Modeling Cyclone Risk and Seismic Building Vulnerability in Central America and the Caribbean @ Hackerman Hall B-17
Oct 8 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Graduate Seminar: Modeling Cyclone Risk and Seismic Building Vulnerability in Central America and the Caribbean

This seminar will introduce two research projects applied to the Country Disaster Risk Profiles initiative of the World Bank: a hurricane hazard model and a probabilistic seismic vulnerability tool (PSVT). The windstorm hazard model is a novel approach which yields characterizations of windstorm activity (rate of occurrence, trajectory and spatial wind field) in the Central American region for use in natural risk assessment. The generative mechanism of storms is formulated as a superposition of stochastic processes whose joint opera;on yields synthetic cyclones activity in the region. The outcomes of the model match observed data acceptably well. A brief reference to the risk estimation procedure will be offered. Vulnerability functions estimate building damage caused by an acting hazard intensity. The PSVT is a software tool for creating vulnerability functions for seismic risk analysis. The approach estimates structural response of user-defined models subjected to ground acceleration signals integrating the equations of motion. Ground signals are realizations of random process models of site–specific ground motion hazard.


Speaker: Dr. Gonzalo Pita
Adjunct Assistant Scientist, Department of Civil Engineering, Johns Hopkins University; Sr. Natural Risk and Vulnerability Specialist, The World Bank

“Hospital Decision-Making During Extreme Weather Events” Seminar @ Gilman Hall 132
Oct 15 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, can disrupt how healthcare services are delivered by damaging the infrastructure they depend on. Natural disasters can force hospitals to evacuate. However, evacuation is not without risk. At this seminar, E²SHI Fellow Meghan McGinty will discuss how decisions to either evacuate hospitals or shelter-in-place (continue serving patients on site) were made during Hurricane Sandy in 2012 – and what we can learn from this experience to better prepare for future extreme weather events.

Event Flier


Presenter: Meghan McGinty is a PhD candidate in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on public health emergency preparedness and response, disaster resilience, and climate change. She is a 2013-14 E2SHI Fellowship recipient. Learn more about Meghan’s research

Seminar: Tsunami and Geodisasters @ Hackerman Hall B-17
Oct 29 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Tsunami & Geodisasters: A Decade of Lifeline Engineering

The rise of mega-disasters this century prompted development of engineering solutions for community and infrastructure resilience. ASCE 7-16 will include a new Chapter 6 Tsunami Loads and Effects, drawn from context of the 2011 Japan Tohoku Tsunami and resulting Fukushima Plant disaster. Chapter 6 is a bottom up state of the art design methodology focused on loss drivers, contrasting with other hazard provisions revised ad-hoc over several decades. The tsunami hazards awakening from the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, claiming nearly 300,000 fatalities, brought attention to need for broad disaster preparedness of vulnerable populations. In the Post 9-11 Security environment, it pushed efforts to develop methods for all-hazards community and infrastructure resilience using multi-faceted research, performance based engineering and improved standards and building codes. Tsunami and other understudied hazards are advancing now with relatively low cost digitized maps, lidar and geospatial tools used for rapid exposure screening, loss modeling and engagement by the insurance and business supply chain industry. The experience from tsunami, and its seismic and flood components is a useful context for understanding disaster resilience using a lifeline infrastructure engineering framework, to help communities identify and prioritize diverse needs. Recent initiatives include the UN Disaster Resilience Scorecard developed by IBM and AECOM in 2014, and the ASCE Infrastructure Resilience Division launched earlier this year. Both support the 2015 UN Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development ratified one month ago in New York for guiding actions over the next 15 years.

Speaker: Mathew Francis, Infrastructure Resilience Manager, AECOM Technology Corporation

Center for Systems Science and Engineering