2013 Vol. 4, No. 3

Display Method:
Resilience Quantification and Its Application to a Residential Building Subject to Hurricane Winds
Berna Eren Tokgoz, Adrian V. Gheorghe
2013, 4(3): 105-114. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0012-z
In order to overcome negative consequences of a disaster, buildings and infrastructures need to be resilient. After a disaster occurs, they must get back to their normal operations as quickly as possible. Buildings and infrastructures should incorporate both pre-event (preparedness and mitigation) and post-event (response and recovery) resilience activities to minimize negative effects of a disaster. Quantitative approaches for measuring resilience for buildings and infrastructures need to be developed. A proposed methodology for quantification of resilience of a given building type based on different hurricane categories is presented. The formulation for the resilience quantification is based on a model embedding several distinct parameters (for example, structural loss ratios, conditional probabilities of exceeding for damage states, estimated and actual recovery times, wind speed probability). The proposed resilience formulation is applied to a residential building type selected from HAZUS.i Numerical results of resilience for the selected residential building type against Category 1, 2, and 3 hurricanes are presented in a dashboard representation. Resilience performance indicators between different types of buildings, which are identical except for their roof types, have been evaluated in order to present applicability of the proposed methodology.
Implementation of the Flood Risk Management Directive in Selected European Countries
Uwe Müller
2013, 4(3): 115-125. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0013-y
Flood events are a recurrent threat to economic developments and can jeopardize human existence. In order to reduce the flood risks in Europe on a sustainable basis, the European Union adopted the Flood Risk Management Directive in 2007. The implementation of the directive in the national laws of all member states has laid the foundation for intergovernmental integrated flood risk management on an European scale. The following article is intended to compare and briefly assess the implementation process on inland waters at the technical level in selected European countries in the middle of the process. It covers the different basic structural, methodological, and data conditions for preparing the preliminary flood risk assessment, the flood hazard maps, the flood risk maps, and the flood risk management plans as a result of two EU projects. The technical differences in the various European countries need to be reduced in the next cycles of implementation of the Flood Risk Management Directive.
Youth Council Participation in Disaster Risk Reduction in Infanta and Makati, Philippines: A Policy Review
Glenn Fernandez, Rajib Shaw
2013, 4(3): 126-136. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0014-x
Participatory disaster risk reduction (DRR) has been promoted to integrate the views of multiple actors and stakeholders and involve people in the decisions that affect their lives. Since 1974, a number of national policies in the Philippines have been encouraging the involvement of the Filipino youth in DRR initiatives in their communities. This study reviews the implementation of these policies through the Sangguniang Kabataan (youth councils) in Infanta Municipality and Makati City on the island of Luzon. It attempts to show the discrepancies between ideal scenarios reflected in the policies and actual youth council participation in DRR in practice by examining the availability of funds for youth councils to conduct DRR activities; the knowledge of youth council officials on the 2010 DRR law (Republic Act 10121); and the role of youth council officials in the Barangay (village level) DRR Committees. Several recommendations on how to enhance youth council participation in DRR are presented. Lessons from the Philippine policy experience can be useful for other countries in raising the involvement of their youth in DRR.
Lessons from International Students' Reaction to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake: The Case of the School of Engineering at Tohoku University
Oscar A. Gómez
2013, 4(3): 137-149. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0015-9
The objective of this study is to document the reaction of international students to the 11 March 2011 emergency in order to inform and improve disaster management strategies, both public and institutional. The study is based mainly on a questionnaire survey carried out in August 2011 and follow-up interviews with students and other stakeholders. It describes the background of Tohoku University's School of Engineering and covers six different stages in the evolution of the emergency: (1) immediate response; (2) taking shelter in Sendai; (3) life in the city during the aftermath; (4) sheltering outside Sendai; (5) coming back; plus (6) an overview of the experience. Major findings include: the process of evacuation and safety confirmation was successful, yet the subsequent phases (2 and 3) went on mostly unmanaged; students relied mostly on secondary sources of information to make decisions, mainly family and friends of the same nationality, most of whom probably were not better informed than the students themselves. Based on the findings, suggestions for future disaster planning are advanced, as well as a discussion on the challenges of information provision during crisis.
How to Transmit Disaster Information Effectively: A Linguistic Perspective on Japan's Tsunami Warnings and Evacuation Instructions
Kyoko Arai
2013, 4(3): 150-158. doi: 10.1007/s13753-013-0016-8
When the disastrous tsunamis hit East Japan on 11 March 2011, the hi-tech information transmission system that is the pride of Japan was unable to send out the Tsunami Warnings effectively; many lives were lost as a result. Subsequently, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) set up a committee of experts to improve the overall system. Last year as a result of their meetings, a report on The Improvement of the Information Text for the Tsunami Warnings was announced. The changes are, however, problematic from the linguistics perspective as the committee did not include any experts in the field. This study examines a range of recordings of the Tsunami Warnings and the Evacuation Instructionsi given for the East Japan tsunami disaster from the perspective of linguistics, especially pragmatics, whose main objective is to discover how recipients interpret verbal messages. The aim of this article is to propose further improvement to the transmission system of Tsunami Warnings and Evacuation Instructions. This study also emphasizes the necessity and importance of reexamining the overall disaster information transmission issue in Japan, from the linguistics perspective.