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Number of results: 26

E-Handbook on Societal Security Crises and Emergency Response in Europe

Document type: 
SOURCE publication
Publisher / Publication: 
Insitute for European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel for the SOURCE project
Abstract: 

The e-handbook is an innovative educational tool for first responders managing crises in the area of societal security.

It features six multi-media case-studies coming from different parts of Europe, namely: Austria, Sweden, Belgium, and Spain. The case-studies explore and re-construct strategies and actions of first response professionals involved in management of socio-political emergencies and natural disasters. In addition to texts, the interactive content includes educational assignments and video interviews, in which professionals, who took on key roles in the crisis management and emergency response, share their experiences.

Building Resilience Through Effective Disaster Management: An Information Ecology Perspective

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, 9 (1): 11-26
Abstract: 

Existing literature argues that taking a holistic approach to disaster management is important for organizations in building resilience.

Theoretical underpinnings to achieve a holistic understanding, however, is lacking. This article applies the notion of an ecosystem as a holistic lens to understand complex disaster management. The paper reports two case studies from Japan and Nepal to illustrate how an ecosystem works during a disaster. The theoretical framework of information ecology is used in analyzing the cases. Based on the findings, the study shows three interconnected mechanisms that can build resilience of an ecosystem in a disaster management context, namely (1) coevolution, (2) collaboration, and (3) embeddedness of local knowledge. The authors argue that coevolution is a key to respond to constantly changing situations during a disaster. To accomplish ecosystem coevolution, creating a collaboration system with governments and local communities and embedding local knowledge into the system are essential. Furthermore, digital tools can play a critical role in the coevolution process.

Investing in disaster management capabilities versus pre-positioning inventory: A new approach to disaster preparedness

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Production Economics, 157: 261-272
Abstract: 

Disaster preparedness has been recognized as a central element in reducing the impact of disasters worldwide.

The usual methods of preparedness, such as pre-positioning relief inventory in countries prone to disasters, are problematic because they require high investment in various locations, due to the uncertainty about the timing and location of the next disaster. Investing in disaster management capabilities, such as training staff, pre-negotiating customs agreements with countries prone to disasters, or harmonizing import procedures with local customs clearance procedures, has been recognized as a way to overcome this constraint. By means of system dynamics modeling, we model the delivery process of ready-to-use therapeutic food items during the immediate response phase of a disaster, and we analyze the performance of different preparedness scenarios. We find that pre-positioning inventory produces positive results for the beneficiaries, but at extremely high costs. Investing in disaster management capabilities is an interesting alternative, as it allows lead time reductions of up to 67% (18 days) compared to a scenario without preparedness, at significantly lower costs than pre-positioning inventory. We find that the best performance can be achieved when combining both preparedness strategies, allocating part of the available funding to disaster management capabilities and part to pre-positioning inventory. We analyze 2828 such combined scenarios to identify the best mix of preparedness strategies for different levels of available funding. On the basis of our findings, we provide recommendations for relief organizations on how to allocate their preparedness budget.

A geographic approach for combining social media and authoritative data towards identifying useful information for disaster management

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 29 (4): 667-689
Abstract: 

In recent years, social media emerged as a potential resource to improve the management of crisis situations such as disasters triggered by natural hazards.

Although there is a growing research body concerned with the analysis of the usage of social media during disasters, most previous work has concentrated on using social media as a stand-alone information source, whereas its combination with other information sources holds a still underexplored potential. This article presents an approach to enhance the identification of relevant messages from social media that relies upon the relations between georeferenced social media messages as Volunteered Geographic Information and geographic features of flood phenomena as derived from authoritative data (sensor data, hydrological data and digital elevation models). We apply this approach to examine the micro-blogging text messages of the Twitter platform (tweets) produced during the River Elbe Flood of June 2013 in Germany. This is performed by means of a statistical analysis aimed at identifying general spatial patterns in the occurrence of flood-related tweets that may be associated with proximity to and severity of flood events. The results show that messages near (up to 10 km) to severely flooded areas have a much higher probability of being related to floods. In this manner, we conclude that the geographic approach proposed here provides a reliable quantitative indicator of the usefulness of messages from social media by leveraging the existing knowledge about natural hazards such as floods, thus being valuable for disaster management in both crisis response and preventive monitoring.

