Special Issue "Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Hazards and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ziqiang Han
Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Disaster Management and Reconstruction, Sichuan University-The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, China
Interests: risk analysis and decision making; disaster recovery; disaster preparedness
Dr. William L. Waugh
Website
Guest Editor
Andrew Young School of Policy, Georgia State University, USA
Interests: emergency management; disaster recovery; institutional preparedness

Special Issue Information

We are organizing a Special Issue on “Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development” in Sustainability. The venue is a peer-reviewed international and open access scientific journal that publishes articles and communications in the cross-disciplinary area of sustainability and sustainable development. Sustainability has a high visibility and is indexed in Clarivate Analytics (prior Thomson Reuters) Science Citation Index Expanded and the Social Sciences Citation Index database.

Hazards, disasters, crisis and emergencies are key issues threating sustainable development and sustainability. Disasters impact individuals, families, institutions, communities, and societies, not only physically, but also socially. They may cause infrastructure damage, and economic and human life loss. Thus, the wish and processes of sustainable development are always disrupted by various kinds of disasters. Another important theme under investigation is the link between recovery after disasters and sustainable development (Smith and Wenger, 2007). In order to revitalize disaster-impacted families and communities, mitigation and resilience should be integrated into the recovery process to reduce the vulnerability of communities. Therefore, in order to achieve the goal of sustainability and sustainable development, strategies, methods, and technologies for mitigating, preventing, preparing, responding and recovering from all kinds of disasters and crises are needed.

This Special Issue encourages high quality research papers and case studies on the topics of linking disasters, hazards, crisis, and emergencies with sustainability and sustainable development. Contributions on: (1) how disasters, hazards, crisis, and emergencies affect the continuity and sustainability of families, communities, institutions, or even countries; (2) how to integrate mitigation or resilience into the recovery process to build back better or to achieve sustainable development are especially welcomed. Research contributions on other related topics are also encouraged. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of disasters, hazards, crisis, and emergency research, and the cross-disciplinary nature of sustainability research, papers from all disciplines are welcomed.

 

Dr. Ziqiang  Han
Dr. William L.  Waugh
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • disasters

  • emergencies

  • crises

  • hazards

  • sustainable development

Published Papers (25 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
An Evaluation of the Paired Assistance to Disaster-Affected Areas Program in Disaster Recovery: The Case of the Wenchuan Earthquake
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4483; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124483 - 28 Nov 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
The Wenchuan earthquake, which happened in May 2008 in China, was one of the most destructive natural disasters of the past decade. The Chinese government implemented several aid programs, including the Paired Assistance to Disaster-Affected Areas (PADAA) program, to assist with disaster recovery. [...] Read more.
The Wenchuan earthquake, which happened in May 2008 in China, was one of the most destructive natural disasters of the past decade. The Chinese government implemented several aid programs, including the Paired Assistance to Disaster-Affected Areas (PADAA) program, to assist with disaster recovery. Although the Wenchuan earthquake has gained much scholarly attention, previous studies often adopted different recovery measures and provided fragmented empirical evidence on how an aid program may have influenced the recovery process in both the short and long term. To bridge the gap, this paper collects eight social, economic, and institutional indicators to measure four types of recovery processes, namely, economic recovery, social recovery, institutional recovery, and built environment recovery. The data, collected between 2002 and 2015, covers 269 earthquake-stricken counties. Based on this data, we constructed a set of disaster recovery indexes. We then evaluated the impacts of the PADAA program on the disaster recovery process across the 269 counties in both the short and long term. We concluded that the impact of the PADAA program on the post-disaster economic recovery was significant in both the short and long term, whereas its impact on the recovery of the institutional and built environment occurred in the short term. Its impact on post-disaster social recovery was inconclusive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
The Consequences of Electronic Waste Post-Disaster: A Case Study of Flooding in Bonn, Germany
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4193; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114193 - 14 Nov 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Within the response and recovery phases of the disaster management cycle, debris clean-up is a well-researched topic, around which numerous policies have been developed. However, the subcategory of electronic waste is an issue that is overlooked by existing studies. A theoretical case study [...] Read more.
