obliging a risk- and incident management team to identify information relevant for a specific case, as well as by indicating the possible evolution of the incident and key decision points.

Improved incident management also encompasses the use of specific and concrete concepts and terminology related to time. Breaking down the conception of ‘time pressure’ into different concepts of time (buffer time, endurance time, propagation time, etc.), facilitates decision-making and making priorities both in risk planning and incident management by providing the risk- and emergency management team with a more concrete time line.

Every incident, and especially major incidents, reveals the failures and weaknesses in the way we organise our society. Even though every incident is unique, valuable lessons can be learnt from the preparation and the response phase. Incident management should benefit from an approach, methodology and tool that aids the evaluation of lessons learnt, stored data, scenarios and feedback loops that provide opportunities for continuous improvement. The IEM and IET allow storage of relevant information; region-specific and incident neutral data as well as case specific information. It thus provides for a tool to store data and learn from previous cases and scenarios.
5.3 Transdisciplinarity as an approach to incident management
As research in work package 1 established, it is the total joint ability of the constellation of actors that in the end determines the success of incident management efforts. While traditional incident management has been characterised by a monodisciplinary command and control structures, in a multi-actor environment the merits of multi- and interdisciplinarity are increasingly recognized.

However, while these approaches stress the importance of covering a range of knowledge and disciplines and integrating them into the process of incident management, transdisciplinary starts from a completely different mind-set, recognising that reality is more than the sum of our fragmented knowledge and powers. The added value of a transdisciplinary approach consists of the recognition that all divisions in disciplines and specializations are artificial. In the context of incident management, the main challenge is to understand and anticipate system vulnerabilities resulting from dependencies, i.e. vulnerabilities that are and to which we have become blind because of our fragmented, monodisciplinary approach to parts of reality. This umbrella view extends the scope from knowing which parts of a system that are involved to include links and potential weaknesses within, across, and between organisations, systems and borders.

By following the IEM, the organisations involved will be prepared to work together toward a common goal. The IEM/IET also enables better communication and situational awareness during the response to complex incidents that, in turn, promote sound decision-making for mitigation of cascading effects.
5.4 Recommendations for improved incident management
The objective of this work package is to provide insights to the emergency response community regarding best practices for management of incidents with cascading effects. To that end, recommendations are provided that enhance and support knowledge of crises, strengthen crisis management, and facilitate communication across systems, borders, organisations and disciplines.

In conclusion, it has been shown that one of the key challenges for managing incidents with cascading effects is dealing with an often high level of indeterminacy. Links and dependencies between systems create additional vulnerability because of our fragmented knowledge and powers to deal with societal risks. Cascading incidents frequently experience increased levels of scale, time pressure and complexity. Information management is a crucial supporting process both for risk- and emergency planning and response, and successful incident management needs to collect all information relevant to systems and dependencies, from all actors concerned, including those whose responsibility is prevention and recovery. A transdisciplinary approach, in which incident managers transcend their own discipline and actively cooperate across, between, and beyond each involved discipline or organisation, could be most effective in managing the challenges associated with cascading incidents.

Gathering a multitude of actors, with different background, knowledge, dynamics, visions, goals etc., is not an easy task. In order for emergency response organisations and other stakeholders to optimize their efforts, a structure that facilitates the transdisciplinary approach and mentality is required. The Incident Evolution Methodology and Tool are exemplary of a transdisciplinary methodology and tool. The approach is described in the step-by-step Incident Evolution Methodology (IEM) and supported by the Incident Evolution Tool, guiding users through the transdisciplinary process. The IEM provides a structured approach to the collection of all relevant information and asks for the identification of links, relationships, and dependencies and offers an integrated and holistic view of the incident. When used in the preparation and response phase, this methodology will improve the understanding of the evolution of an incident and lead to better, informed decisions.

Recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Increase awareness of cascading effects and facilitate their incorporation into incident management procedures by following the structured methodology provided by the IEM. Incidents in general and specifically incidents with cascading effects, require incident managers to deal with a wide range of actors, risk- and incident related information (for planning resp. response). A supporting methodology and tool facilitates the identification of relevant information from the involved disciplines and systems. It will also provide an overview on links, relations and dependencies. A structured approach supports first responders by systematically guiding them through the collection and interpretation of all relevant information.

The IEM provides a structure and a fixed set of steps that the emergency planning officer or incident commander needs to follow in order to manage risks with cascading effects. This process increases risk managers awareness of the concept of cascading effects and ensures that they use a well-structured methodology when taking cascading effects into account within a crisis situation or an emergency situation. The structured work process will also increase the awareness of potential cascading effects and their impact resulting from a given initiating effect within a specific region (during the preparedness phase).

Recommendation 2: Strengthen procedures for risk-, vulnerability-, and dependency analyses. While the practice of analysis and assessments of risk, vulnerability and dependency is part of the standard operating procedures for most emergency management organisations, the IET/IEM strengthens the process. In addition to providing a methodological approach to these procedures, following the entire IEM makes it possible for these standard assessments to be applied to cascading effects.

