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Lichter, Grinberger, & Felsenstein (2015). Simulating and communicating outcomes in disaster management situations

Bibliographic details:

Lichter, M., Grinberger, A. Y., & Felsenstein, D. (2015). Simulating and communicating outcomes in disaster management situations. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 4(4), 1827-1847.


An important, but overlooked component of disaster management is raising the awareness and preparedness of potential stakeholders. We show how recent advances in agent-based modeling and geo-information analytics can be combined to this effect. Using a dynamic simulation model, we estimate the long run outcomes of two very different urban disasters with severe consequences: an earthquake and a missile attack. These differ in terms of duration, intensity, permanence, and focal points. These hypothetical shocks are simulated for the downtown area of Jerusalem. Outcomes are compared in terms of their potential for disaster mitigation. The spatial and temporal dynamics of the simulation yield rich outputs. Web-based mapping is used to visualize these results and communicate risk to policy makers, planners, and the informed public. The components and design of this application are described. Implications for participatory disaster management and planning are discussed.