Within the response and recovery phases of the disaster management cycle, debris clean-up is a well-researched topic, around which numerous policies have been developed. However, the subcategory of electronic waste is an issue that is overlooked by existing studies. A theoretical case study of a flood of the Rhine river in Bonn, Germany is used to demonstrate that while electronic waste may be a small portion of the debris generated during a disaster (by volume), it can have disproportionately large health, economic, and environmental consequences if not effectively planned for and handled. A spatial analysis of a flooding disaster scenario in Bonn was conducted to estimate the quantity of electronic waste that could be generated from residential buildings. Further modeling was done to calculate the greenhouse gas savings, energy savings, and economic impacts that can be realized through proper recovery and recycling of the electronic waste created by the flood. One key finding is that while implementation may be difficult, ensuring that effective policy is in place prior to a disaster can enable this waste stream to be managed in a manner that mitigates negative impacts on the environment and human health and keeps valuable materials in circulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessCommunication
Integrating Climate Change into Hazard Mitigation Planning: A Survey of State Hazard Mitigation Officers
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4150; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114150 - 12 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
The increased number of catastrophic disasters in the United States in recent decades has been accompanied by consequences of climate change, including rising sea levels, floods, storms, extreme temperatures, drought, and wildfires. Climate change and extreme events are interrelated, and climate change is [...] Read more.
The increased number of catastrophic disasters in the United States in recent decades has been accompanied by consequences of climate change, including rising sea levels, floods, storms, extreme temperatures, drought, and wildfires. Climate change and extreme events are interrelated, and climate change is likely to lead to more frequent and severe hazards. Hazard mitigation offers tools to address the hazards that are influenced by climate change and minimize community-level exposure or vulnerability. State Hazard Mitigation Officers in the 56 U.S. states, territories, and the District of Columbia involved in FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program were surveyed to assess the extent to which climate change has been integrated into State Hazard Mitigation Plans (SHMPs) and the barriers and facilitators to such climate change integration. The majority of responding states reported integration of climate change into SHMPs, and increased climate change projection evidence was commonly cited as a driver of such integration. However, lack of funding and competing hazard mitigation priorities were the most commonly reported barriers to integration. Political prioritization was reported as both a barrier to and facilitator of integration. There is an ongoing need to effectively translate climate change research to practitioners to support evidence-based hazard mitigation policy and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Revitalization of Trust in Local Government after Wenchuan Earthquake: Constraints and Strategies
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 4030; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114030 - 02 Nov 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Government trust is an important manifestation of the legitimacy of government, which can reduce the cost of recovery policy implementation and improve the efficiency of reconstruction after natural hazards. Local government is the main force of post-disaster reconstruction in China. The villagers’ trust [...] Read more.
Government trust is an important manifestation of the legitimacy of government, which can reduce the cost of recovery policy implementation and improve the efficiency of reconstruction after natural hazards. Local government is the main force of post-disaster reconstruction in China. The villagers’ trust in local government plays an important role in post-disaster reconstruction. Therefore, enhancing the villagers’ trust in local government will greatly benefit the resilience of post-disaster reconstruction and the sustainable development of the disaster area. Through analyzing the data collected from a three-year (2009–2012) follow-up survey in Wenchuan after it was struck by an earthquake, we found that villagers’ trust toward the local government witnessed a significant decline. Low fairness in policy implementation, dense networks, and particularistic trust were the constraints that hindered the revitalization of trust in the local government. However, the economic improvement had no impact on the “trust in local government”. These results suggest that post-disaster recovery should involve more than the reconstruction of the economic performance, such as the fairness of policy implementation and the relief of negative effects of villagers’ social networks. Only when considering all of these factors will the sustainability of trust in local government be promoted and the reconstruction efficiency be enhanced in the process of disaster recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Practice Framework for the Management of Post-Disaster Housing Reconstruction Programmes
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3929; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113929 - 29 Oct 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Despite an international consensus for housing to be “built back better” (BBB) following disasters, and the considerable resources expended on reconstruction efforts globally, the management of post-disaster housing reconstruction programmes often leaves much to be desired. This research presents a framework for the [...] Read more.