Recommendation 3: Improve the preparation process by cataloguing and detailing specific information for easy availability. Indeterminacy can be reduced by providing more insight in how the society (as a system) works. Setting aside resources for continuous work with cataloguing and detailing information, paying attention to interdependencies and links between subsystems and processes will add context and relevance to the preparation process.

Recommendation 4: Use scenario elaboration to improve the quality of information for emergency planning and response decisions. The elaboration of scenarios enables the transformation of static data on actors, resources, risks, etc. into applicable information both for emergency planners and incident command managers. The use of scenarios necessitates the identification of relevant risk or incident related information, and facilitates the task of putting it in perspective, based on a possible evolution of the incident. The use of scenarios thus improves the quality of information for emergency planning and response. The use of scenarios, supported by a methodology and tool such as the IEM/IET, requires not only the identification of relevant risks or incident information, but also to putting it into perspective, based on possible evolutions of the incident. Risk and incident management are forced to take a case perspective, complementary to their usual discipline-perspective.

Recommendation 5: Improve shared situational awareness and analysis in the preparation phase by establishing relationships and protocol prior to incidents. Sustaining situational awareness and communication during an incident can be challenging, especially during incidents with cascading effects. Using the Incident Evolution Methodology facilitates the establishment of relationships and protocols during the preparedness phase, prior to the occurrence of incidents. Furthermore, potential issues such as differences in language, terminology, and dimensional units can be identified in advance. By using the IET, the structured information can be stored and made available to others. This makes is easier to make coordinated decisions, as all users have access to the same information.

Recommendation 6: Identify Key Decision Points based on estimations of temporal aspects and consequences. Breaking down the conception of ‘time pressure’ into different concepts of time, provides the risk- and emergency management team with a more concrete time line for decision making both in risk planning and incident management. The different time aspects used in the IEM/IET (buffer time, endurance time, propagation time, etc.), provide a basis for an incident command team to determine priorities and to take decisions on appropriate actions and allocation of resources.

Recommendation 7: Incorporate physical modelling in decision making during crisis situations. The use of physical modelling (either simplified or CFD modelling) can inherently provide valuable information for decision making during crisis situations and the study of cascading events. It can be used in all three phases of an incident: before, as a form of training exercise for prevention of future accidents and for providing valuable information about possible future events; during, providing help during the decision-making process by information from sensors; and afterwards, by providing information about the consequences of the incident. It can also be used to revisit the conditions and the evolution of the incident in order to learn lessons from it.

Recommendation 8: Consider and use lessons learnt, stored data, scenarios and feedback loops as opportunities for continuous improvement. Every incident, and especially major incidents, reveal the failures and weaknesses in the way we organise our society. Even though every incident is unique, valuable lessons can be learnt from the preparation and the response phase. Incident management would benefit from an approach, methodology and tool that aids the evaluation of the preparation and response effort. The IEM and IET allow storage of relevant information; region-specific and incident neutral as well as case specific information. It thus provides for a tool to store data and learn from previous cases and scenarios. It facilitates continuous improvement for preparation and planning, for response and for educational purposes.

Recommendation 9: Rely on a thoroughly planed communications mix when communicating with communities and other stakeholders not directly involved in crisis management. A well designed communication mix, for example based on the SPEAK guidelines, aims to maximise the reach and impact of risk and crisis public communication60. Both traditional and digital media should be part of this mix, in preparation for the likely loss of critical infrastructure during such incidents. For the greater part of society, the news media are generally still the most trusted source of information in crisis situations, and also play a fundamental educational role. Social media are an unavoidable presence before, during and after crises, and harnessing collective intelligence via social media has the potential to create new information flows during the response and recovery stages that could prevent disruption spreading to other elements of the socio-technical system.

Recommendation 10: Train personnel for managing high impact events with potential cascading effects. The IET/IEM can be used to acquaint personnel with the specific risks and vulnerabilities that exist within their response area. Furthermore, it can help train people/staff to think in terms of cascading effects. Different options and scenarios can be tested, providing a strong foundation for decision-making during an actual event.

Recommendation 11: Use a common methodology and tool to prepare for cross-border events. Using a common methodology and tool makes it easier to overcome the lack of a common cross-border management structure: it is an operational way to achieve better mutual understanding and collaboration, without touching complex institutional and legal aspects. Using a common methodology and tool, such as the IEM/IET, provides the benefit of: - Improved exchange of information and communication - a speedier and more efficient alert process - enhanced opportunities for optimal assistance across borders - identification of cross border dependencies and vulnerabilities.

Policy Recommendation 1: Improve incident management for cascading effects by encouraging an upgrade from the current multidisciplinary practices to a transdisciplinary approach. This requires the emergency planners and incident managers involved to transcend the boundaries of their own discipline and to manage the risks (preparation) and the incident (response) from a case or scenario-perspective instead of a discipline-perspective. A transdisciplinary approach requires a shift in mentality, appropriate structures and an adequate methodology and supporting tool.

