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Risk Mitigation through Measurement of Safety Compliance in Built

Environment and Establishment of Vulnerability Atlas

Vivek Ogra
4th Floor SHILP, Opp Oxford Towers, Gurukul Road, Memnagar, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
380052, India.

vivek@vbsoftindia.com

Though it is not possible to completely avoid the natural disasters, but the sufferings can be
minimized by creating proper awareness of the likely disasters and its impact by developing a
suitable warning & preparedness system through application of information technology tools.
The changing trends have opened up a large number of scientific and technological resources
and skills to reduce disaster risk. Disaster Management Information System (DMIS) aims at
providing a solution platform for disaster risk reduction by building vulnerability atlas of
disaster prone areas and act as an early warning system to help disaster impact reduction and
facilitate effective relief and rescue system.

The paper outlines risk mitigation through measurement of safety compliance in built
environment (building Stock) in cities through DMIS. The system has been evolved over a
unique audit system, which takes care of the Indian Bureau of Standards and GSDMA
guidelines and extends an enormous support towards establishing the discrepancies or
inadequacies in the construction and remedial actions as well. The solution provides a ready
reference for the State and local authorities to plan for preventive actions and implement
measures for mitigation and preparedness focusing on the construction/reconstruction
segment. Formulation of pro-active policies can be carried out based on the effective risk
analysis to face the threat of natural hazards. The system is designed using intelligent
interfaces which are capable of understanding cascade effect of building failure and its
impact on its neighborhood. The system further classifies the building stock in terms of
residential, commercial, schools, hospitals etc and attaches criticality index to the same. The
system has a in-built feedback mechanism provided for relief & rescue agencies to determine
accessibility to the distressed location which helps in prompt decision making in event of a
disaster. The system is highly scalable in nature and has the capability to expand its operation
into horizontal construction activities like, urban construction, Roads, Bridges, and Dams.

The key findings after implementing this system in State of Gujarat is that the system will
help to aggregate disaster risk data by generating city/state vulnerability atlas, technical data
related to compliance, earthquake resistance compliance data and most importantly
retrofitting of non-compliances (wherever possible). The system acts as a very important
database for disaster risk reduction agencies to research on new/ innovative methods of
mitigation process based on disaster business intelligence layer besides providing important
data to relief and rescue process in event of a disaster. The enterprise model of the system
shall allow mitigation agencies to run multi-dimensional queries to understand
interdependence of parameters for risk reduction strategy. This would enable the agencies to
further fine grain the strategies in terms of localization for a given set of geographical area.

DMIS addresses needs of Disaster Risk Reduction by aggregating vulnerability data of


existing building stock in a geographical area to establish vulnerability atlas for emergency
response system establishment and support system policy management for retrofitting of
existing structures to reduce disaster risk.

The system helps aggregate disaster risk reduction data from numerous sources while acting
as a data warehouse and generate complex analytical reports through a simpler an intuitive
user interface. The system can be easily interfaced to the state GIS system to offer easy
visualization of disaster vulnerability profile of a geographical region. This can further be
enhanced to inherit early warning indications by way of simulation and suitable alarm
systems can be built to make sure timely information about the mitigation process is
delivered to the individual stakeholders of the disaster mitigation agency. These kind of
focused and integrated systems would enable all the stakeholders of a risk reduction process
to work in tandem and towards a common goal as would had been defined by the need at the
time of pre or post disaster event.

DIMS extend its capability to address complex needs of a Disaster Risk Reduction Activity
by extrapolating the data to enable stakeholders in following areas:

1. Vulnerability Assessment

Identify Vulnerability of built environment


Identify Magnitude of Disaster
Identify likely damage and loss
Damage and loss assessment

2. Techno-Legal Measures

Hazard Profile
Vulnerability atlas derived from Housing Data for Insurance
Policy Decisions
3. Emergency Response

Search & Rescue


Relief Material Dispatch
Emergency Medical Response

DMIS will help aggregate disaster risk reduction data from numerous sources while acting as
a data warehouse and generate complex analytical reports through a simpler intuitive user
interface. These kinds of focused and integrated systems will enable all the stakeholders of a
risk reduction process to work in tandem towards a common goal of mitigating risk from
natural and man made disasters besides providing exact information to coordinate relief and
rescue process in event of a disaster.

Apart from achieving the operational objectives, the system can provide many other benefits
to the community and society at large. These are: creation of a new housing stock which
assures the safety of inhabitants against future disasters; creating awareness and acceptability
of the new building technologies among the masses; upgrading the technical know-how and
skills of labor force in the construction sector; and evolving norms for advanced building
practices.

Communication holds profound importance in likelihood of a disaster and DMIS could be


used as a base platform for information source to communicate to the distressed and the
rescue agencies by extending contact information to disaster communication convergence
system which could communicate to people through voice and data networks.

DMIS could extend enormous support to the disaster mitigation agencies by creating a single
platform to carry out complex disaster management services though service provider
interfaces connected to DMIS enterprise alarm systems which would automatically trigger in
event of a likelihood of a disaster or in event of a disaster.