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Advances and Gaps in Risk Information Management - Challenges in Implementing the UN SENDAI Framework

The UN SENDAI Framework for Disaster Reduction enforces the demands for complex and dynamic information availability, coherence and synergies for substantial improvements in planning, operational response and recovery.
Common approaches between safety and security practitioners and the vulnerable civil society consider human factors, societal, (psycho-)social, cultural, ethical as well as organizational aspects in all phases of the disaster cycle. The specific difference lies in enabling inclusive participation not only in preparedness phases but also in the post-disaster evaluation of goal-reaching success and take-up of suggestions for consideration in revised action and adaptation plans.
The complete set of information management best practice methods especially supports the principles of “critical thinking”, enabling extensive reporting, transparent analysis, compliance to regulations and other boundary conditions. Information control obligations include phases of retrace, audit, reexamination, analysis, avoidance of malpractice, and indications on weaknesses/vulnerabilities.

Topics of the track

Disaster Risk Information Management Deficits  - Stakeholders in and after the Central European Flood Disaster of July 2021 -

According to the text of the UN SENDAI Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, the ability for all to access and contribute information, ideas and knowledge is essential in an inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction informed society.One of the major goals to achieve is to enhance / give all stakeholders (citizens, global, national, regional and local authorities, as well as civil society /NGOs, private sector and other organizations) an active voice on issues they experience and believe most relevant to the current and future demands in all phases of Disaster Risk Reduction – in conjunction with other UN Instruments (Transnational Declarations, Conventions, Treaties, Frameworks and Directives).The Central European Flood Disaster of July 2021 showed a level of public awareness of stakeholders far beyond traditional first aid organizations in an unprecedented comprehensiveness, manner and way.The sharing and strengthening of local, national and global knowledge for Disaster Risk Reduction DRR can be enhanced by removing barriers to equitable access to information for economic, social, political, health, cultural, educational, and scientific activities and by facilitating access to public domain knowledge, information and data.This presentation willgive a methodological framework that covers Risk Information Management from a holistic point of view on local, regional, national and international levels of operationindicate on information management deficits consequences, especially when considering effects of decision support, decisions, and actions, based on examples of public media content (Media, Broadcasting and Journalists)exemplify on the special needs of the most vulnerable stakeholdersemphasize on considerably growing “all-of-society” interest in disaster aftermathstrengthen the need to document disaster information management facts and consequences to stakeholderscompile a central function Risk Information Management set of methods, techniques and tasks needed in all socio-economic aspects in the Disaster Management Phases (from preparedness through all facets of disaster aftermath) for massive improvement of physical, environmental, economic and social resiliencecollect proposals for selected programs and projects that are needed to overcome current deficits.

Fighting climate risk through gaming by an energy transition game, utopia or reality?

The implementation of a new game engine for physical computing serious games aims to change behavior in terms of energy production and consumption. The proposal is to develop a non-coercive process, which offers a reward to residents, employees or officials as well as to businesses and institutions in the form of a reduction in their electricity bill and CO2 emissions. The aim is to develop a specific research and analysis methodology, a framework of operations adapted to groups of populations, a collaborative game and implementation procedures with, ultimately, a results verification strategy. The necessity and urgency of communication about the issues and challenges of climate change and possible solutions to advert or at least reduce this risk by setting up an energy transition and reorganize cities within the framework of the smart-city model, is leading the way to new educational projects. Gamification is an effective way to communicate complex ideas and concepts and increase stakeholder engagement. Smart City Game and Transition Today are two electronic physical board games that share a common software engine that is briefly described in this paper.

CITADINE: A platform to provide the experiences of survivors of natural disaster as open educational resources for risk communication

This paper presents the concept, and the prototype of a platform that enables citizens from local communities to share their experiences with historic dis-asters online as open educational resources for teachers, community builders, urban planners, or volunteers. Key focus of the platform is to highlight the impact of disasters on citizens’ everyday lives. Based upon an overview of previous research, a requirements analysis, personas and related use cases, we present insights into the prototypical implementation of the platform. The design and development process of the platform was based upon the principles outlined in the Sendai framework of disaster risk reduction. We also provide a brief outlook upon possible practical uses of the platform, and its contents.