Policy Recommendation 2: Improve incident management for cascading effects by encouraging intensified collaboration with other actors beyond the traditional first response disciplines. As information management is a crucial supporting process both for emergency planning and response, successful incident management needs to collect that information from all actors concerned, including those whose responsibility is prevention and recovery. Only from a comprehensive approach throughout the whole risk and incident management cycle, all pieces of the puzzle related to information, knowledge and resources can be brought together, which is necessary for informed decisions on actions to be taken and resources to be deployed. The whole cycle covers: prevention (incl. risk assessment), preparation (incl. planning and training), response and recovery.

Policy Recommendation 3: Improve incident management for cascading effects by encouraging a common approach for all the actors involved: a common methodology and instrument or tool to align all those concerned, from an incident-perspective. Gathering a multitude of actors, with different background, knowledge, dynamics, visions, goals etc. could benefit from one single methodology and supporting tool to facilitate alignment of visions and efforts. That requires an incident-based, trans-disciplinary methodology and tool, which does not belong to one specific discipline, nor serves one specific discipline but serves the interest of society as a whole and public safety and security in particular.

Recommendations for EU policy: Promote transdisciplinarity. EU regulations could impose (preferably) or encourage (minimally, as a transition measure) transdisciplinarity. This would oblige member states to promote transdisciplinary thinking by using a scenario-based methodology and instrument for national, cross- and transborder planning and response. This could for instance be done as a proposal for amendment of the Seveso III Directive, since measures on domino effects are already specifically covered.

6 Training material
The objective of the training material created within task 6.5 is to facilitate the transfer of knowledge gained within the CascEff project to the community of emergency managers and related disciplines. This is reported in D6.6.
6.1 Structure and design
CascEff results were used to develop training material on a number of topics related to cascading effects and management of incidents with cascading effects. In order to support dissemination of project results, much of the documentation library is aimed at instructors and teachers within the field of crisis and emergency management, providing them with material for teaching and discussion.

The majority of the tutorials consist of an elaborated text document, instructing the reader on the specific topic, in combination with a descriptive power point presentation. For one of the most central themes, learnings on improved incident management, a narrated video presentation has been prepared in order to facilitate maximum dissemination of the topic. The visual teaching aids (i.e. the video and power point presentations) can be used both as formal teaching material, but also for a quick overview and summary of the topic. In this manner, the mix of formats reflects the different topics and their content.

The design of the CascEff library makes it possible for parties to incorporate the information and material into their educational programs. The instructor can chose to use only one or several topics or even sections of the topic, adapting the material to the teaching situation at hand. This flexibility of the tutorials also allows for the adaptation of the material to the recipients’ level of previous knowledge, background and field of interest. While the design of the tutorials to a great extent aimed at the creation of training- and educational material, it was considered highly important to create material that is also suitable for self-studies and accessible to all interested parties for free in an online library on the CascEff website .

While the tutorials are thought to be of interest to a wide range of recipients such as policy makers, researchers and students of any discipline, recipients with a background in or with a good understanding of risk management, emergency response planning and preparation, are most likely to find the training material beneficial and instructive.

Five separate but interlinked topics are covered by the training material:
• Cascading effects – what are they, and how can they be studied?
• A transdisciplinary approach to managing incidents with cascading effects
• The Incident Evolution Methodology for modelling of cascading effect incidents
• Media and Crisis Management – guidelines for effective crisis communication
• Exercise methodology – running exercises to raise awareness or to train the application of emergency plans taking into account cascading effects.
6.2 The tutorials
6.2.1 Cascading effects – what are they and how can they be studied?
The first tutorial focuses on explaining what cascading effects are, how previous events involving cascading effects can be studied, and what the consequences of cascading effect can be. This is important as a basis for better understanding of the nature, processes and patterns of cascading effects and how to respond to these events.

Incidents with cascading effects are to a great deal characterized by a multi-cause, multi-hazard and multi-consequence aspect that is a consequence of system dependencies. An incident manager thus has to deal with the probability of a high level of complexity, a high level of uncertainty (and indeterminacy), time pressure and a sense of urgency as well as large scale damages.

In this tutorial, the concepts of initiating events, dependencies, originating and dependent systems, first- and secondary order cascading effects and time aspects are explained. Also, 22 system categories are presented that have been identified within the CascEff project, along with conclusions on which systems are most frequently originating or impacted systems, geographical scales of initial events and coping capacity of systems.

6.2.2 Transdisciplinarity for improved incident management
Knowledge gained in the CascEff project put forward that current multidisciplinary practices for emergency planning and incident response can be taken to a higher level - that of transdisciplinarity. A transdisciplinary approach to incident management looks at all relevant aspects of the event from a holistic perspective while considering all systems involved: originating as well as impacted. This adds a cognitive and operational level to current multidisciplinary practices of incident management by taking into account links between the relevant processes (institutional, risk management: prevention, preparedness, response, recovery). Furthermore, this approach also takes into consideration synergies between the different actors involved in terms of responsibilities, means and available information. In this manner, a systems thinking-based transdisciplinary approach allows for an improved, more sound and efficient incident management.

