Application of Severity Assessment Tool (SAT) to 2008 Midwest Flood Affected Areas

Application of Severity Assessment Tool (SAT) to 2008 Midwest Flood Affected Areas

A. Deshmukh E. Ho Oh M. Hastak 

Division of Construction Engineering and Management, Purdue University, USA

30 June 2011
| Citation



Critical infrastructure provides services to help support activities and functions of communities and industries. These activities/functions contribute socially and economically when performed efficiently in reliance with related critical infrastructure. During disasters, the critical infrastructure gets impacted and is unable to provide the full services which in turn affect the activities depending on that particular infrastructure. This reduces the contribution of the activities which results in impact on communities and industries. This research provides a unique perspective of preparing cities and industries against natural disasters in pre-, during and post-disaster situation. It is based on the inter-relationship that exists between communities, industries and related critical infrastructure. Identifying and fortifying infrastructure ahead of time will protect and support not only people and properties but also industrial activities and services. Moreover, it will become easier for governmental and industrial organizations to prepare mitigation plans and strategies that would help to prepare, prevent, respond, and recover from potential natural disasters. Thus, public agencies, industries and communities can largely benefit from natural disaster mitigation strategies that would help to speed up the recovery process as well as provide an effective tool to handle the disaster-related resources. The study presents a severity assessment tool (SAT) for evaluating the social and economic impacts on communities and industries due to disaster impacted infrastructure in the context of a case study of 2008 Midwest Floods in the United States. The case study demonstrates the inter-relationship between infrastructure, communities and industries as well as assessment of impacts if the level of serviceability of infrastructure was to be influenced dur-ing/after disaster situations. The results of this case study will help the city managers and emergency response agencies in understanding the social and economic impacts of disasters on infrastructure and the associated industries and communities and will assist them in preparing appropriate disaster mitigation strategies.


critical infrastructure, disaster risk reduction, floods, severity, social and economic impacts


[1] van Aalst, M.K., The impacts of climate change on the risk of natural disasters. Disasters, 30(1), pp. 5–18, 2006. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9523.2006.00303.x

[2] Cutter, S.L., Boruff, B.J. & Shirley, W., Social vulnerability to environmental hazards. Social Science Quarterly (Blackwell Publishing Limited), 84(2), pp. 242–261, 2003. doi:10.1111/1540-6237.8402002

[3] Lindell, M.K. & Prater, C.S., Assessing community impacts of natural disasters. Natural Hazards Review, 4(4), pp. 176–185, 2003. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1527-6988(2003)4:4(176)

[4] Oh, E.H., Deshmukh, A. & Hastak, M., Risk assessment of critical infrastructure in disaster preparedness and response, Proceedings of the 16th Annual Canadian Construction Research Forum, August 9–11, 2009, Banff, AB, 2009.

[5] Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned, 2006.

[6] Scawthorn, C.F., Flores, P., Blais, N., Seligson, H., Tates, E., Chang, S., Mifflin, E., Thomas, W., Murphy, J., Jones, C. & Lawrence, M., HAZUS-MH flood loss estimation methodology. II. Damage and loss assessment. Natural Hazards Review, 7(2), pp. 72–81, May 2006.

[7] Oh, E.H., Identification of the Impact of Critical Infrastructure on Associated Industries: Analysis of a Flood Disaster Event, Master’s Thesis, Purdue University, IN, USA, 2008.

[8] Oh, E.H. & Hastak, M., Impact analysis of natural calamities on infrastructure and industries, Proceedings of the 4th i-REC Conference, April 30–May 2, 2008, Christchurch, New Zealand, 2008.

[9] Hiete, M. & Merz, M., An indicator framework to assess the vulnerability of industrial sectors against indirect losses, Proceedings of the 6th International ISCRAM Conference, May 2009, Gothenburg, Sweden, 2009.

[10] Deshmukh, A., Severity of Social and Economic Impact due to Flood Damaged Critical Infrastructure on Associated Communities and Industries, Master’s Thesis, Purdue University, IN, USA, 2010.

[11] Deshmukh, A., Oh, E.H. & Hastak, M., A framework to assess the social and economic impacts on communities and industries due to loss in serviceability of infrastructure networks after floods. Proceedings of the 2nd Second International Conference on Flood Recovery Innovation and Risk, 26th–28th May 2010, Milan, Italy, 2010.

[12] Saaty, T.L., Multicriteria Decision Making: the Analytic Hierarchy Process: Planning, Priority Setting Resource Allocation, 2nd edn, RWS Publications, 1990.

[13] Hastak, M.H. & Shaked, A., ICRAM-1: model for international construction risk assessment. Journal of Management in Engineering, 16(1), pp. 59–69, 2000. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0742-597X(2000)16:1(59)

[14] Simpson, D.M., Rockaway, T.D., Weigel, T.A., Coomes, P.A. & Holloman, C.O., Framing a new approach to critical infrastructure modeling and extreme events. International Journal of Critical Infrastructures, 1, pp. 125–143, 2005. doi:10.1504/IJCIS.2005.006115