A Validation of the Attack on the Power Grid as described in the Novel "Blackout"

In his best-selling novel “Blackout: Tomorrow Will Be Too Late”, the author Marc Elsberg describes a cyber-attack on the power grid of (mainly) Europe, leading to a prolonged power outage with catastrophic social and environmental impacts. Hackers attack the grid on three different attack fronts through vulnerabilities in the process of generation, distribution, and consumption of electricity. The first front is an attack on smart meters that causes them to disconnect from the power grid. The second front is an attack on the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) software of the power generation industry by a manipulated standard library. The third front is an attack on European grid operators where the attackers spread malware by the means of social engineering on the operators’ infrastructure. In this paper, we examine these three attack fronts and validate the attack from a technical perspective. The real-world smart meter standard we examined turned out to be protected with weak and recurring passwords and remotely disconnectable. Social engineering is empirically proven to be a promising method for spreading malware. Finally, SCADA software indeed contains banned and insecure C-APIs and other vulnerabilities such as a lack of authentication/authorization. Even though our results indicate serious security issues in every attack front, we conclude that a blackout of the magnitude described in Blackout through the immediate effect of an attack is unlikely due to the large system size and the numerous players that would have to be targeted, such as the various SCADA software providers and power network operators.

ZEUS - A novel tool for the management and coordination of large-scale evacuations

This paper introduces the newly developed software ZEUS: a management and coordination tool for large scale evacuation situations. ZEUS was developed at hand of official German blueprints for the planning of large-scale evacuations and enables authorities to create and manage emergency accommodations, collecting points and civil protection contact points. Furthermore, during an evacuation situation, ZEUS allows first responders at civil protection contact points to make reservations for evacuees in an emergency accommodation. Managers in emergency accommodations can track their allocation numbers, which are processed by ZEUS: this allows officials to monitor the ongoing situation. Thus, situational awareness is enhanced, accommodation overloading is prevented and authorities can effectively recap their response to a given evacuation situation. ZEUS establishes an information exchange point for both the authorities executing the evacuation and the authorities receiving the evacuees. Crossborder collaboration is taken into respect: ZEUS allows the management of evacuation flows over several (federal) states. The implemented features complement the efforts of the federal state Baden-Württemberg to implement the Sendai-Framework.

Use of Community Data in Crisis and Disaster Management Using the Example of Forest Fires in Germany

Preventing forest fires in the context of climate change is an important measure to protect the environment from destruction. Most forest fires do not have a natural origin, but are directly or indirectly caused by humans. In the field of forest fire detection and suppression, there are already many application systems that support different measures. In recent years, information on environmental data has been collected in communities and made freely available. Using the example of forest fire, preventive measures, reactive measures and follow-up measures using community data are described. Existing work in the field of state of the art and state of the science will be examined and further requirements for the use of community data will be derived.

Towards digital twin generation of collapsed buildings - use of new sensors and digital methods to support search and rescue efforts

After severe natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes or tsunamis, which often result in the partial or total collapse of buildings, the search for survivors under rubble piles is a top priority. Specific and fast intervention by first responders can potentially increase victims' chances of survival. In order to make search and rescue operations more efficient and safer for both the victims and emergency forces, an advanced modular system for digital twinning, structural analysis and monitoring of collapsed infrastructures is being developed as part of the research joint project "Sensor Systems for Localization of Trapped Victims in Collapsed Infrastructures” (SORTIE). In this short paper, the current methodology on digital twinning of collapsed buildings is presented where 3D point clouds are taken as input and processed into 3D models using a semi-automatic procedure. The digital twin of the destroyed infrastructure represents a semantic 3D model based on Building Information Model (BIM) technology which will be used as a data exchange platform by search and rescue teams. The performance of the developed approach is demonstrated by a case study.

SnR Project Emerging technologies for the Early location of Entrapped victims under Collapsed Structures and Advanced Wearables for risk assessment and First Responders Safety in SAR operations

Now more than ever, we face a challenge as a civil, professional, institutional and global society to address current and future emerging challenges. Emergency Professionals need to advance multidisciplinary work and support the development of technologies to ensure the safety of emergency interventions and rescue operations. "Search and Rescue" project is funded by the European Commission with the aim of developing new technologies to improve the impact of a disaster (natural, chemical, and biological) in order to make society as resilient as possible to disasters both impacting in management risk and decreasing number of victims affected and gravity. This is the aim of technicians and emergency professionals from different European countries within USAR Teams and Medical Units
Objective: To increase the effectiveness of emergency professionals improving communication technologies, chemical sensors, smart watches, smart uniforms, rescue systems specific to children, drones with interoperability in Concorde platform, and ground robots.

Material and methods:
These technologies are validated in pilots: a simulation of a Multi-Victim Incident is carried out, consisting of an earthquake with collapsed structures plus and ammonia spill. The last one takes place at the National School of Civil Protection of Rivas (Madrid).

Technologies within advanced uniforms, with improved communications for first responders, as well as drones interconnected and health monitoring devices for emergency response, with the teams communicate by a common platform produce a benefit impact assessment to improve management risk in natural disasters.

There is a dynamic work where new technologies are developed to deal with natural and man-made disasters to reduce the risk for both professionals and victims, achieving min the face of disasters.

