Wednesday 13 November 2019
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Princeton - 9 days ago

Robustness Analysis for Fire Following Earthquake with Seattle Case Study

The Pacific Northwest faces the looming threat of a massive 9.0 earthquake coming from the Cascadia Subduction Zone of the Juan de Fuca plate off the coast of Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. City officials, emergency managers, and researchers are preparing for this event by examining not only the earthquake itself, but also the cascading hazards that will follow it, such as fire and tsunami. Additionally, they must measure the effects of these hazards not just on the infrastructure systems they affect, (e.g. water, power, transportation, communication, emergency services, etc.) but also how each system is affected by the failure of one or more of the others, also known as their “interdependency”. The following presentation discusses the effects  of two cascading hazards – earthquake and fire – and the interdependence of four infrastructure systems – water, power, transportation, and building stock, with a special focus on the needs of firefighters and other emergency services in the 12 hours following a major seismic event. It then frames these methodologies in the context of a fine-grain case study of Seattle downtown and identifies two areas that are especially susceptible to these threats. The discussion includes general best practices for increased robustness, specific recommendations to improve performance in the Seattle study area, and a comparison to an independently submitted analysis of the Seattle Public Utility (SPU) water network.

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