A review of game theory applications in natural disaster management research

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Natural Hazards, 89 (3): 1461–1483
Abstract: 

Research for efficiently planning and responding to natural disasters is of vital interest due to the devastating effects and losses caused by their occurrence, including economic deficiency, casua

lties, and infrastructure damage. Following the large breadth of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, we observe a growing use of game theoretic models in the research concerning natural disaster management. In these models, government agencies and private companies interact as players in a disaster relief game. Notable research in these areas has studied multi-player games and multi-agency collaboration, among others, to provide insights into optimal decisions concerning defensive investment and private–public partnerships in the face of disaster occurrence. This paper aims to increase the comprehension of game theory-based research in disaster management and to provide directions for future research. We analyze and integrate 57 recent papers (2006–2016) to summarize game theory-based research in natural disaster and emergency management. We find that the response phase of disaster relief has been researched most extensively, and future research could be directed toward the other phases of disaster management such as mitigation, preparedness, and recovery. Attacker–defender games to be utilized relatively frequently to model both mitigation and response for a disaster. Defensive resource allocation and sequential/simultaneous games to model the interaction between agencies/individuals in light of a disaster are two other common ways to model disaster management. In addition to academia, the targeted audience of this research includes governments, private sectors, private citizens, and others who are concerned with or involved in disaster management.

Emergency response in natural disaster management: Allocation and scheduling of rescue units

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
European Journal of Operational Research, 235 (3): 697-708
Abstract: 

Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes, cause tremendous harm each year.

In order to reduce casualties and economic losses during the response phase, rescue units must be allocated and scheduled efficiently. As this problem is one of the key issues in emergency response and has been addressed only rarely in literature, this paper develops a corresponding decision support model that minimizes the sum of completion times of incidents weighted by their severity. The presented problem is a generalization of the parallel-machine scheduling problem with unrelated machines, non-batch sequence-dependent setup times and a weighted sum of completion times – thus, it is NP-hard. Using literature on scheduling and routing, we propose and computationally compare several heuristics, including a Monte Carlo-based heuristic, the joint application of 8 construction heuristics and 5 improvement heuristics, and GRASP metaheuristics. Our results show that problem instances (with up to 40 incidents and 40 rescue units) can be solved in less than a second, with results being at most 10.9% up to 33.9% higher than optimal values. Compared to current best practice solutions, the overall harm can be reduced by up to 81.8%.

Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability - Chapter 12: Human Security

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): Climate Change 2014 - Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Cambridge University Press
Abstract: 

This chapter assesses research on how climate change may exacerbate specific threats to human security, and how factors such as lack of mobility or the presence of conflict restrict the ability to

adapt to climate change. Research on the specific interaction of human security and climate change focuses on how cultural, demographic, economic, and political forces interact with direct and indirect climate change impacts, affecting individuals and communities. The analysis concerns drivers of vulnerability across multiple scales and sectors, including gender relations, culture, political institutions, and markets.

 

Routledge Handbook of Security Studies (2nd Edition)

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

The field of Security Studies has undergone significant change during the past 20 years, and is now one of the most dynamic sub-disciplines within International Relations.

This second edition has been significantly updated to address contemporary and emerging security threats with chapters on organised crime, migration and security, cyber-security, energy security, the Syrian conflict and resilience, amongst many others. Comprising articles by both established and up-and-coming scholars, The Routledge Handbook of Security Studies provides a comprehensive overview of the key contemporary topics of research and debate in the field of Security Studies.

Is the Environment a Security Threat - Environmental Security beyond Securitization

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
International Affairs Review, 20 (1)
Abstract: 

Looking at the question – is environmental degradation a security threat? –, this paper argues in favor of a revised framework of security that includes environment as a key determinant.

Later, the paper explains the conceptual linkages between environmental degradation and security through several theoretical viewpoints. The paper primarily focuses on the contributions of the constructivist school of thought to explain the idea of environmental security. The paper also establishes a link among environment degradation, threat to life and vulnerability. This linkage helps to understand the relationship between environmental degradation and potential conflicts. Primary information on the prevalence and effects of ecological degradation and climate change are utilized to support the thesis. Finally, the paper concludes with the argument that environmental changes hamper individual security by affecting livelihoods and promotes transnational security crises for states and regions. Hence, environmental degradation is a significant threat to security for both individuals and nation-states. 

Small States and International Security - Europe and Beyond

Document type: 
Book
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

This book explains what ‘small’ states are and explores their current security challenges, in general terms and through specific examples.

It reflects the shift from traditional security definitions emphasizing defence and armaments, to new security concerns such as economic, societal and environmental security where institutional cooperation looms larger. These complex issues, linked with traditional power relations and new types of actors, need to be tackled with due regard to democracy and good governance. Key policy challenges for small states are examined and applied in the regional case studies.

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