Project finished

The project is now finished. The scientific research has allowed the development of innovative tools to better assess the impact of cascading effect during a crisis and to help the preparedness by simulating the events occurring during a potential crisis.

Partners have collaborated to develop a model to apprehend and foresee cascading effects in a crisis:
– The EM-DAT database (Emergency Events database, the international disaster database) was analysed more deeply and cascading effects in crisis identified among past crisis following the remarks of the reviewers.
– Based on a hazard, exposure and vulnerability approach, the partners have developed a methodology to model the impact of a natural disaster on selected elements at risk (people, built environment, critical infrastructures and service networks, economy), and to simulate the cumulative damage induced by cascading effects. The effectiveness of the model has been successfully tested on the Santorini reference scenario.
– The development of a tool to simulate the impact on technological networks (communication, power, water, etc.) and the propagation of damages inside and between these networks is completed. An actual working tool is now available.
– The role of human behaviour in the context of cascading effects has also been studied. The results imply that the consequences of human behaviour are dependent on diverse conditions. Such results are expected to be used to optimize the various tools being developed within the project, at different levels.
– An in-depth data collection (including data coming from social networks) and literature review has been performed in order to analyse three well-known past crises, following a timeline perspective. This allowed to highlight “how” and “when” the tools developed within Snowball could support decision-makers in the elaboration and/or improvement of preparedness measures for similar past crises. The results show that the effects of good preparedness are manifesting in all stages of a crisis. Therefore, Snowball offers a great range of tools usable for different purposes and useful in all stages of a crisis; mainly focusing on the mitigation and preparedness phases.

From a technological point of view, the project has developed all the modules that compose the final Snowball solution.
– A simulation with a shared map between expert results and Emergency Alert SYstem.
– A workflow GUI added for composing phone scripts.
– An Event Log Database where data from a crisis is stored.
– A “Cascading Effects Simulation tool” and a web based application to display simulation results according to different triggering hazards and cascading effects paths have been developed. The application also allows to test the effectiveness of alternative preparedness options through scenario comparison features and the integration with the multi-criteria assessement tool.
– A data layer has been designed and developed in order to enable the integration of data from various sources with different formats.
– The Social Network Analyses as a novel mean to improve the study of human behavior in crisis situation (preparedness phase).
– A mobile application. The initial aim of the Task 4.2 was to take into consideration two main aspects with the same level of details. The study of data obtained from social networks and the possible interactions with mobile app in the hands of emergency managers, rescue forces, first responders and volunteers. These two data sources have been chosen because able of providing different and complementary kind of data useful along the various phases of crisis management process. After the Midterm Review, the consortium decided to refocus the running activities, in order to maximize the impacts on the preparedness phase. The consortium considered social network analysis strategically more relevant than the mobile sensing, as regarding the preparedness phase. Consequently the efforts on social networks analysis have been increased in order to emphasize the activities on human behaviour and sentiment detection. Consequently, the activities about mobile sensing stop with the development of the mock-up and the architecture design and are not fully integrated inside the project.
– A portal for manual inputs that allows first responders to manually declare events.
– A simulation tool that implement the hazard, exposure and vulnerability approach developed within the project, in order to predict vulnerable areas in a city and increase preparedness.
– A simulation tool for network damage propagation
– An emergency alert system
– An action planning module
– A dashboard, interface for the Crisis Management, which allow them to interact with all the different modules developed.