In this tutorial the added value of a transdisciplinary approach is explained, with the aim of creating awareness of opportunities for improved incident management. It includes an explanation of the main characteristics of incidents and the corresponding challenges of incident management; a discussion on the need to restore the links between different systems and their actors due to the current fragmentation of information, means and responsibilities, and demonstration of the added value of a transdisciplinary approach. The tutorial consists of a visual power point presentation and recorded voice over.

6.2.3 The Incident Evolution Methodology
Targeting emergency response planners and incident commanders with a previous understanding of risk management, emergency response planning and preparation, this tutorial explains the CascEff methodology for modelling of cascading effect incidents.

The Incident Evolution Methodology provides the user with a systematic approach to modelling cascading effects between systems, defining cascade order, time and space aspects of the propagation, as well as helping the user to identify key decision points where the cascade could be broken with a maximal impact. This supports decision making in the preparation of emergency response plans and response to incidents with potential significant cascading effects.

The tutorial presents the six steps of the incident evolution methodology. Upon completion of this tutorial, the trainee will be able to define systems as well as system properties relevant to cascading effects, define dependencies between systems, cascade timelines, geographic reach and system impacts, and identify key decision points.

6.2.4 Media and Crisis Management – guidelines for effective crisis communication
The roles and dynamics of mediated communication during and after disasters are continuously changing, and for a successful management of crises, institutions and organisations need to find new ways to approach traditional and new media. This tutorial presents knowledge on the variety of actors, roles and dynamics that shape mediated communication during disasters, and advises on how to develop successful strategies of communication management during crises.

The first section of this tutorial “News Media and Crisis Management” focuses on the role of the news media during crisis situations with cascading effects. This lesson explores the changing role of traditional media in disasters in general and its changes over time, the wider informative flows that can shape communication in crises, and the links to issues of citizen engagement. It provides information and supports reflection about ways in which the news media can be incorporated into successful strategies for disaster management.

The second section, “Guidelines for Effective Crisis Communication”, covers two main topics: elements of crisis management and strategy for communication, and guidelines for managing communication related to crisis situations. The trainee is introduced to the elements of strategies for communication related to disasters, in particular objects (what needs to be managed), subjects (with whom to manage, and what kind of media), functions, and stages of communication management (before, during, after a crisis), and factors affecting this communication. The second tutorial summarizes knowledge about successful communication management, providing a set of guidelines for effective strategies of mediated communication during disasters.

6.2.5 Exercise methodology
This tutorial specifically targets organizers of training sessions and simulations with the aim of creating exercises that include the concept of cascading effects. It presents a methodology on how to prepare, design and conduct the appropriate simulation regarding the expectations and objectives of the targeted organization.

A common understanding of main concepts such as “cascading effects”; “crisis situation”; and “emergency situation” is the basis for the creation of relevant scenarios, as the terminology has a direct influence on the objectives for the training sessions, and therefore by extension on the type simulation to be chosen. The fundamental decision that the trainer needs to make is the training objective, which can be either to train or to raise awareness. One organization may want to train the application of an already existing emergency plan taking cascading effects into account, while another training organization aims at raising awareness to a new phenomenon. Deciding upon the objective of the training is a crucial step since it will influence the whole preparation of the session, from the choice of the simulation type to the building of the scenario and the conduction of the session.

The tutorial focuses on the response phase, which can be of two types:
o An already known situation, for which a specific plan has been prepared. This category of situations would be delineated as “an emergency situation” and is predicted to happen. In a training perspective, the trainees can be tested on their ability to apply a specific procedure.
o A not yet known situation, for which no plan has been developed. During this type of “crisis situation”, responders must cope with a unique and unexpected situation. In a training perspective, trainees can be sensitized to the fact that not every situation can be prepared, while there still is the need to cope with it. The training should thus be designed to raise awareness.

Once the objectives have been delineated, a step-by-step methodology is presented on how to design and conduct a session that suits these objectives. This tutorial provides an overview of different simulation types and their added value regarding the defined objectives, and presents the iCrisisTM simulation approach to the set-up and conduction process.

Potential Impact:
Impact
Contribution towards the expected impacts for the topic SEC.2013.4.1-2
The expected impacts for the topic SEC.2013.4.1-2 “Better understanding of the cascading effect in
crisis situations in order to improve future response and preparedness and contribute to lower damages and other unfortunate consequences” as listed in the work programme are as follows:
The project will produce models of dependencies and effects in crisis situations (of both physical and
human components) causing a cascading effect. It will also provide a methodology to create this model for future threats, and tools to foresee the evolution of an incident, based on the physical properties, critical infrastructures properties and risks, human behaviour, the decisions taken and their timing. These tool(s) will be available on real time basis as well as for planning and training purposes, in particular in cross border crisis situations. In other words CascEff will:
• “... produce models of dependencies and effects in crisis situations (of both physical and human components) causing a cascading effect.
• provide a methodology to create these models for future threats;
• [provide] tools to foresee the evolution of an incident, based on the physical properties, critical infrastructures properties and risks, human behaviour, the decisions taken and their timing
• These tool(s) will be available on real time basis as well as for planning and training purposes, in particular in cross border crisis situations.”
• “...[consider] an extensive training module...”