Despite an international consensus for housing to be “built back better” (BBB) following disasters, and the considerable resources expended on reconstruction efforts globally, the management of post-disaster housing reconstruction programmes often leaves much to be desired. This research presents a framework for the management of post-disaster housing reconstruction in developing countries based on a comprehensive identification of the issues affecting the management of reconstruction programmes and the management measures which have proved effective in mitigating these issues and achieving the desired BBB outcomes. The framework highlights the strategic importance of preparedness measures that should be taken before the next disaster strikes and the cross-cutting nature of capacity building and beneficiary community engagement measures that are essential to all stages of the post-disaster reconstruction process. The research findings are limited to developing countries, as the evidence on which they are based is almost entirely from post-disaster housing experiences in the developing world. The framework may, however, be adapted to different, specific post-disaster reconstruction contexts. This research has compiled, extended and up-dated current knowledge regarding the management of housing reconstruction programmes and it provides practical guidance for policy makers and practitioners. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Performance of UWB Wireless Telecommunication Positioning for Disaster Relief Communication Environment Securing
Sustainability 2018, 10(11), 3857; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10113857 - 24 Oct 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
When an earthquake or a large fire has occurred, it is difficult to secure communication networks for rescue in the building due to the destruction of commercial communication networks. Although analog radio systems such as VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra-High Frequency) [...] Read more.
When an earthquake or a large fire has occurred, it is difficult to secure communication networks for rescue in the building due to the destruction of commercial communication networks. Although analog radio systems such as VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra-High Frequency) are used for rescue operation in general, communication failure occurs in closed spaces, causing difficulties in smooth rescue operations. When the communication infrastructures have been destroyed in a building in the disaster, an emergency wireless telecommunication environment should be constructed to secure a safer disaster response environment. In this study, along with comparison of the performances of diverse communication frequencies, UWB (Ultra-Wide Band) wireless telecommunication networks were evaluated under five building indoor environment conditions including open spaces. UWB communication modules were fabricated to satisfy the IEEE (The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.15.4a standard performance to measure distances in which communications are possible according to the indoor environment for each of six channels with different UWB communication frequencies. The results indicated that the distances in which communications are possible for each the six channels were average 15.5 m, maximum 20 m in open spaces; average 17.33 m, maximum 20 m in corridors; average 15.3 m, maximum 20 m in indoor office environments with office fixtures; average 4.33 m, maximum 6 m in vertical spaces of stairs; and average 6.5 m, maximum 17 m in closed horizontal spaces with a fire door. In this case, the communication performance and distance performance were shown to be the most excellent at a frequency (Centre Frequency) of 6489.6 and a band of 5980.3–6998.9 MHz, which is UWB 7ch. In conclusion, it is judged that if UWB communication modules are installed in the disaster area at intervals of 20 m and multi-channels are used, communication environments can be constructed even in closed spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating China’s Paired-Assistance Policy (PAP) in Response to the Wenchuan Earthquake: A Sustainability Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3732; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103732 - 17 Oct 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Taking a ten-year retrospective view, this article qualitatively evaluates the performance of the paired-assistance policy (PAP) implemented in response to China’s Wenchuan earthquake from the perspective of sustainable recovery. Based on a review of relevant literature, the article proposes an integrated framework for [...] Read more.
Taking a ten-year retrospective view, this article qualitatively evaluates the performance of the paired-assistance policy (PAP) implemented in response to China’s Wenchuan earthquake from the perspective of sustainable recovery. Based on a review of relevant literature, the article proposes an integrated framework for the qualitative evaluation of the sustainability of disaster recovery. First, sustainable recovery prioritizes sustainability as the goal of activities undertaken to improve the local quality of life and local economic and environmental conditions. Second, sustainable recovery is a process involving several stages, from restoration to replacement reconstruction and finally to developmental construction. Third, sustainable recovery creates a structure that fosters local reliance through interactions between external and internal entities. Fourth, sustainable recovery emphasizes betterment over restoration and hazard mitigation. Overall, sustainable recovery integrates these four characteristics. Using the case-study method, this article qualitatively evaluates the Jiangsu-Mianzhu PAP (JM-PAP) from the perspective of sustainable recovery. The findings suggest that the JM-PAP laid a good foundation for sustainable recovery after the Wenchuan earthquake. Finally, policy recommendations are offered to improve the performance of the PAP in achieving sustainable recovery after future disasters in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Quantifying the Similarity in Perceptions of Multiple Stakeholders in Dingcheng, China, on Agricultural Drought Risk Governance
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3219; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093219 - 08 Sep 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
In recent years, integrated disaster risk governance of multi-stakeholders, multi-scales, and multi-measures has received great attention. The way different stakeholders perceive how the risk of drought is governed affects their coordination in dealing with drought. Quantifying the extent to which the perceptions of [...] Read more.
