Simulating extreme winter storm scenarios

Markus Jähi, Pertti Broas

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


Extreme winter storms in the north can cause severe problems for critical infrastructures. In the worst case scenario, strong gusts, low temperatures and the accumulation of snow and ice on power lines can cause power outages or even the breakdown of the whole electricity supply network. Alternatively, large power outage due to technical reasons can take place simultaneously with the storm. As many heating systems are dependent on electricity supply, a power outage can result in the cooling of buildings. At worst, people could be in danger of frostbites and hypothermia if they cannot move to warm and safe locations or be evacuated in time. In crisis management computer simulations can be used in many different ways to support preparedness planning as well as forecasting the course of the events. This presentation will introduce a computer simulation based application which is designed to support preparedness planning for extreme winter conditions. The application utilizes separate tools to simulate the cooling of buildings, to evaluate the need of people to be evacuated, to rank different options to use evacuation resources, and to evaluate the economic impacts of simulated scenarios. As a result, the developed application offers a possibility to create and compare different scenarios and to test different emergency and rescue strategies. The presentation is based on the experiences of the Nordic pilot case of the research and integration project CRISMA "Modelling crisis management for improved action and preparedness" which is funded by European Union's seventh Research and Innovation funding program. The goal of the project is to provide a simulation-based decision support system for modelling crisis management in both natural and man-made disasters. CRISMA is based on developed integration framework that enables the integration of different legacy models as well as simulation tools developed in the project.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventWorld Conference on Disaster Management, WCDM 2015 - Toronto , Canada
Duration: 8 Jun 201511 Jun 2015


ConferenceWorld Conference on Disaster Management, WCDM 2015
Abbreviated titleWCDM 2015


  • crisis management
  • simulation
  • scenarios
  • extreme weather
  • power outage


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