The sections below describe how these expected impacts have been achieved by the results from CascEff, with specific reference to the individual points above.

“Produce models of dependencies and effects in crisis situations ...”
In WP2, a conceptual model of the propagation of effects between systems in an event that involves cascading effects was developed. Furthermore, a method to collect data about cascading effects in past events was also derived. This method was then used to study a large number of past events and to characterize the cascading effects.

The method for analysis of previous incidents and the use of it resulted in the following:
• Give possibility for systematic, structured and repeatable studies of cascading effects
• Studies of different sectors, cases and systems
• Identification of links between originators and dependencies
• Database with originator-dependency pairs for past events
• Understanding of decisions’ effect on the development and find key decision points

Multiple timelines were developed for some of the selected CascEff scenarios, which further increase the understanding of cascading effects.

The work and the accompanying discussions also resulted in a number of definitions, later used in many parts of the project, and available in D1.6.

Furthermore, the work also showed how physical modelling can be combined with cases with cascading effects, thereby contributing to the state of the art with respect to modelling. Although currently not implemented in the IET, some example of how modelling can be used together with the IEM are given in D4.2.

Increased understanding of how cascading effects can have implications for society and that strategic decision and policy making needs to take into account that the indirect consequences can be considerably higher than expected due to cascading effects. This understanding can hence aid in directing investments to where the largest risk reducing and resilience increasing effects can be obtained in a more holistic manner. In addition, during a crisis event, better understanding of typical cascading effects can make operational decisions more effective by directing response resources either to try and lessen the cascading of effects or in an earlier stage anticipate consequences that will arise in systems other than those directly affected by the initiating event.
“Provide a methodology to create these models for future threats...”
The work in CascEff resulted in a six-step methodology, the CascEff Incident Evolution Methodology (IEM). It was based on the results from the studied of past events and the work with multiple timelines for different selected scenarios, but also on discussion with different endusers regarding cascading effects.

The six steps of the IEM are:
1. Set the case area and the individual systems in a given territory: all the systems are described in terms of functionality/provision services, vulnerability and potential outgoing effects.
2. Identify dependencies between systems: geographical, functional and logical dependencies between systems.
3. Propagate the effects between systems: an initiating event is set in the case area, threatening the systems which can be impacted and which can impact, through cascading effects, other dependent systems.
4. Determine temporal aspects: buffer time, time-delay and overviews of timeline and tree-view are assessed in order to evaluate the potential time gap emergency responders have for mitigating effects.
5. Assess the impacts: social, human, economic and infrastructure impacts are evaluated for each impacted system in order, for the emergency responder, to compare impacts of cascading effects.
6. Identify the key decision points: the combined assessment of timeline (step 4) and impacts (step 5) help the emergency responders to identify critical points and prioritize mitigation or recovery actions.

The methodology has been tested for validation by external participants (representatives of emergency stakeholders) in the Consortium activities (validation workshops) at Campus Vesta (Belgium) and University of Lorraine (France) by using:
• A blind table-top emergency situation to gauge the knowledge level of the participants.
• A learning session introducing the methodology.
• A knowledgeable table-top emergency situation to gauge improvements over the baseline with the new knowledge of the methodology

The Campus Vesta scenario was dedicated to the cross-border black out scenario already used for calibrating the IEM; it is a large-scale scenario. The University of Lorraine scenario dealt with a smaller scale case study, called “Séchilienne”, initiated by a mountainous slope movement impacting a river followed by impacts on roads, chemical industry and surrounding population.

The validation tests aimed at evaluating the performance of the methodology in terms of:
• Usability/Practicability: this is the degree to which the methodology can be applied as designed to real-world situations (being understandable, usable in terms of ergonomics and with an acceptable level of effort);
• Credibility: this is the reliability of the results of IEM application;
• Added-value: this is what the IEM brings compared to current existing methodologies or/and knowledge;

Reports of the participants related to the validation criteria were in questionnaire forms. The results are that, as for preparation phase and for response phase, the IEM is perceived, by most participants, as bringing added-value mainly because it provides a global structure for modelling cascading effects which appears to be credible. More generally, it is recommended to use the IEM during preparation phase. It is also recommended to use it first on small scale scenarios to get familiar with the concepts and to build a geographically specific database on systems, timelines and impacts. Once familiar with the IEM and once having existing data, it is then easier to use the IEM in response phase. More details on the validation of the IEM can be found in D5.4.

“[provide] tools to foresee the evolution of an incident ...”
The aim of the CascEff Incident Evolution Tool (IET) is that it can be used in the different phases of incident management: preparedness (planning & training) and response. That means that the tool can be used in different ways and by different organisations based on their current needs. The primary end user is the emergency services, but the results from the tool are relevant and useful also for other agencies or organisations, e.g. agencies responsible for risk and vulnerability analyses, other competent authorities and critical infrastructure providers.

The IET is built on the IEM and can be used to follow the six-step methodology. It is e.g. possible to define different types of systems and assign properties to these systems to determine the dependencies between the systems. The tool then simulates the cascading effects as the results of a specific initiating event, e.g. a land slide, flood, fire or power outage.