In recent years, integrated disaster risk governance of multi-stakeholders, multi-scales, and multi-measures has received great attention. The way different stakeholders perceive how the risk of drought is governed affects their coordination in dealing with drought. Quantifying the extent to which the perceptions of different stakeholders are similar will deepen understanding of how they cooperate; this will subsequently improve regional integrated drought risk governance and promote regional sustainable development of agriculture. An indicator system of perception similarity and a model were constructed around the perceptions of government managers (G), village committees (V), and households (H) in Zhoujiadian Town, of the drought risk governance. Based on perspectives of “bottom-up” and “horizontal-vertical”, the effort led to the following main conclusions: (1) The perception similarity of homogeneous stakeholders is quite different, sorted by the values as G > V > H; (2) The greater the hierarchical difference between stakeholders, the more marked the differences between their perceptions, as sorted by the values as G&V > V&H > G&H; (3) All stakeholders have obvious perception differences in the fairness of the allocation of disaster relief funds and the most suitable recovery methods. Considering the needs of multiple stakeholders in integrated risk governance, the paper quantified the differences between individuals through a study of perception similarity, which makes up for the shortcomings in the current research—which only considers the perception of stakeholders—and provides new ideas and references for further exploration of rational system design, optimization of cooperation efficiency, and consensus of multiple stakeholders in integrated drought risk governance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Risk Management and Technology: Case Studies of Tsunami Evacuation Drills in Japan
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 2982; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10092982 - 22 Aug 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
Evacuation drills have been developed as part of many risk management programs. However, very few studies have paid attention to the process of evacuation drills. This study employs action research to examine a tsunami risk management strategy called the single-person drill, and applies [...] Read more.
Evacuation drills have been developed as part of many risk management programs. However, very few studies have paid attention to the process of evacuation drills. This study employs action research to examine a tsunami risk management strategy called the single-person drill, and applies new technologies in presenting related outcomes presented as multiscreen movies. The drill targets vulnerable people (i.e., older adults), during which a single evacuee moves to a shelter with the aid of a Global Positioning System (GPS) device. Evacuation routes, destination, and duration were used as parameters in an agent-based evacuation simulation shown on movies. The drill has been conducted 58 times in a coastal community (Okitsu, Kochi Prefecture), and 59 multiscreen movies were produced. An analysis of the effectiveness of the drill and related movies was done by collecting both quantitative and qualitative data. Results showed that, with a total of 163 respondents of a semistructured interview, 70.0% of residents were familiar with the drill, and 22.0% wanted to try it. The drill helped elderly people to improve self-efficacy in tsunami risk management, and generated two-way risk communication between experts and participants. This paper contributes new insights into understanding the importance of technology in tsunami risk management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Unintended Consequences and Risk(y) Thinking: The Shaping of Consequences and Responsibilities in Relation to Environmental Disasters
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2906; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082906 - 16 Aug 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Unintended consequences have long been central for the social sciences. But, the development of risk analysis and the adoption of risk language have substantial implications for how to understand and evaluate unintended consequences. Claims can now be raised that unintended consequences should have [...] Read more.
Unintended consequences have long been central for the social sciences. But, the development of risk analysis and the adoption of risk language have substantial implications for how to understand and evaluate unintended consequences. Claims can now be raised that unintended consequences should have been foreseen and other options chosen. This situation constitutes the starting point for this paper, which develops an understanding of unintended consequences, in particular, in relation to environmental disasters. It draws on Robert Merton’s classic work on unanticipated consequences, but refines and further develops it by fertilizing it with findings from risk sociology and framing theory. A particular case of a human-caused disaster, a severe wildfire, is analyzed to illustrate and expand the understanding of unintended consequences. The empirical material consists of a postal survey to everyone directly affected by the wildfire (N = 960 individuals). The empirical results of this analysis are then explained and used to improve the understanding of unintended consequences, by showing how the context and framing of the disaster heavily affected the evaluation of its consequences, including unintended ones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Sustainable Selective Mitigation Interventions towards Effective Earthquake Risk Reduction at the Community Scale
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2894; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082894 - 15 Aug 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Risk reduction policies are crucial in regions of high seismic risk, having significant exposure and building vulnerability. In Italy, the Sismabonus incentive mechanism was recently approved, which regulates the possibility of benefiting tax deductions after seismic strengthening interventions on buildings. This paper presents [...] Read more.
