Ph.D. Research Developed Using Hazus-MH in a Decision Support System to Improve Resilience of Critical Infrastructure   [open pdf - 833KB]

"The two most recent major disasters in the United States, the 9/11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina, underscored the need for improvements in both safety and security. At the same time, a difficult economic period started reflecting smaller budgets to manage critical infrastructure systems, current and growing maintenance, and construction development needs. Looking in particular to post disaster policies for recovery and mitigation of damaged and disrupted critical infrastructure, a research opportunity to develop an approach to improve the resilience of these systems taking advantage of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) HAZUS MH [Hazard US] tool was identified. A case study included HAZUS MH original data inventory and analysis results in a Decision Support System model that demonstrated the possibility and benefits for using an integrated approach of recovery and mitigation focusing on improving resilience of critical infrastructure systems. Considering the disaster management cycle of preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation, starting the research approach in the post disaster phase allows for looking at mitigation in a proactive way taking advantage of recovery activities. In a 'what if' scenario, initially a specific location would have assessed its vulnerability and risks, including looking at possible types of failure, then defined strategies and taken actions to improve the resilience of its infrastructure system. With the occurrence of a disaster it is time for response and recovery to be evaluated. Recovery actions, including damage assessment, enables verification for the threshold of eligibility to apply for Federal aid is met, and infrastructure can receive repairs. A results comparison between mitigation and recovery enables the development of new or revised plans for mitigation with the objective of improving resilience of critical infrastructure systems."

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United States Federal Emergency Management Agency: http://www.fema.gov/
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