The purpose of this paper is to assess the severity of social and economic impact of floods on the communities and industries with respect to their reliance on the flood impacted critical infrastructure. This paper illustrates a severity assessment tool to determine the reduced serviceability level of critical infrastructure after a disaster, how the change in serviceability impacts activities of associated communities and industries, and the resulting social and economic impact.
The results presented in this paper are a part of a larger research designed to develop a decision support system for disaster impact mitigation. This research evaluated the impact of floods as a natural hazard on infrastructure and the related industries and communities in terms of criticality and vulnerability of infrastructure and the severity of social and economic impact if the critical infrastructure were to be affected. The overall research focused on the 2008 Midwest floods for the required data collection (including the cities of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Terre Haute, Indiana, St Louis, Missouri, Gulfport and Des Plaines, Illinois). Relevant data were collected through questionnaire surveys, personal interviews, and site visits.
The data collected through this research highlighted the importance of relationship between infrastructure, communities and industries with respect to technical, social and economic aspects. While the overall research resulted in a Decision Support System with three modules, to assess criticality, vulnerability and severity, this paper only elaborates the Severity Assessment Tool (SAT). Serviceability of an infrastructure plays an important role in post disaster recovery and response. Reduction in the serviceability of an infrastructure also affects the functionality of the activities that depend on the affected infrastructure resulting in social and economic impact. The tool presented in this paper determines the severity of social and economic impact by evaluating the reduction in the functionality of the affected activities.
The model (SAT) presented in this paper determines the social and economic impact on communities and industries due to natural disaster when the serviceability of disaster impacted critical infrastructure is impaired. This tool can be effectively used by city managers as well as emergency planners for industries and communities in developing mitigation strategies based on the severity of social and economic impact due to the affected critical infrastructure. The results would also help the decision makers in arriving at more effective investment decisions to repair/rehabilitate certain critical infrastructure.
Deshmukh, A., Ho Oh, E. and Hastak, M. (2011), "Impact of flood damaged critical infrastructure on communities and industries", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 156-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/20441241111180415
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