Risk reduction policies are crucial in regions of high seismic risk, having significant exposure and building vulnerability. In Italy, the Sismabonus incentive mechanism was recently approved, which regulates the possibility of benefiting tax deductions after seismic strengthening interventions on buildings. This paper presents a simplified approach for evaluating the effects of implementation of the Sismabonus policy at the territorial scale. Considering only reinforced concrete RC building typologies, a speed method for calculating the probability of being in relevant risk classes is introduced and it is applied to a town in southern Italy. The evaluation is based on simplified modeling of lateral seismic behavior and on the estimate of the peak ground acceleration corresponding to the attainment of building capacity. The effect of possible retrofit interventions is also considered. This performance-based procedure allows for taking into account the cost for selective retrofit interventions and contemporarily to estimate the variation of mean expected annual loss that is obtained with building upgrading. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
The Public Willingness to Pay for Reducing the Incidence of Hazardous Chemical Spill Accidents by Half in South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2673; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082673 - 30 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Hazardous chemical spill (HCS) accidents, which occur due to careless workers, transport accidents, etc., can be harmful to humans. Recently, an average of 96 cases of HCS accidents have taken place in South Korea annually. As a result, the government is trying to [...] Read more.
Hazardous chemical spill (HCS) accidents, which occur due to careless workers, transport accidents, etc., can be harmful to humans. Recently, an average of 96 cases of HCS accidents have taken place in South Korea annually. As a result, the government is trying to reduce the incidence of HCS accidents by 50%. Government officials are seeking information about the value that the enforcement of the reduction plan will bring for the public. This knowledge will help government officials decide whether to implement the reduction plan. This article seeks to acquire information about the public willingness to pay (WTP) for the reduction plan, employing the contingent valuation (CV) technique. For this purpose, a total of 1000 households living in South Korea participated in the CV survey in 2017. The data on the WTP were gathered using a dichotomous choice question and analyzed using the spike model. Forty-five percent of the respondents were willing to accept an increase in income taxes to carry out the reduction plan. The mean household WTP estimate was obtained as KRW 3830 (USD 3.41) per annum. The national value expanded from the sample to the population is worth KRW 74.8 billion (USD 66.6 million) per year. This value implies the public value of the reduction plan and can be applied in policy analysis and decision-making concerning the reduction of the incidence of HCS accidents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Smart Disaster Response in Vehicular Tunnels: Technologies for Search and Rescue Applications
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2509; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072509 - 18 Jul 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
Recently, the number of tunnels is increasing due to urbanization, and fire accidents in tunnels are likewise increasing. In particular, in a long tunnel of more than 1 km it is very difficult to track the exact location of a fire, accident vehicles, [...] Read more.
Recently, the number of tunnels is increasing due to urbanization, and fire accidents in tunnels are likewise increasing. In particular, in a long tunnel of more than 1 km it is very difficult to track the exact location of a fire, accident vehicles, and the fire brigade, as well as whether a fire occurred. In this paper, we analyze various types of accidents that may occur in tunnel fires and propose detection, search, and rescue techniques to cope with them. For early detection of accidents, we propose various sensors using Internet of Things (IoT) technology and sensor networks to connect them. These sensors can detect not only a fire but also the position of the vehicle in which the fire is occurring in real time. We also propose a robotic system and operation technique that can be controlled by a fire fighter for more precise search operation. For rescue procedures, localization and tracking technology for fire fighters and robots is proposed. Finally, the efficiency of the proposed system was verified through actual performance tests, including simulations of actual placement and operation in tunnels. Through the construction of the equipment in an actual tunnel 1.9 km long, we show that the proposed system is good enough to cope with fire accidents, in terms of the delivery ratio of the collected data, fire recognition ratio, localization accuracy, and response delay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Pre-Disaster Social Capital and Disaster Recovery in Wenchuan Earthquake-Stricken Rural Communities
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2046; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062046 - 16 Jun 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
This study examined the impact of social capital on disaster recovery in the 2008 earthquake-stricken rural communities in Wenchuan, China. The results show that quake-affected households having more social capital recovered more easily and quickly from disasters. A larger network significantly increased the [...] Read more.
This study examined the impact of social capital on disaster recovery in the 2008 earthquake-stricken rural communities in Wenchuan, China. The results show that quake-affected households having more social capital recovered more easily and quickly from disasters. A larger network significantly increased the amount of government aid received for housing reconstruction. This indicates that network members assist the quake-affected households to apply for and obtain government aid. These findings imply that social capital, as a kind of non-institutionalized social force, facilitates earthquake-affected households’ recovery from disaster in rural China. Based on these results, this study suggests that policymakers should pay special attention to improving the social capital of existing local households to improve disaster recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
A Spatial DEA-Based Framework for Analyzing the Effectiveness of Disaster Risk Reduction Policy Implementation: A Case Study of Earthquake-Oriented Urban Renewal Policy in Yongkang, Taiwan
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1751; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061751 - 27 May 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
Due to the many large earthquakes that have occurred in recent years, the role of seismic risk reduction in building resilient cities has become a matter of concern. The serious disaster damage brought by seismic hazards causes the adoption of migration policies such [...] Read more.