Highlights of the tool are:
• Not topic/hazard specific
• Consideration was given to how this can be used together with incident management tools
• Predicts the evolution of an incident
• Supports decision making
• Map based
• Improves disaster and incident management
• Bottle necks and alternative cascading effects can be found
• Can support various decisions on when additional capabilities are needed or when to communicate with the public or cross border

The CascEff IET is a web based tool, which can be accessed as an authenticated user through any browser on pc or tablet. The IET can be reached via the CascEff web site: www.casceff.eu. Further development is needed before it can be fully exploited.




“Tool(s) will be available on real time basis as well as for planning and training purposes”
As mentioned above, the IET is a web based tool, which is described at and can be accessed from the project web site: www.casceff.eu. It is also available directly at https://casceff.forskningsdata.se/login.

Based on the presentation of the IET and discussions with the focus groups and other end users, the IET is suitable for planning, preparedness and training, and to some extent in the response phase, if the IET has been used also in the planning phase and the needed information has been made available. This means that it is not entirely suitable for use on a real time basis.

“...[consider] an extensive training module...”
A training and educational material, presented in the deliverable report D6.6, was developed with the aim to facilitate the transfer of results of and knowledge gained during the course of the project to relevant target groups.

Dealing with cascading effects in crisis situations is a significant challenge to both emergency preparedness and response, as an escalating incident quickly can become extremely difficult for emergency services to handle. The aim of the CascEff project was to respond to this challenge by improving our understanding of cascading effects in crisis situations, resulting in enhanced analysis, preparations and response actions by first responders and other actors and disciplines involved in incident management. The CascEff results have been used to develop training material on a number of topics related to cascading effects and management of incidents with cascading effects.

Five separate but interlinked topics are covered by the training and educational material presented in this report:
• Cascading effects – what are they, and how can they be studied?
• Improved Incident Management – introducing a transdisciplinary approach to managing incidents with cascading effects
• The Incident Evolution Methodology – for modelling of cascading effect incidents
• Crisis Communication - News Media and Crisis Management, Guidelines for Effective Crisis Communication
• Exercise methodology – running exercises to raise awareness of cascading effects and/or to train the application of emergency plans taking into account cascading effects.

These topics reflect the CascEff project objectives: gaining a better understanding of cascading effects in crisis situations, the development of an Incident Evolution Methodology (IEM) and Tool (IET) for predicting past, present and future crisis evolution leading to cascading effects, the exploration of the impact of human activities in a crisis situation and the improvement of incident management for present and future threats. More specifically, the objectives in the creation of the training material were to optimize the level of impact and to facilitate the dissemination of project results to a wide range of recipients by providing recipients with a flexible, comprehensive and relevant material for teaching and self-studies.

The material for the five presented training sessions is available for free usage on the CascEff project website, http://www.casceff.eu.
S&T impacts
This project was focussed on achieving the objectives within the call as detailed above. Nevertheless, in order to achieve the topic objectives the research work undertaken has a number of additional S&T impacts which will play a role in future research within Europe and worldwide. These are listed below:
• Improved understanding of cascading effects
• Development of a cloud monitoring system for multi-hazard events
• Improved understanding of evacuation of large areas in crisis situations
• Improved understanding of the use and role of the media in crisis situations
• Development of an web based tool which may be used to model crisis and emergency requirements in the future for improved safety of European citizens when, for example, planning infrastructure investment.
All of these impacts arise as a result of the S&T methodology proposed and enhance the impact of the CascEff project.

Requirement for a European approach to incident management
The nature of large or escalating incidents comprising cascading effects means that they are capable of crossing borders and impacting on neighbouring territories. In this instance, assistance in tackling the incident from emergency responders in neighbouring countries is in their own self-interest before the incident becomes even more difficult to deal with. Even where the direct impact of an incident does not mean that the physical effects cross a border, because of the political interaction within the EU, the indirect effects of a large incident are likely to be felt in multiple countries of the union.
These facts make it evident that the CascEff concept, as a contribution to incident management and first response, is of particular relevance, both at a European and at a global level. Potential stakeholders have already shown keen interest about the CascEff project and the use of the projects result.

Benefit of a European approach to incident management
Aside from the possibility of direct spread of the physical effects of cascading events between countries, the impact of such escalating incidents will not be limited to the area or region of origin. Direct and indirect cross border impact of such events includes the human and economic consequences, as well as any direct environmental effects.

Therefore, a coordinated and collaborative response approach is required at the European level to
improve resource and information sharing and to promote proactive and coordinated response from
active response agencies.

The active engagement of European universities, research institutes, public organizations and the
construction industry in dealing with large incidents is crucially important for future generations and for the maintenance of the safety of European citizens.

The European added value of the CascEff project is multi-faceted:
• It integrates innovations in preincident planning, incident response and recovery within Europe for a common application in order to increase the safety of European citizens
• It contributes to the international cooperation and the transferability of results and resources within and beyond Europe
• It takes on a problem of incident management of incidents that are too large to be the responsibility of a single rescue service or, in some cases, a single country
• It gives basis for optimization of the use of expensive resources.

