Scientists Create New Tool to Predict Disaster Losses

Bayesian network approach enables emergency planners to better predict, assess and manage natural and man-made catastrophes.

A group of engineering and scientific experts have developed a new model to better predict losses due to natural and man-made environmental disasters. Researchers say their approach has the potential to assist emergency planners and other disaster preparedness experts reduce negative impacts through improved prediction.

Lead researcher Lianfa Li of LREIS, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, said the model "has implications for risk assessment and management in supporting more precise information for decision-making." The approach, while geared in this instance on flooding events, "has broader applications to typhoons, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis and other adverse situations with natural and man-made causes," Li said.

The new analysis method is detailed in the http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/123452819/HTMLSTART article "Assessment of Catastrophic Risk Using a Bayesian Network Constructed from Domain Knowledge and Spatial Data" in the July issue of the journal Risk Analysis, published by the Society for Risk Analysis. The authors include Lianfa Li, Jinfeng Wang, and Chengsheng Jiang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Hareton Leung of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The researchers say their approach is unique in that it integrates expert input, geographic data, and a host of contributing factors in predicting the likelihood of certain adverse outcomes, allowing emergency planners to pre-position resources and prepare staff based on more information than is provided by reviewing similar events that have occurred in the past.

The model in effect operates as a type of “artificial intelligence,” according to Li. The supporting computer program “can learn from existing data and users can leverage expert knowledge to revise and improve the model, make inferences about missing data, and bridge other uncertainties to enhance the predictability of natural disasters and decrease potential losses.” Li added, “Our study proposes a generic modeling framework that integrates relevant quantitative and qualitative factors within a consistent system for assessment of catastrophic risks.”

The so-called Bayesian network approach for disaster prediction makes use of information from geographers, construction engineers, ecologists and economists. It was validated against data from flood disasters along the Heihe river in northwest China from 2006 to 2008, which indicated its relatively better performance than other available known methods.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue