2022 Vol. 13, No. 1

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Challenges Associated with Creeping Disasters in Disaster Risk Science and Practice: Considering Disaster Onset Dynamics
zhenqiang Wang, Gaofeng Jia
2022, 13(1): 1-11. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00391-9
In this article, we set out to reconcile a general conceptualization of disaster temporalities by drawing on the epitome example of a creeping disaster, namely famine. Our argument is driven by the recognition that slowly manifesting disaster impacts pose distinct challenges for decision makers and researchers while there is a tendency for the disaster literature to overlook the role of disaster onset dynamics. More specifically and as a starting point, we identify four key themes that merit particular attention when dealing with creeping disasters:(1) our understanding of disaster as a phenomenon; (2) measurement and operationalization; (3) early warning and response; and (4) disaster management and termination. By integrating conceptual discussions of disaster with famine scholarship-a phenomenon often excluded from mainstream disaster research-this article provides fresh perspectives on disaster science as well as a number of implications for how we think about disaster risk reduction.
Enhancing Coordination for Effective Management of Oil Spill Pollution in South Africa
Phindile Tiyiselani Zanele Sabela-Rikhotso, Dewald van Niekerk, Livhuwani David Nemakonde
2022, 13(1): 12-24. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00392-8
Although multi-sectoral coordination in disaster risk management has been progressing in South Africa for over two decades, there has been limited commitment to an integrated regime in managing marine oil spill incidents. Poor incident management persists despite the availability of data, protocols, legislation, and resources housed in different government and private sector entities. This study identified practices that enhance a coordination process for the effective management of oil spill pollution. A grounded theory approach is applied to the coordination issue, which is characterized by an interactive process of simultaneously considering theoretical grounding during our empirical research. Empirical evidence includes observations of 47 meetings and three oil spill exercises with 79 delegates from 32 different organizations, which supports the coordination process of instituting a national Incident Management System for marine oil spills in South Africa. An additional 44 individual open-ended questionnaires supplement this earlier body of evidence for data triangulation and validation. Analysis of development of the Incident Management System process revealed that, when designing a novel long-term project that is reliant on a shared vision from multiple organizations, enhanced coordination and collaboration for successful implementation is dependent on the following practices:(1) obtaining political commitment, (2) bridging knowledge gaps, and (3) sharing resources.
Attentiveness to Early Warning Drought Information: Implications for Policy Support and Climate Risk Reduction in Ghana
Peter Dok Tindan, Divine Odame Appiah, Alexander Yao Segbefia
2022, 13(1): 25-37. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00390-2
Successful drought planning is dependent on the generation of timely and accurate early warning information. Yet there is little evidence to explain the extent to which crop farmers pay attention to and assimilate early warning drought information that aids in the policy formulation in support of drought risk reduction. A socioecological survey, using a structured questionnaire administered to 426 crop farming households, was carried out in the Talensi District of the Upper East Region, Ghana. The data analytic techniques used were frequency tables, relative importance index, and multinomial logistics embedded in SPSS v.20 software. The results show that crop farmers predominantly rely on agricultural extension officers for early warning drought information, with an estimated 78% of them paying little to very much attention to the information. The likelihood ratio Chi-square test showed that there is a significant improvement in fit as X2 (20)=96.792, p < 0.000. Household status, average monthly income, and age were the significant predictors for crop farmers paying no attention at all to early warning drought information, while household status was the only significant factor among those paying a little attention. The drive to build a climate-resilient society with effective early warning centers across Ghana will receive 60% lower support from crop farmers paying no to a little attention as compared to farmers paying very much attention to early warning drought information. Broader stakeholder engagements should be carried out to harness inclusive support from crop farmers to build a climate-resilient society in Ghana.
(In) visibilities About the Vulnerabilities of People with Visual Impairments to Disasters and Climate Change: A Case Study in Cuiabá, Brazil
Giselly Gomes, Victor Marchezini, Michèle Sato
2022, 13(1): 38-51. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00394-6
People with visual impairments (PwVI) represent a heterogeneous social group who often experience significant disabling barriers in exercising their rights throughout their life course. Understanding dimensions of vulnerability of PwVI to disasters and climate change is an important issue to reduce the culture of neglected disasters. To date, few studies have analyzed visual impairment and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. This exploratory qualitative research project analyzed how to include PwVI in the DRR policies of Brazil. The research question is:how can we include PwVI in the discussion of DRR and climate change? The response to this question is part of a joint effort that involved a university, a hazard monitoring agency, and three institutions that work with PwVI. The three main results of the project are:(1) a mapping method to identify the exposure of PwVI to landslides and floods, and to create tactile risk maps tailored to them; (2) incorporating the voices of PwVI regarding their vulnerabilities and capacities with respect to disasters and climate change, achieved through shared interaction during 15 face to face interviews and one workshop attended by 100 people; and (3) an initiative of inclusive education to reduce some of the disabling barriers that intensify vulnerability.
