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Evacuation modelling for rapid multi-hazard tabletop exercise deployment

Evacuation modelling for rapid multi-hazard tabletop exercise deployment

Filippidis, Lazaros ORCID: 0000-0002-1852-0042 , Lawrence, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-0269-0231 , Anand, Veeraswamy, Blackshields, Darren ORCID: 0000-0001-8940-0024 , Cooney, David ORCID: 0000-0002-2341-0315 and Galea, Edwin ORCID: 0000-0002-0001-6665 (2024) Evacuation modelling for rapid multi-hazard tabletop exercise deployment. Safety Science, 173:106438. pp. 1-18. ISSN 0925-7535 (doi:

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To prepare for large-scale emergencies and crisis affecting communities, authorities, and emergency commanders use several types of training methods ranging from seminars to full-scale exercises. Within this continuum of exercise types, tabletop exercises (TTXs) are habitually used to familiarise participants with mitigation strategies, population management and evacuation procedures conducted as a response to natural or technological hazards. Commonly, TTXs are paper-based, and if computerised, use basic electronic maps, tend to be scripted and have a linear nature. Information flow is unidirectional as the script dictates how the exercise unfolds. These exercises have little capacity for producing qualitative or quantitative feedback related to the impact that the received scenario injects (i.e., incoming messages including scripted events and hazard locations), the authorities’ decisions, and the impact of hazards have on the wellbeing of the community and the evacuation process. While informative during training, this type of feedback may prove vital in assessing the likely impact of real incident. In this work an evacuation simulation model is proposed to augment the TTX experience in real time, offering feedback and insights on the impact that such injects, decisions and hazards have on the simulated community.

The proposed methodology is utilised in an actual TTX co-organised and executed by the Municipality of Rhodes, Greece, where the evacuation model is used to (a) develop the standard, non-incident specific evacuation procedures for the Medieval City of Rhodes (MCR), (b) to adapt these procedures based on the injects (generated on-site or telecommunicated, emulating receipt from the field), producing the TTX scenario and (c) to provide information on the impact that the TTX hazards have on the evacuation process. The integration of evacuation modelling into the TTX process demonstrated that it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities related to route choices in response to path closures, the assembly and evacuation performance, as well as the management of the simulated incident by analysing qualitative and quantitative simulation results.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: tabletop exercise; evacuation modelling; evacuation simulation; natural hazard impact; preparedness training
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2024 09:53

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