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Special Issue "Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kimberley R. Miner
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Army Geospatial Research Lab, Alexandria, VA; ClimateChange Institute, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, USA
Interests: Human health; Risk; Climate Change; Disaster; Planning
Dr. Shaleen Jain
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Civil & Environmental Engineering, and ClimateChange Institute, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA
Interests: Hydroclimatology; Environmental Flows; Climate Variability and Change, Hydrosystems Modeling; Adaptive Management and Decision Analysis
Dr. Anne Lausier
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Maine, Orono, ME, USA
Interests: Climate Change Adaptation; Society and Environment; Sustainability Management; Water Resources

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The changing physical and socio-economic climate is creating new risks worldwide. Some of these risks to human and natural system health may be foreseeable, and some may be unexpected. In an increasingly data-rich world, we have a better opportunity to understand and develop mitigation plans to address disaster risks. Successfully applying geospatial, physical, health, and climate data is critical to understanding the current state of these systems, and the way that future conditions will impact them. Already, increased drought and wildfire conditions, flooding, and stronger storms are leading to uncontrolled chemical release, water shortages, and infrastructure breakdown globally. The level of complexity of data intelligence and planning that is required can only be accomplished with collaboration among multiple sectors.

This Special Issue seeks research papers on aspects of new and emerging risks within a changing global system. We especially encourage the submission of inter-disciplinary and crosscutting research that considers cascading or cumulative risk. We also encourage the submission of manuscripts that are focused on policy or management solutions at multiple scales. We welcome original research on risk assessment, planning, or new understandings of environmental and health impacts of a changing world.

Dr. Kimberley R. Miner
Dr. Shaleen Jain
Dr. Anne Lausier
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. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 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 2300 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

  • risk;
  • disaster;
  • climate change;
  • planning;
  • mitigation;
  • impacts;
  • communication;
  • health.

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Article
Methodological Framework for Resilience Assessment of Electricity Infrastructure in Conditions of Slovak Republic
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8286; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168286 - 05 Aug 2021
Viewed by 814
Abstract
The quality of the environment as well as public health is convincingly coupled with the functioning of a power subsector. The power subsector plays a pivotal role in the sense that it emerges as the key cross-sectional element for the society’s functioning (production, [...] Read more.
The quality of the environment as well as public health is convincingly coupled with the functioning of a power subsector. The power subsector plays a pivotal role in the sense that it emerges as the key cross-sectional element for the society’s functioning (production, services, healthcare, education and others). A modern society consists of infrastructure systems that are primarily dependent on continuous electricity supplies. Each and every element of the electric power infrastructure is unique, and thus, its malfunction can disrupt the functioning of an important part of the electric power infrastructure. In conjunction with ensuring the functioning of electric power infrastructure, our attention must be drawn to the resilience issue. As far as the resilience of electric power infrastructure is concerned, it can resist weather-related events ensuring there are no disruptions in continuous electricity supplies. First, in the introductory part, the article presents the legal framework in the Slovak Republic. Second, it describes the current state of the electric power infrastructure of Slovakia. Third, it handles the state of the level of security risk assessment. Later on, in the literature review, besides turning to the issue of resilience assessment, the authors focused on the area of resilience of power engineering. Furthermore, the article scrutinizes resilience assessment in Slovakia, and it briefly examines approaches towards natural threats. In addition, the article demonstrates several approaches towards flood resilience. Having used different methods, the primary concern is to devise a framework for resilience assessment. Therefore, the included case study examines aspects of the proposed framework for resilience assessment. In conclusion, our aim was, in most respects, to outline an innovative methodological framework for increasing the resilience of electricity infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
Reshoring Decisions for Adjusting Supply Chains in a Changing World: A Case Study from the Apparel Industry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4873; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094873 - 03 May 2021
Viewed by 922
Abstract
Global conditions for manufacturing are evolving rapidly and the myopic financial factors that once made overseas locations attractive for offshoring are now in favor of revising it. Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for restoring the previously offshored competencies. As a [...] Read more.