Examining the Factors that Influence the Use of Social Media for Disaster Management by Underserved Communities
Thiagarajan Ramakrishnan, Louis Ngamassi, Shahedur Rahman
2022, 13(1): 52-65. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00399-1
Abstract This study examined the propensity of social media use by underserved communities by drawing on the literature on the digital divide and attribution theory. Specifically, this research explored the factors that can influence the use of social media for disaster management. The study used survey methodology to collect data and partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLSSEM) to analyze the data and test the hypotheses. The results of the study indicate:(1) that the propensity of social media use for disaster management is low for underserved communities; (2) a positive relationship between an individual's effort and the intention to use social media for disaster management; and (3) a negative relationship between task difficulty and the intention to use social media for disaster management. The study expanded the literature on the use of social media in disaster management. The article also provides both theoretical and practical implications.
Simulation-Based and Risk-Informed Assessment of the Effectiveness of Tsunami Evacuation Routes Using AgentBased Modeling: A Case Study of Seaside, Oregon
Zhenqiang Wang, Gaofeng Jia
2022, 13(1): 66-86. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00387-x
Typically, tsunami evacuation routes are marked using signs in the transportation network and the evacuation map is made to educate people on how to follow the evacuation route. However, tsunami evacuation routes are usually identified without the support of evacuation simulation, and the route effectiveness in the reduction of evacuation risk is typically unknown quantitatively. This study proposes a simulation-based and risk-informed framework for quantitative evaluation of the effectiveness of evacuation routes in reducing evacuation risk. An agentbased model is used to simulate the tsunami evacuation, which is then used in a simulation-based risk assessment framework to evaluate the evacuation risk. The route effectiveness in reducing the evacuation risk is evaluated by investigating how the evacuation risk varies with the proportion of the evacuees that use the evacuation route. The impacts of critical risk factors such as evacuation mode (for example, on foot or by car) and population size and distribution on the route effectiveness are also investigated. The evacuation risks under different cases are efficiently calculated using the augmented sample-based approach. The proposed approach is applied to the riskinformed evaluation of the route effectiveness for tsunami evacuation in Seaside, Oregon. The evaluation results show that the route usage is overall effective in reducing the evacuation risk in the study area. The results can be used for evacuation preparedness education and hence effective evacuation.
Development of a Method for Assessing Country-Based Flood Risk at the Global Scale
Yoshiyuki Imamura
2022, 13(1): 87-99. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00388-w
International frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 require the quantification of country-based flood risk. However, few approaches at the global scale include the three necessary components (hazard, exposure, and vulnerability) for determining disaster risk and are country-based assessments, owing to major challenges such as limited data availability and vulnerability proxy selection. Therefore, in this study, a method was developed with the following features:Incorporating the hazard, exposure, and vulnerability components; Applicable to the vast majority of countries in the world; Visualizing priority countries and illustrating effective measures and strategies; Clear and easy to understand by leaders and decision makers of international organizations, governments, and other stakeholders; Identifying each country's challenges and providing guidance on specific issues for more detailed investigation and policy creation; Including more extensive factors compared with past studies. In Asia and the Pacific, the Flood Risk Index computed by the developed method is compared with the fatality ratio, and the results show that improving flood resilience secures people and society regardless of the magnitude and frequency of floods. Analysis at the global scale visualizes regional tendencies and indicates that countries closer to the equator have higher flood risk. Analysis of country-based flood risk based on five indicators demonstrates that the developed method can assist international organizations, governments, and other stakeholders to further examine country-specific conditions and establish and implement policies and strategies toward building a resilient society and achieving international targets.
Effects of Risk Perception on Disaster Preparedness Toward Typhoons: An Application of the Extended Theory of Planned Behavior
Sai Leung Ng
2022, 13(1): 100-113. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00398-2
This study adopted an extended theory of planned behavior to understand how risk perception affected disaster preparedness behavior. An intercept survey (N=286) was conducted at a typhoon-prone district of Hong Kong, China in 2019, then the data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The results indicated that risk perception and intention of preparedness were predictors of disaster preparedness behavior. Risk perception significantly affected intention of preparedness and the effect was partially mediated by subjective norm. Risk perception also significantly affected attitude and perceived behavioral control, but attitude and perceived behavioral control were not significantly correlated with intention of preparedness. Not only may this study supplement the existing literature of disaster preparedness toward typhoons, but also it provides insights for the planning and management of natural hazards and disaster risk reduction in Hong Kong.