Due to the many large earthquakes that have occurred in recent years, the role of seismic risk reduction in building resilient cities has become a matter of concern. The serious disaster damage brought by seismic hazards causes the adoption of migration policies such as building control in the preparedness phase. However, the restricted budget of governments resulting from the global state of economic distress generates a prioritization problem. A decision support framework could be helpful for governments to systematically integrate the complex information when implementing disaster risk reduction policies toward sustainable development. The purpose of this study was to construct an analytical framework based on Geographic Information System (GIS) and Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) for addressing the prioritization problem by calculating policy efficiency. The spatial DEA-based framework combines indices calculation, spatial database construction, and DEA. Taiwan is an island located in the Circum-Pacific Belt, and has paid long-term attention to adopting policies for earthquake disaster prevention. A policy of earthquake-oriented urban renewal combining enhanced building capacity and city resilience has recently been implemented. A case study of the Yongkang district of the Tainan Metropolis in Taiwan was conducted in this study. The results show an operable framework and propose a suggestion for planning efficient policy priorities in each decision-making unit. In sum, the analytical framework proposed in this study could be a component of a decision support system for governments to adopt disaster risk reduction policies in the process of policy-making and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
A Voting TOPSIS Approach for Determining the Priorities of Areas Damaged in Disasters
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1607; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051607 - 17 May 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
In this paper, we investigate the priority determination problem for areas that have been damaged during disasters. Relief distribution should be planned while considering the priorities of the damaged areas. To determine the priorities of the damaged areas, we first define four criteria [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigate the priority determination problem for areas that have been damaged during disasters. Relief distribution should be planned while considering the priorities of the damaged areas. To determine the priorities of the damaged areas, we first define four criteria and then propose a voting TOPSIS (technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution) that utilizes the fuzzy pair-wise comparison, data envelopment analysis, and TOPSIS. Since the voting TOPSIS is based on the voting results of multiple experts, it can be applied to urgent situations quickly, regardless of the consistency of comparison, the number of alternatives, and the number of participating experts. The proposed approach is validated using a real-world case, and this case analysis shows that the voting TOPSIS is viable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Risks of Developing Concentrated Rural Settlement after the Wenchuan Earthquake in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051569 - 15 May 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
Concentrated rural settlement (CRS) reconstruction was promoted as a sustainable rural reconstruction way after the Wenchuan earthquake in China. Despite the various benefits of CRS, haphazard CRS reconstruction presents risks to future sustainable development. However, such risks have been rarely investigated. Thus, this [...] Read more.
Concentrated rural settlement (CRS) reconstruction was promoted as a sustainable rural reconstruction way after the Wenchuan earthquake in China. Despite the various benefits of CRS, haphazard CRS reconstruction presents risks to future sustainable development. However, such risks have been rarely investigated. Thus, this study examines the risk factors with eight CRS reconstruction cases after the Wenchuan earthquake. The existence and interactions of economic, social, environmental, and disaster relief risks are observed after reconstruction. A conceptual model is proposed for systematically interpreting the risks. Results obtained can help the local government judiciously consider the risk factors in order to achieve sustainable development when initiating rapid reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Disaster Resilience of Megacities: The Case of Hong Kong
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1137; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041137 - 10 Apr 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Many megacities are facing potential threats from various disasters, especially in the face of climate change. However, evaluating the resilience of megacities is not well established in both the academia and practice field. Using Hong Kong, which is a megacity ranked as the [...] Read more.