Global conditions for manufacturing are evolving rapidly and the myopic financial factors that once made overseas locations attractive for offshoring are now in favor of revising it. Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for restoring the previously offshored competencies. As a strategic decision, reshoring requires a balance of short- and long-term financial and non-financial considerations. This study extends the reshoring literature by exploring the underpinnings of the decision. For this purpose, the extended fuzzy Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) is used to study the interrelationship among the decision criteria and explore the sequential effect of the prominent criteria on reshoring decisions. Data from the UK apparel industry is used as a baseline to provide insights for other industry situations. Findings are supportive of the supply process complexity as the prominent considerations with the highest potential impact on the financial criterion. Along with supply process complexity, environmental sustainability appears to have had the highest influence on cost-efficiency as the major driver of past offshoring decisions. Overall, the research findings provide insights for deeper analysis of the manufacturing location decisions for a globalized setting. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
Article
Social Vulnerability Indicators for Flooding in Aotearoa New Zealand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 3952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18083952 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 947
Abstract
Social vulnerability indicators are a valuable tool for understanding which population groups are more vulnerable to experiencing negative impacts from disasters, and where these groups live, to inform disaster risk management activities. While many approaches have been used to measure social vulnerability to [...] Read more.
Social vulnerability indicators are a valuable tool for understanding which population groups are more vulnerable to experiencing negative impacts from disasters, and where these groups live, to inform disaster risk management activities. While many approaches have been used to measure social vulnerability to natural hazards, there is no single method or universally agreed approach. This paper proposes a novel approach to developing social vulnerability indicators, using the example of flooding in Aotearoa New Zealand. A conceptual framework was developed to guide selection of the social vulnerability indicators, based on previous frameworks (including the MOVE framework), consideration of climate change, and a holistic view of health and wellbeing. Using this framework, ten dimensions relating to social vulnerability were identified: exposure; children; older adults; health and disability status; money to cope with crises/losses; social connectedness; knowledge, skills and awareness of natural hazards; safe, secure and healthy housing; food and water to cope with shortage; and decision making and participation. For each dimension, key indicators were identified and implemented, mostly using national Census population data. After development, the indicators were assessed by end users using a case study of Porirua City, New Zealand, then implemented for the whole of New Zealand. These indicators will provide useful data about social vulnerability to floods in New Zealand, and these methods could potentially be adapted for other jurisdictions and other natural hazards, including those relating to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
Social Responsibility, Sustainability, and Public Policy: The Lessons of Debris Management after the Manabí Earthquake in Ecuador
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(7), 3494; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18073494 - 27 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Natural disasters can generate millions of tons of debris and waste, which has an impact on the environment and poses direct risks to the health of the population, hence the need to analyze public policy and its consequences following the 2016 earthquake in [...] Read more.
Natural disasters can generate millions of tons of debris and waste, which has an impact on the environment and poses direct risks to the health of the population, hence the need to analyze public policy and its consequences following the 2016 earthquake in Ecuador. Several in-depth interviews were conducted with individuals active in public service during the post-earthquake management period, together with fieldwork analysis of debris management and the institutional strategies for its recycling and reuse in three of the most affected cities: Pedernales, Portoviejo, and Manta. The environmental impact was examined, including its taxonomy of inconsistencies within public administration, alongside the processes of decentralization and shared decision-making. Similarly, the links between corporate social responsibility (CSR), public policy, and sustainability were analyzed at both the national and local level for their wider implications and ramifications. The study highlighted the gaps in the management of such a crisis, exposing a lack of ethics and the shortcomings of social (ir-)responsibility in the distorted processes of public welfare in the country, aspects that should rather work in concert to achieve full sustainable development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
Indoor Fungal Contamination in Temporary Housing after the East Japan Great Earthquake Disaster
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3296; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18063296 - 23 Mar 2021
Viewed by 880
Abstract
To understand fungal contamination in the indoor environment of the disaster region, a field survey was performed to measure the number of fungal counts and identify isolates in the indoor air of prefabricated temporary housing, privately independent-housing, and rented apartments flooded by the [...] Read more.
To understand fungal contamination in the indoor environment of the disaster region, a field survey was performed to measure the number of fungal counts and identify isolates in the indoor air of prefabricated temporary housing, privately independent-housing, and rented apartments flooded by the East Japan Great Earthquake disaster tsunami. As a result, the period with the highest detected fungal count was from the rainy season to summer in independent-housing and rented apartments. Moreover, in the temporary housing, the fungal number increased further in winter as indicated by the maximum fungal-number throughout the measurement period. The detection frequency of Aspergillus species was relatively higher in the indoor air of temporary housing than in typical housing in the non-disaster area. Since Aspergillus is known as an allergenic genus, it requires careful attention to the health risk for residents. The extremely high level of fungal condensation in indoor air possibly occurred due to high relative humidity and loss of heat insulation in the building attics. It is suggested that this problem commonly happened in the cold region including the entire disaster region of the East Japan Great Earthquake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
A Data Augmentation-Based Evaluation System for Regional Direct Economic Losses of Storm Surge Disasters
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 2918; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18062918 - 12 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 801
Abstract
The accurate prediction of storm surge disasters’ direct economic losses plays a positive role in providing critical support for disaster prevention decision-making and management. Previous researches on storm surge disaster loss assessment did not pay much attention to the overfitting phenomenon caused by [...] Read more.
The accurate prediction of storm surge disasters’ direct economic losses plays a positive role in providing critical support for disaster prevention decision-making and management. Previous researches on storm surge disaster loss assessment did not pay much attention to the overfitting phenomenon caused by the data scarcity and the excessive model complexity. To solve these problems, this paper puts forward a new evaluation system for forecasting the regional direct economic loss of storm surge disasters, consisting of three parts. First of all, a comprehensive assessment index system was established by considering the storm surge disasters’ formation mechanism and the corresponding risk management theory. Secondly, a novel data augmentation technique, k-nearest neighbor-Gaussian noise (KNN-GN), was presented to overcome data scarcity. Thirdly, an ensemble learning algorithm XGBoost as a regression model was utilized to optimize the results and produce the final forecasting results. To verify the best-combined model, KNN-GN-based XGBoost, we conducted cross-contrast experiments with several data augmentation techniques and some widely-used ensemble learning models. Meanwhile, the traditional prediction models are used as baselines to the optimized forecasting system. The experimental results show that the KNN-GN-based XGBoost model provides more precise predictions than the traditional models, with a 64.1% average improvement in the mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) measurement. It could be noted that the proposed evaluation system can be extended and applied to the geography-related field as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
Analysis of Emergency Department Visits and Hospital Activity during Influenza Season, COVID-19 Epidemic, and Lockdown Periods in View of Managing a Future Disaster Risk: A Multicenter Observational Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(22), 8302; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17228302 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1115
Abstract
ED-visits and through-ED admissions to medical/surgical wards (MSW) and intensive care unit (ICU) during influenza, COVID-19 and lockdown periods were evaluated in a four-hospital prospective observational study from November 2018 to March 2020. ED visit characteristics and main diagnostic categories were assessed. Analysis [...] Read more.
ED-visits and through-ED admissions to medical/surgical wards (MSW) and intensive care unit (ICU) during influenza, COVID-19 and lockdown periods were evaluated in a four-hospital prospective observational study from November 2018 to March 2020. ED visit characteristics and main diagnostic categories were assessed. Analysis of 368,262 ED-visits highlighted a significantly increasing trend in ED-visits during influenza followed by a significantly decreasing trend after lockdown. For MSW-admissions, a pattern of growth during influenza was followed by a fall that began during COVID-19 pandemic and intensified during the lockdown. For ICU-admissions, a significant rise during the COVID-19 pandemic was followed by diminution during the lockdown period. During lockdown, significantly diminishing trends were shown for all diagnostic categories (between −40.8% and −73.6%), except influenza-like illness/COVID cases (+31.6%), Pulmonary embolism/deep vein thrombosis (+33.5%) and frequent users (+188.0%). The present study confirms an increase in demand during the influenza epidemic and during the initial phase of the COVID-19 epidemic, but a drop in activity during the lockdown, mainly related to non-COVID conditions. Syndromic surveillance of ILI cases in ED is a tool for monitoring influenza and COVID-19, and it can predict ED activity and the need for MSW and ICU beds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
Vulnerability Analysis to Drought Based on Remote Sensing Indexes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7660; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17207660 - 20 Oct 2020
Viewed by 676
Abstract
A vulnerability curve is an important tool for the rapid assessment of drought losses, and it can provide a scientific basis for drought risk prevention and post-disaster relief. Those populations with difficulty in accessing drinking water because of drought (hereon “drought at risk [...] Read more.
A vulnerability curve is an important tool for the rapid assessment of drought losses, and it can provide a scientific basis for drought risk prevention and post-disaster relief. Those populations with difficulty in accessing drinking water because of drought (hereon “drought at risk populations”, abbreviated as DRP) were selected as the target of the analysis, which examined factors contributing to their risk status. Here, after the standardization of disaster data from the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River in 2013, the parameter estimation method was used to determine the probability distribution of drought perturbations data. The results showed that, at the significant level of α = 0.05, the DRP followed the Weibull distribution, whose parameters were optimal. According to the statistical characteristics of the probability density function and cumulative distribution function, the bulk of the standardized DRP is concentrated in the range of 0 to 0.2, with a cumulative probability of about 75%, of which 17% is the cumulative probability from 0.2 to 0.4, and that greater than 0.4 amounts to only 8%. From the perspective of the vulnerability curve, when the variance ratio of the normalized vegetation index (NDVI) is between 0.65 and 0.85, the DRP will increase at a faster rate; when it is greater than 0.85, the growth rate of DRP will be relatively slow, and the disaster losses will stabilize. When the variance ratio of the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) is between 0.5 and 0.85, the growth rate of DRP accelerates, but when it is greater than 0.85, the disaster losses tend to stabilize. By comparing the coefficient of determination (R2) values fitted for the vulnerability curve, in the same situation, EVI is more suitable to indicate drought vulnerability than NDVI for estimating the DRP. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
An Early Warning System for Flood Detection Using Critical Slowing Down
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(17), 6131; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17176131 - 24 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 859
Abstract
The theory of critical slowing down (CSD) suggests an increasing pattern in the time series of CSD indicators near catastrophic events. This theory has been successfully used as a generic indicator of early warning signals in various fields, including climate research. In this [...] Read more.
The theory of critical slowing down (CSD) suggests an increasing pattern in the time series of CSD indicators near catastrophic events. This theory has been successfully used as a generic indicator of early warning signals in various fields, including climate research. In this paper, we present an application of CSD on water level data with the aim of producing an early warning signal for floods. To achieve this, we inspect the trend of CSD indicators using quantile estimation instead of using the standard method of Kendall’s tau rank correlation, which we found is inconsistent for our data set. For our flood early warning system (FLEWS), quantile estimation is used to provide thresholds to extract the dates associated with significant increases on the time series of the CSD indicators. We apply CSD theory on water level data of Kelantan River and found that it is a reliable technique to produce a FLEWS as it demonstrates an increasing pattern near the flood events. We then apply quantile estimation on the time series of CSD indicators and we manage to establish an early warning signal for ten of the twelve flood events. The other two events are detected on the first day of the flood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
Using the DEMATEL-VIKOR Method in Dam Failure Path Identification
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1480; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17051480 - 25 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 974
Abstract
Dams are important water-resisting structures prone to failure, causing huge economic and environmental losses. Traditionally, a dam failure is identified using the failure mode and effect analysis. This approach analyzes both the dam failure path (the specific effect chain of the failure mode) [...] Read more.
Dams are important water-resisting structures prone to failure, causing huge economic and environmental losses. Traditionally, a dam failure is identified using the failure mode and effect analysis. This approach analyzes both the dam failure path (the specific effect chain of the failure mode) and the damage degree, by identifying and sorting the severity caused by the dam failure path. However, this analysis can be misleading since the relationship among the failure paths is not considered. To account for this, the DEMATEL method is used to modify the evaluation result of the severity of the failure consequence, caused by the dam failure path. Based on the fuzzy mathematics and VIKOR method, a dam failure path identification method is established, and then the dam failure paths are identified and sorted for a case study: gravity dam located at the junction of Yibin County (China). According to results, the two top initial failure paths were insufficient design of upstream anti-seepage (R6) or defective water-tight screen and corrosion (R7). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
Understanding the Resilience of Different Farming Strategies in Coping with Geo-Hazards: A Case Study in Chongqing, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1226; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17041226 - 14 Feb 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 932
Abstract
Adjusting farming strategies are adaptive behaviors to cope with hazard risks. However, few studies have studied rural and remote mountain areas in China with little known about “farmers’ adaptation under the impact of geo-hazards”. Unlike traditional farmers’ behavioral adaptation studies, in this study, [...] Read more.
Adjusting farming strategies are adaptive behaviors to cope with hazard risks. However, few studies have studied rural and remote mountain areas in China with little known about “farmers’ adaptation under the impact of geo-hazards”. Unlike traditional farmers’ behavioral adaptation studies, in this study, we focused on the resilience of farmers’ behavioral mechanisms to address local hazards such as geo-hazards. Our data were acquired through questionnaire responses (N = 516) in mountainous hazard-prone areas in Chongqing, China. The binary logit model and multinomial logit model were used to investigate the obstacles to different farming strategies and the determinants of adaptation strategy choice, focusing on the effects of disaster experience and social support on the adaptation strategy resilience. The results show that the most common adaptation strategy was adjusting crop varieties, and the largest adaptation obstacle was a lack of funds. Additionally, the age of the smallholder, farming acreage, agricultural income, social support, and disaster experience significantly increased the possibility of farmers adjusting their agricultural production. Of these, smallholder agricultural income, state disaster subsidy, the presence of disaster prevention construction, the smallholder’s property, and the presence of disaster-caused crop loss experience were the most important factors affecting a farmer’s adaptation strategy. In particular, farmers were more sensitive to disaster-caused property loss than to disaster-caused crop loss. This study can provide implications for the government to formulate disaster mitigation measures and for farming strategies at the smallholder level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Article
A Risk-Averse Shelter Location and Evacuation Routing Assignment Problem in an Uncertain Environment
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(20), 4007; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph16204007 - 19 Oct 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
Disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods continue to have devastating socioeconomic impacts and endanger millions of lives. Shelters are safe zones that protect victims from possible damage, and evacuation routes are the paths from disaster zones toward shelter areas. To enable the [...] Read more.
Disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and floods continue to have devastating socioeconomic impacts and endanger millions of lives. Shelters are safe zones that protect victims from possible damage, and evacuation routes are the paths from disaster zones toward shelter areas. To enable the timely evacuation of disaster zones, decisions regarding shelter location and routing assignment (i.e., traffic assignment) should be considered simultaneously. In this work, we propose a risk-averse stochastic programming model with a chance constraint that takes into account the uncertainty in the demand of disaster sites while minimizing the total evacuation time. The total evacuation time reflects the efficacy of emergency management from a system optimal (SO) perspective. A conditional value-at-risk (CVaR) is incorporated into the objective function to account for risk measures in the presence of uncertain post-disaster demand. We resolve the non-linear travel time function of traffic flow by employing a second-order cone programming (SOCP) approach and linearizing the non-linear chance constraints into a new mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) reformulation so that the problem can be directly solved by state-of-the-art optimization solvers. We illustrate the application of our model using two case studies. The first case study is used to demonstrate the difference between a risk-neutral model and our proposed model. An extensive computational study provides practical insight into the proposed modeling approach using another case study concerning the Black Saturday bushfire in Australia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Review

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Review
A Perspective of the Cumulative Risks from Climate Change on Mt. Everest: Findings from the 2019 Expedition
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1928; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041928 - 17 Feb 2021
Viewed by 965
Abstract
In 2019, the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest expedition successfully retrieved the greatest diversity of scientific data ever from the mountain. The confluence of geologic, hydrologic, chemical and microbial hazards emergent as climate change increases glacier melt is significant. We review [...] Read more.
In 2019, the National Geographic and Rolex Perpetual Planet Everest expedition successfully retrieved the greatest diversity of scientific data ever from the mountain. The confluence of geologic, hydrologic, chemical and microbial hazards emergent as climate change increases glacier melt is significant. We review the findings of increased opportunity for landslides, water pollution, human waste contamination and earthquake events. Further monitoring and policy are needed to ensure the safety of residents, future climbers, and trekkers in the Mt. Everest watershed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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Review
Thunderstorm Asthma Epidemic—A Systematic Review of the General Practice Perspective
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3796; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17113796 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 929
Abstract
Thunderstorm asthma (TA) epidemics have been recognized globally as a rare phenomenon, producing a rapid surge of acute asthma presentations leading to an increased demand on emergency medical services and healthcare resources. General practitioners (GPs) are well placed in the community to contribute [...] Read more.
Thunderstorm asthma (TA) epidemics have been recognized globally as a rare phenomenon, producing a rapid surge of acute asthma presentations leading to an increased demand on emergency medical services and healthcare resources. General practitioners (GPs) are well placed in the community to contribute to healthcare during TA epidemics and similar disaster events. The aim of this review was to synthesize current evidence of the experiences of GPs during TA epidemics and similar surge events. A comprehensive systematic search of eleven electronic databases, including ancestry searching for peer-reviewed studies and grey literature published in English was conducted. Quantitative and qualitative study designs were included, and a quality assessment conducted. Of the 125 records identified, 16 were included for synthesis. During TA epidemics and surge events, GPs experience an increased demand for services, yet it is not known if general practice clinics experience resource limitations from this patient surge. While GPs express a willingness to help, few structures are in place to liaise, support and provide information to GPs during surge events. Following most surge/disaster events, no GP data is collected so it is not known how to improve coordination and communication between general practice services and emergency services. GPs have well-functioning adaptive management systems, and resources of space, supplies and staff thus the ability to increase surge capacity of their clinics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Managing Disaster Risk in a Changing World)
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