Developing Indicators to Improve Safety and Security of Citizens in Case of Disruption of Critical Infrastructures Due to Natural Hazards–Case of a Snowstorm in Finland

Riitta Molarius (Corresponding Author), Jaana Keränen, Tuula Kekki, Pirjo Jukarainen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

Abstract

The changing climate inflicts ecological, economic, social, and cultural consequences that are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. Very often, this happens via interlinked critical infrastructures. Preparing these for natural hazards and carrying out risk assessments that consider their cascading effects on human livelihoods and well‐being is a challenging task. Crisis management institutions can benefit from forecasts based on the idea of systemic risk. This study is based on stakeholder workshops, in which a systemic dynamic modelling method called the Causal Loop Diagram (CLD) was used to support contingency planning to identify the critical infrastructure‐related factors, the vital functions in society, and to understand their interrelated nature. Together with the workshop participants (authorities and other service providers of critical
infrastructures) we tested whether the CLD tool could help identify three types of indicators (threat factors, vulnerability, and resilience) that can help in assessing the risk level when a natural disaster hits. Our case study was a snowstorm, still a frequent phenomenon in the Nordic countries. This article describes and explains the possibilities and limitations of systemic dynamic modelling in
contingency planning. Indicators describing the safety and security risks posed by natural hazards, as well as potential sources of data for these indicators, were identified. Identifying indicators that are relevant for anticipating interrelated and cascading effects offers valuable tools for risk assessment and security planning at operational and strategical levels.
Original languageEnglish
Article number60
Number of pages20
JournalSafety
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2022
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • critical infrastructure
  • indicators
  • vulnerability
  • resilience
  • causal loop diagram

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