Many megacities are facing potential threats from various disasters, especially in the face of climate change. However, evaluating the resilience of megacities is not well established in both the academia and practice field. Using Hong Kong, which is a megacity ranked as the city in Asia with the highest risk for natural disasters, as a case study, we demonstrated the effort of assessing the resilience of a megacity. The Sendai Framework Local Urban Indicators Tools that was developed by the United Nation Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) was adopted as the main tool in this study, and a mixed bottom-up participatory and top-down method was utilized in the evaluation process. This is an innovative and participatory approach that is not commonly adopted in assessing the resilience of cities. The study found that Hong Kong is disaster resilient in that it mainstreams disaster risk in its development and that it dedicates sufficient financial resources. However, Hong Kong may improve on its disaster governance and encourage cooperation between the government and society to identify disaster risk and share information, particularly in the face of climate change and calls for more sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Benefit and Risk Perceptions of Controversial Facilities: A Comparison between Local Officials and the Public in China
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1092; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041092 - 05 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
This article investigates the perception biases of local government officials and the general public by comparing their benefit and risk perceptions towards controversial facilities. The analysis framework of Social Judgement Theory (SJT)—i.e., (a) economic benefits, (b) environmental health, and (c) social and political [...] Read more.
This article investigates the perception biases of local government officials and the general public by comparing their benefit and risk perceptions towards controversial facilities. The analysis framework of Social Judgement Theory (SJT)—i.e., (a) economic benefits, (b) environmental health, and (c) social and political factors—was used to design the research. SJT is a widely recognized theoretical framework that includes experimental approaches to the study of cognitive conflicts. An experimental survey was conducted to collect data in order to make a comparison of the weight of different elements. Results demonstrate that there are perception differences between the general public and local officials on controversial facilities. Local officials responsible for endorsing and supervising plants attach more significance to environmental factors than the public, while the public focuses more on social and political factors than officials. There is no significant difference in the cognition of economic benefits. Factors such as demolition compensation and legitimacy may provoke these perception gaps. This paper enriches the current understanding of SJT and policy making for controversial facilities by investigating the perception gaps between officials and the general public. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessment of Building Damage Risk by Natural Disasters in South Korea Using Decision Tree Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1072; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041072 - 04 Apr 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between weather variables and buildings damaged in natural disasters. We used four datasets on building damage history and 33 weather datasets from 230 regions in South Korea in a decision tree analysis to [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to identify the relationship between weather variables and buildings damaged in natural disasters. We used four datasets on building damage history and 33 weather datasets from 230 regions in South Korea in a decision tree analysis to evaluate the risk of building damage. We generated the decision tree model to determine the risk of rain, gale, and typhoon (excluding gale with less damage). Using the weight and limit values of the weather variables derived using the decision tree model, the risk of building damage was assessed for 230 regions in South Korea until 2100. The number of regions at risk of rain damage increased by more than 30% on average. Conversely, regions at risk of damage from snowfall decreased by more than 90%. The regions at risk of typhoons decreased by 57.5% on average, while those at high risk of the same increased by up to 62.5% under RCP 8.5. The results of this study are highly fluid since they are based on the uncertainty of future climate change. However, the study is meaningful because it suggests a new method for assessing disaster risk using weather indices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Traditional and Local Knowledge Practices for Disaster Risk Reduction in Northern Ghana
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 825; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030825 - 15 Mar 2018
Cited by 6
Abstract
In order to deal with recurrent disasters, like floods and droughts coupled with the limited adaptive capacity, in the semiarid regions of Northern Ghana, local communities have no choice but to apply traditional and local knowledge practices. This study seeks to identify such [...] Read more.
In order to deal with recurrent disasters, like floods and droughts coupled with the limited adaptive capacity, in the semiarid regions of Northern Ghana, local communities have no choice but to apply traditional and local knowledge practices. This study seeks to identify such practices employed in selected rural communities in Northern Ghana and to investigate their effectiveness. Data were collected through key informant interviews, household questionnaire surveys, focus group discussions, and participant observations. The findings indicated that although diverse practices were applied to predict and manage local disaster events, skepticism prevailed among locals toward these practices regarding their effectiveness. Due to the lack of science-based tools and systems for disaster prediction and management, local communities continually depended on these knowledge systems and practices. Integrating local and traditional disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts into modern scientific knowledge should be encouraged in order to reduce the vulnerability of local communities to disasters with thorough effectiveness evaluation protocols. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Post-Disaster Business Recovery and Sustainable Development: A Study of 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030651 - 28 Feb 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Business sectors are essential for community prosperity, and thus it is important to investigate the recovery of businesses after disasters. However, current studies on business recovery after natural disasters are limited, particularly a lack of empirical observations in developing countries. Our observations of [...] Read more.
Business sectors are essential for community prosperity, and thus it is important to investigate the recovery of businesses after disasters. However, current studies on business recovery after natural disasters are limited, particularly a lack of empirical observations in developing countries. Our observations of the patterns and transformations of small businesses in the recovery process after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China can bridge this gap and provide a valuable contribution to academia. We conducted research through a four-year longitudinal study to track small business recovery in Beichuan County since 2014. Field observations, repeat photography, and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data. The operating status, business type, and spatiotemporal changes of small businesses in the new business district, Banaqia, were demonstrated. Overall, less than 50% of the planned shops were occupied and in operation, and this figure keeps declining from 2014 to 2017. Catering, garments, and souvenirs are the primary business types, but they show individual patterns in terms of sustainable development and spatial configuration. The results help to inform the development of recovery policies following disasters in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Selection of Policies on Typhoon and Rainstorm Disasters in China: A Content Analysis Perspective
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 387; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020387 - 01 Feb 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
China is a country often subjected to severe meteorological disasters. Analyzing the evolution of policies concerning the prevention and reduction of disasters is of great practical significance for the management of such natural events. We focus on typhoons and rainstorms as disaster sources [...] Read more.
China is a country often subjected to severe meteorological disasters. Analyzing the evolution of policies concerning the prevention and reduction of disasters is of great practical significance for the management of such natural events. We focus on typhoons and rainstorms as disaster sources and examine policy documents from two dimensions: basic policy instruments and disaster chains. Results indicate that (1) two levels of government (central and local) focus on five policy instruments; namely, they are fund and material input, infrastructure construction and management, information sharing and support, goal programming, and regulations. Other policies, however, such as engineering construction of disaster prevention, or material reserves and international cooperation, are relatively few. (2) At present, both the Central and Local governments prefer both supply-oriented policies and environment-oriented policies to focusing on demand-oriented policies. (3) As for the disaster chains, the typhoon and rainstorm disaster policies are focused on disaster defense, disaster warning, and disaster relief, neglecting disaster evaluation and post-disaster reconstruction. Finally, we put forward suggestions for perfecting the policies of disaster evaluation and post-disaster reconstruction, and point out the importance of demand-oriented policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
Open AccessArticle
Optimization of Evacuation Warnings Prior to a Hurricane Disaster
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2152; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112152 - 22 Nov 2017
Cited by 4
Abstract
The key purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that optimization of evacuation warnings by time period and impacted zone is crucial for efficient evacuation of an area impacted by a hurricane. We assume that people behave in a manner consistent with the [...] Read more.
The key purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that optimization of evacuation warnings by time period and impacted zone is crucial for efficient evacuation of an area impacted by a hurricane. We assume that people behave in a manner consistent with the warnings they receive. By optimizing the issuance of hurricane evacuation warnings, one can control the number of evacuees at different time intervals to avoid congestion in the process of evacuation. The warning optimization model is applied to a case study of Hurricane Sandy using the study region of Brooklyn. We first develop a model for shelter assignment and then use this outcome to model hurricane evacuation warning optimization, which prescribes an evacuation plan that maximizes the number of evacuees. A significant technical contribution is the development of an iterative greedy heuristic procedure for the nonlinear formulation, which is shown to be optimal for the case of a single evacuation zone with a single evacuee type case, while it does not guarantee optimality for multiple zones under unusual circumstances. A significant applied contribution is the demonstration of an interface of the evacuation warning method with a public transportation scheme to facilitate evacuation of a car-less population. This heuristic we employ can be readily adapted to the case where response rate is a function of evacuation number in prior periods and other variable factors. This element is also explored in the context of our experiment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Extent to Which the UK’s National Risk Register Supports Local Risk Management
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1991; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9111991 - 31 Oct 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper examines how a national risk register supports the implementation of disaster risk management practices at a local level. We present a case study of the UK’s National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies and explore stakeholder understanding, views, perceptions, opinions, and application [...] Read more.
This paper examines how a national risk register supports the implementation of disaster risk management practices at a local level. We present a case study of the UK’s National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies and explore stakeholder understanding, views, perceptions, opinions, and application within the East of England. A semi-structured interview methodology was adopted for this paper with 14 key stakeholders from across the East of England interviewed. Thematic coding analysis was used to structure the results against a set of research questions. Interviewees were found to be largely unaware of the National Risk Register, and as such its usefulness as a risk management tool is limited. In particular, restricted local resources, limited understanding of risk, and a lack of actionable strategies were highlighted as barriers to action. Opportunities for capacity building at the local level, sharing best practice, and improved risk communication were all identified. The National Risk Register could be used to improve risk management at local levels but more engagement with it at a local level is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Disasters, Crisis, Hazards, Emergencies and Sustainable Development)
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