A Probabilistic Approach to the Evaluation of Seismic Resilience in Road Asset Management
Vittorio Nicolosi, Maria Augeri, Mauro D'Apuzzo, Azzurra Evangelisti, Daniela Santilli
2022, 13(1): 114-124. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00395-5
Road networks are classified as critical infrastructure systems. Their loss of functionality not only hinders residential and commercial activities, but also compromises evacuation and rescue after disasters. Dealing with risks to key strategic objectives is not new to asset management, and risk management is considered one of the core elements of asset management. Risk analysis has recently focused on understanding and designing strategies for resilience, especially in the case of seismic events that present a significant hazard to highway transportation networks. Following a review of risk and resilience concepts and metrics, an innovative methodology to stochastically assess the economic resources needed to restore damaged infrastructures, one that is a relevant and complementary element within a wider resilience-based framework, is proposed. The original methodology is based on collecting and analyzing ex post reconstruction and hazard data and was calibrated on data measured during the earthquake that struck central Italy in 2016 and collected in the following recovery phase. Although further improvements are needed, the proposed approach can be used effectively by road managers to provide useful information in developing seismic retrofitting plans.
Estimating the Economic Effects of the Early Covid-19 Emergency Response in Cities Using Intracity Travel Intensity Data
Lijiao Yang, Caiyun Wei, Xinyu Jiang, Qian Ye, Hirokazu Tatano
2022, 13(1): 125-138. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00393-7
In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, China implemented the most stringent and serious emergency response. To understand the effect of such an emergency response strategy on the economic system, this study proposed a simultaneous overall estimation method using intracity travel intensity data. The overall effect is represented by the difference between intracity travel intensity with and without the emergency response. Using historical data and time series analysis, we compared intracity travel intensity post China's implementation of the emergency response with predicted intracity travel intensity without such a response. The loss rates, defined by the proportion of intracity travel intensity loss, were calculated for 360 cities within 33 provincial-level regions in China based on data availability. We found that 30 days after the emergency response, 21% of the cities saw over 80% recovery and 10% of the cities showed more than 90% recovery; 45 days after the emergency response, more than 83% of the 360 cities witnessed 80% recovery. The correlation between gross domestic production loss rate and travel intensity loss rate was studied quantitatively to demonstrate the representativeness of the intracity travel intensity loss rate. This indicator was also used to analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of the effects on the economy. The results of this study can help us understand the economic effects caused by the early Covid-19 emergency response and the method can be a reference for fast and real-time economic loss estimation to support emergency response decision making under pandemic conditions.
Optimized Hot Spot and Directional Distribution Analyses Characterize the Spatiotemporal Variation of Large Wildfires in Washington, USA, 197022020
Kevin Zerbe, Chris Polit, Stacey McClain, Tim Cook
2022, 13(1): 139-150. doi: 10.1007/s13753-022-00396-4
Abstract Spatiotemporal analysis of fire activity is vital for determining why wildfires occur where they do, assessing wildfire risks, and developing locally relevant wildfire risk reduction strategies. Using various spatial statistical methods, we determined hot spots of large wildfires ([100 acres) in Washington, the United States, and mapped spatiotemporal variations in large wildfire activity from 1970 to 2020. Our results found that all hot spots are located east of the crest of the Cascade Range. Our spatiotemporal analysis found that the geographic area wherein most of the state's acres burned has shrunk considerably since 1970 and has become concentrated over the north-central portion of the state over time. This concentration of large wildfire activity in north-central Washington was previously unquantified and may provide important information for hazard mitigation efforts in that area. Our results highlight the advantages of using spatial statistical methods that could aid the development of natural hazard mitigation plans and risk reduction strategies by characterizing previous hazard occurrences spatially and spatiotemporally.
When It Strikes, Are We Ready? Lessons Identified at the 7th Planetary Defense Conference in Preparing for a Near-Earth Object Impact Scenario
Shirish Ravan, Tom De Groeve, Lara Mani, Einar Bjorgo, Richard Moissl, Jose Miguel Roncero, Katherine Rowan, David Schuld, Leviticus A. Lewis, Romana Kofler
2022, 13(1): 151-159. doi: 10.1007/s13753-021-00389-9
Near-Earth object (NEO) impact is one of the examples of high impact and low probability (HILP) event, same as the Covid-19 pandemic the world faces since the beginning of 2020. The 7th Planetary Defense Conference held by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in April 2021 included an exercise on a hypothetical NEO impact event, allowing the planetary defense community to discuss potential responses. Over the span of the 4-day conference this exercise connected disaster response and management professionals to participate in a series of panels, providing feedback and perspective on the unfolding crisis scenario. The hypothetical but realistic asteroid threat scenario illustrated how such a short-warning threat might evolve. The scenario utilized during the conference indicates a need to prepare now for what might come in the future, because even with advance notice, preparation time might be minimal. This scenario chose Europe for the impact, which may likely cope with such a disaster, through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM) and other solidarity and support mechanisms within the European Union (EU), as well as with potential support from international partners. This short article raises concern about other areas in the world on how they may access NEO impact information and cope with such disasters. It also provides an idea on vast scale of such disaster vis-à-vis the current capacity of response systems to cope with a larger event in Europe or elsewhere. This scenario showed that planetary defense is a global endeavor. Constant engagement of the planetary defense and disaster response communities is essential in order to keep the world safe from potential disasters caused by NEO impacts.