STAMINA - Disaster risk and crises management methodological approach

Currently we all are facing a challenging time around the globe regarding pandemics, natural as well as manmade disasters. First to mention the current Covid-19 situation in Europe but also worldwide, which forces ministers, politicians, responsible from health and environmental organisation on regional, national level, first responders and many more to (re)act under extreme conditions to manage this pandemic crisis.
Additionally, or in parallel other disaster are happening like earth quakes, fires (e.g. in a Covid-19 hospital, like in Bagdad, Iraq, April 25th, 2021) that needs to be handled immediately, mostly with the same existing resources available that causes real stress as they are often already occupied by the parallel ongoing event.
Thus, it is unavoidable to have a framework (incl. models, workflows, processes) as well as already tested (or let’s say “trialed”) solutions at hand, so that under extreme circumstances you just need to select and execute your plans and follow dedicated processes for a specific risk.
The EU funded project STAMINA (Demonstration of Intelligent Decision Support for Pandemic Crisis Prediction and Management within and across European Borders) is going to take up these challenges to manage pandemic crisis and is following the Driver+ (Driving Innovation for European Resilience) project modelling approach. In this article we first briefly explain the Driver+ approach and secondly, it’s adaptation for STAMINA.

Preliminary framework for assessment of disaster risk

The challenge of mitigating disaster risk starts with the understanding of the essential concepts and with the recognition of the factors to assess the risk. Preliminary framework for assessment of disaster risk is proposed. Qualitative and quantitative aspects are described in order to make easier the understanding of the proposed planning process. This work is a contribution to The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, adopted by the Member States of the United Nations in 2015 (UNDRR, 2019a). The preliminary framework aims to show the set of concept and factors, to be understand the reduction on the vulnerability and dangerous effects of natural hazards. Resilience is explored to get a fast recovery of the life and activities of the damaged community. Preparation and prevention actions, coordination between government areas, communication with communities and studies on optimal resources allocation are identified as opportunity areas to improve the efficiency of plans to protect the life of people exposed to natural hazards.

LEAN Method applied to USAR Team introducing new technologies for improving the search and rescue procedure, FASTER Project.

Communication during and immediately after a disaster situation is a vital component of response and recovery. Effective communication connects first responders, support systems, and family members with the communities and individuals immersed in the disaster. Reliable communication also plays a key role in a community’s resilience.
FASTER is an H2020 RIA project that develops a set of tools for enhancing the operational capacity of first responders while increasing their safety in the field. It has been developed Mobile and Wearable technologies for better mission management, communication, and information. Moreover, FASTER provide a platform of Autonomous Vehicles aiming to collect valuable information from the disaster scene prior to presence operations, as for example assessment of a possible Covid area. Furthermore, First Responders improve their coordination being in continuous contact within a Portable Common Operational Picture (PCOP). receiving information and analysed it gathering multi-modal data from the field, utilizing an IoT network, and Social Media content to extract meaningful information and to orchestrate an intelligent response to the disaster. The whole system facilitates Resilient Communications Support featuring opportunistic
relay services and emergency communication devices supporting all first responders involved in the disaster area.

Suggested Approaches for the international institutions aiming to reduce the gaps in disaster and climate risk information and to enhance data management and use in sustainable development

This paper provides an overview of the key findings based on an assessment of the current capacities, available services, and needs of the regional and national stakeholders for disaster risk information and risk data management in Asia and the Pacific region. The original report and this paper also provide a set of recommendations for international and regional institutions to support enhancing risk data management and use of risk information in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the countries. The research confirmed and reiterated the persisting low level of risk information used in public policies and plans due to many factors with the following key factors:

  • Disaster risk reduction (DRR) and climate change adaptation (CCA) are not yet integrated effectively into all sectors’ policy design, planning, and operations.
  • The connection between science and policy is fragmented and requires better alignment of objectives, approaches, and communications.
  • The majority of risk assessments do not diagnose the causes of risk, are not accompanied by risk reduction options, and do not evaluate the performance of those options including the risk reduction opportunities.

The original project, which was completed in October 2020, was commissioned by the Asian and Pacific Center for the Development of Disaster Information Management (APDIM-UNESCAP) and was conducted by Sage On Earth Consulting Ltd.


The processing and use of information according to the requirements of the UN SENDAI Framework holds enormous potential for new ways of enabling just-in-time foresight, situation management and ex-post evaluation. For a successful decision and action support, we have to make the best possible use of this potential.

This track is recommended for stakeholders in RISK governance and practice: operational forces, administration, private sector, NGOs and R&D.


Horst Kremers, CODATA-Germany, UNDRR SEM Advisory Board, RIMMA Community (Berlin)

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