Expected societal impacts
Major risks that our societies face are changing both in terms of their nature and in terms of the contexts in which they appear. One important reason for this is an increased interdependence between various systems, technical and others, with societies becoming mega-systems or “systems of systems” (SoS. This development makes it more likely for events originating in one country to have ripple or cascading effects in other countries, perhaps even spreading the consequences to other continents. Moreover, tighter couplings between various systems also increase the complexity of these SoS making it more difficult to predict their behaviour.

At the same time that the nature of major risks is changing, so are the conditions for managing them. An important factor causing this change is the trend towards increasingly fragmented management of our societies’ vital functions, for example power distribution, transportation and food distribution. This also means that the responsibilities for managing risks, as well as managing a crisis, are shared by several stakeholders both within a single country and between countries.

Considering the challenges posed by the altering nature of risks coupled to the changing contexts and
preconditions for the management of risks and crises in Europe, there is a clear and pressing need for a methodology for understanding the risk that an incident could become a cascading event and tools to easily implement this methodology into a range of different incident management platforms.

The potential societal impact of such a development is multifaceted but includes the following aspects, e.g.:
• Diminishing the risk of catastrophic evolution of an incident through cascading events
• Improving the potential for communication between different agencies and different countries
• Harnessing the potential of citizens to assist in incident response
• Minimising the risk for down time in critical infrastructure and thereby minimising the disruption of critical functions in society, e.g. key transport arteries, energy distribution, industrial production, etc.


Dissemination
The major focus of the CascEff dissemination activities has been to ensure that the project’s research and practical outcomes are disseminated as widely as possible in particular targeting the the appropriate communities of end users, researchers, etc. who will benefit from the projects results. The plan has been for this to be done at appropriate times, via appropriate methods. The objective of this activity is that those who can contribute to the development, evaluation, uptake and exploitation of the CascEff outcomes can be identified and encouraged to participate in the project and to make use of the projects results. For this reason, CascEff focussed on the following well-defined dissemination targets, which can be reached by the CascEff partners:

• Organizations directly dealing with emergency incidents: civil protection, fire brigades, first responders (police, medical services, volunteers).
• Local authorities and communities
• The scientific community: research and academic organisations, scientific journals, committees and other working groups in fields related to the CascEff areas
• Industry/SMEs, end-user and related associations: industrial, service/software providers, safety/security industries. This target group comprised also the projects External Expert Advisory Board, which already partly constitutes an important dissemination target, and the consortium’s industrial participants and first responder participants (NFRS, INERIS), the involved end-users (NFRS, MSB, INERIS)
• Finally, the general public

Early on in the project the CascEff team developed a dissemination plan which laid out a concrete and detailed plan of communication and dissemination activity. The aim of this plan was to maximize the dissemination of the CascEff concept and objectives; as well as the visibility, credibility and impact of the project. This plan was updated twice over the course of the project, and in addition to these opportunities for dissemination of the projects results were identified on a rolling basis throughout the project by those partners responsible for individual tasks.

The project is by its very nature intrinsically multidisciplinary. Therefore most of the projects results are of interest to various external academic and industrial parties as well as to complementary research projects. The following means of dissemination, in particular, were used to ensure as wide a dissemination coverage as possible:

• The project web site. The project website contains detailed information concerning the project and its progress. Public deliverables were uploaded to the website to ensure their availability to interested individuals for download. The site has been maintained by the projects coordinators throughout the project and was given a major refresh in the second reporting period. It is our intention that the site will remain active for at least 3 years after the end of the project. Throughout the project we monitored traffic to the site, and can report ca 6500 visits over the course of the project. As a complement to the public site, we also maintained a private web site which offered to the partners and the EEAB all the intermediate results of the project.
• The project website was reviewed and relaunched at the start of the second reporting period. It was transferred from the initial platform to a word press platform, although the web address remained the same.
• Continuing dissemination activities which were undertaken throughout the project, such as:
o International events: Throughout the life of the project, CascEff material will be distributed and presented at relevant national, European and international events. This activity will be coordinated by WP7 (maintaining list of suitable events; keeping track of partners’ attendance; making material available to attending partners).
o A project newsletter
o Scientific journal publications
o Conferences and other similar events and tradeshows.
• Use of social media. The consortium maintained both a twitter account and a LinkedIn page over the course of the project. The twitter account in particular as frequently used to inform about current activities within the project.
• Training materials. The project consortium developed detailed training materials based on the projects results with the intention of transferring the foreground knowledge created to first responders and owners of large complex facilities.
• The project has also made available a database of scenarios with cascading effects, both based on historical incidents as well as large scale crises which were used to test the CascEff IEM and IET. This supporting material for training courses on the various fields covered by the project is intended to feed directly into courses for first responders at both MSB and Campus Vesta; as well as the university partners.
• Outreach activities. In the second reporting period of the project we engaged in a number of different outreach activities aimed at securing a wider end user engagement with the project. These were designed to both widen our stakeholder groups and to allow end users to contribute with comments about the creation of the projects IET. These specific activities included:
o Focus groups which were formed to contribute to the process of development of the IET. These comprised invited experts including members of the EEAB and selected people from the different partner countries (e.g. members of the Dutch Safety Region, Simulation Centre, etc.). The intention was that the focus groups would comprise people with responsibility for the whole disaster management cycle and will represent people from other agencies in addition to fire and rescue services.
o Surveys of end user requirements: a survey was sent around to end users, including the EEAB, other stakeholders and other project participants. This survey served as a market survey for the exploitation plan in D6.7. It was prepared in consultation with the other projects engaged in the Cascading Effects conference held jointly in March 2017.
o Validation exercises and workshops: members of the EEAB, as well as members of the focus groups and others not able to participate in the focus groups but who were invited were invited to the IET validation exercises which were conducted in Work Package 5. The intention was to make these exercises as open as possible so that as many stakeholders as possible who were interested could attend.
o A final joint conference on Cascading Effects was organised in collaboration with the other projects funded under the same topic. This was open to any interested parties including those same groups who participated in the focus groups and the validation exercises.

Exploitation

During the first reporting period, there were two main questions of exploitation that were discussed and addressed during the first reporting period, and that is who will be using the tool in the future and how, and how can it be linked to already existing tools, e.g. incident management tools. These discussions were important for the development of the tool as such, since it to a large extent forms the basis for many development decisions, but also for what features could be expected to be included in the future when exploited further.

The exploitation strategy was developed further during the second reporting period. This is included in the submitted deliverable D6.7, which also includes a market study on potential end-users’ needs for modelling cascading effects.

The market study took the form of a web questionnaire that was sent to representatives of end-user in the crisis management community. The results are that current methodologies and tools exist, above all for risk assessment, but also for modelling dependencies between systems and cascading effects.

The main barriers for using tools and methods are:
• The lack of financial and human resources meaning that the tools should be easy to use and free downloadable;
• The lack of knowledge regarding new tools meaning that communication and training regarding the tools and methods should be strong enough;
• The difficulty to integrate local expertise and data into the tools. If feasible, it can provide a real added-value to existing generic tools;
• The lack of requests by regulation meaning that standards making the links between techniques and regulations should be developed, like CEN Workshop Agreement.

There is a lack of consensus between the need for having models specific to geographical area and systems and the need for having generic models. Whatever the models, they should be able to provide, in preferred rank order:
(1) Visualization map of dependencies between systems;
(2) Visualization of impacts for worst case scenarios; and;
(3) Real-time assessment of the impacts.

The main target end-users are local/regional and national authorities, fire and rescue services and logistic managers for preparedness phase in pre-planning, training and exercise.

The best implementation options for a tool are an open-source, free usage software, using a geographical information system, complementary to existing tools and insuring a technical fit with existing tools and datasets. The best ways for introducing the tools are through first test by end-user communities within the organization and demonstration in external event.

The second aim of D6.7 was to establish an exploitation strategy regarding the main products from the CascEff Project which are:

1. The Incident Evolution Methodology (IEM) - the created and validated methodology to predict and analyse cascading effects in disasters
2. Incident Evolution Tool (IET) prototype software tool to support the use of the Incident Evolution Methodology (IEM);
3. The iCrisis software enriched as a training tool with a capability to simulate a crisis situation with cascading effects
4. A functional concept to integrate the IET with NoKeos once the IET is fully operational, and Risk Management Consulting Services;
5. Recommendations for improved incident management accounting for cascading effects
6. The curriculum and training materials on cascading effects, management of incident with cacscading effects, the use of IEM and potential IET, crisis communication, and exercise methodology
7. A historical events database of cascading effects resulting from analysis of 44 historical disasters
8. The collection of CascEff scenarios – including detailed descriptions of 7 different scenarios and possible timelines and cascading effects
9. The end user database resulting from the projects liaison with end users as part of the EEAB and the focus groups

The strategy principle for the foreground IP generated within the CascEff project is that it should be open source or open access. Ownership of the results, and therefore responsibility for exploitation, is shared between the partners who participated in the development of the foreground knowledge. The proposed action plan for a successful exploitation takes into account ownership assignment and risks of exploitation intent lack or ability lack.

The foreground IP of the methodology (IEM) has been discussed specifically and is shared between the licensors of the Attribution ShareAlike license of the IEM, available at the CascEff website.

These issues are discussed among all the partners involved in the development and validation of the IET, even if the Exploitation board formally consist of Xavier Criel (SCE) and Anders Lönnermark (as the coordinator from SP).

List of Websites:
The CascEff project is presented on the project web site: www.casceff.eu. There also the public deliverables from the project are published and available. As part of the project, training material on five selected topics from the project was developed. This training material is presented on the web site. Furthermore, the Incident Evolution Methodology (IEM) and the Incident Evolution Tool (IET) are summarized, and information is given on how to access the IET.

For even further information, or if there are questions, please contact the coordinator Anders Lönnermark (RISE Research Institutes of Sweden) at anders.lonnermark@ri.se.

Reported by

RISE RESEARCH INSTITUTES OF SWEDEN AB
Sweden

Subjects

Safety
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