Next Risky Monday Session 12/04/21 in English

The session will be given by Adam Widera from the University of Münster. Adam is the managing director of the ERCIS Competence Center for Crisis Management and member of the research group Information Systems & Supply Chain Management. He was the coordinator of the DRIVER+ project at the University of Muenster. His research areas cover modeling, simulation and performance measurement in humanitarian logistics and crisis managements well as the design and evaluation of information systems for humanitarians. (Photo by Bob Munro)

This is the Abstract for the session by Adam: The scale and pace of crises pose enormous challenges for the crisis management (CM) community, with new threats emerging all the time. An already complex field must strive to integrate new technologies and methods; cope with a rapidly changing infrastructure; understand evolving risks; be effective across cultural, administrative and national boundaries as well as engage with populations to enhance their resilience. In this context, crisis management innovation must be capable of meeting these multifaceted challenges and delivering solutions that are modular, flexible and adaptable.

The aim of the EU-funded DRIVER+ project, which concluded in June 2020 and was labelled by the Research Executive Agency (REA) of the EC a “success story”, has been to accelerate capability development and crisis management innovation by delivering these main outputs to the European crisis management community:

• The pan-European Test-bed consisting of the Trial Guidance Methodology (TGM), a Trial Guidance Tool (TGT) supporting the TGM application as well as an appropriate Test-bed Technical Infrastructure (TTI) enabling the simulation of a crisis environment including the connection of the innovative solutions and the respective legacy systems;

• The Portfolio of Solutions (PoS) covering innovative crisis management solutions at different technology readiness levels, according to a well-structured taxonomy of crisis management functions and gaps.

• The Crisis Management Innovation Network Europe (CMINE) enhancing the shared understanding of crisis management in Europe.

After presenting those three key DRIVER+ outputs and sharing several insights from the project, one out of the five trials will be briefly presented. The Trial was held in The Hague, Netherlands, and it covered a flood scenario triggering a mass evacuation in the affected region.

More about Risky Monday:

Increasing flood risk awareness and warning readiness by participation – But who understands what under ‘participation’?

New article. As one outcome of our alumni expert seminar in 2019


Participation is an often-demanded process in disaster risk reduction (DRR). However, it is often unclear who understands what under this term. International organizations such as the United Nations have promoted participation in their DRR strategies since the 1980s, but further research is needed on its opportunities and limitations. Here we highlight what is understood by participation according to different actors and various international contexts. This study was motivated by a workshop where flood-risk and resilience experts from 14 countries perceived the nature of participation and the lack of its implementation differently. To unravel the multitude of these perspectives, 27 expert interviews were conducted in seven countries: Belgium, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan and Peru between March and August 2020. Results show that constraints on the conduction of participation are not only related to the specific country context but differ even within countries. Limitations such as capacities and willingness to participate as well as the role and importance of participation are common issues across the investigated contexts and countries.

Public health without water? Emergency water supply of hospitals

New article: Full text

Public health without water? Emergency water supply and minimum supply standards of hospitals in high-income countries using the example of Germany and Austria

The drinking water supply is a core element of national regulations for normal and emergency supply as well as coping with crisis events. Particularly with regard to the interdependence of critical infrastructures means that water supply failures can have far-reaching consequences and endanger the safety of a society, e.g., by impairing hospital operations. In case of an emergency in the drinking water infrastructure, minimum supply standards, e.g., for patients in hospitals, become important for emergency management during crisis situations. However, wider recognition of this issue is still lacking, particularly in countries facing comparably minor water supply disruptions. Several inter- national agencies provide guideline values for minimum water supply standards for hospitals in case of a disaster. Acknowledging these minimum standards were developed for humanitarian assistance or civil protection, it remains to be analyzed whether these standards apply to disaster management in countries with high water and healthcare supply standards. Based on a literature review of scientific publications and humanitarian guidelines, as well as pol- icies from selected countries, current processes, contents, and shortcomings of emergency water supply planning are assessed. To close the identified gaps, this paper indicates potential improvements for emergency water supply plan- ning in general as well as for supply of hospitals and identifies future fields of research.

Bridging Gaps in Minimum Humanitarian Standards and Shelter Planning by Critical Infrastructures

New article.


Current agendas such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction or the Sustainable Development Goals are demanding more integration of disaster risk management into other thematic fields and relevant sectors. However, certain thematic fields such as shelter planning and critical infrastructure have not been integrated yet. This article provides an analysis of minimum humanitarian standards contained in the well-known Sphere handbook. Gaps are identified for several critical infrastructure services. Moreover, guidance on how to derive infrastructure or lifeline needs has been found missing. This article analyses the missing service supply and infrastructure identification items and procedures. The main innovation is a more integrative perspective on infrastructure that can improve existing minimum humanitarian standards. It can guide the provision of infrastructure services to various types for different hazard scenarios, hence make humanitarian aid and shelter planning more sustainable in terms of avoiding infrastructure or lifeline shortages. View Full-Text

Risk Perception and Behaviour Survey

If you have an interest in risk perceptions and behaviours, and especially if you have ever been personally designing or implementing a study on individual or community perceptions of risk, climate impacts or hazards adaptation behaviour, surveys, interviews, experiments or focus groups, we would like to ask you some questions on your previous research related to risk perceptions and behaviours:
This survey of surveyors (SoS) will take less than 10 minutes to complete, it consists of 30 closed questions, your answers will be treated anonymously and the results will be discussed with the community during webinars.
One of the conclusions from the First European Conference on Risk Perception: Behaviour, Management and Response in Paris, France in 2019 (conclusions can be found here) was the need to improve comparability and long-term monitoring in risk perception and behaviour studies and surveys. We obviously can’t all run the very same questionnaire or focus groups because we have different research interests, however shared criteria to address context-specific aspects of countries and regions, a common list of minimal requirements to compare studies and surveys, and a selection of survey questions or themes allowing for comparability and long-term monitoring would significantly improve our ability to work together and to build cumulative knowledge.
Please consider forwarding this message to colleagues who might be interested in Europe and beyond as we are counting on a snowball effect to reach all the community.
Feel free to contact us so that we can inform you about our next activities.
Note that these surveys are completely anonymous, we don’t collect even IP or emails, so please consider answering only once to the survey (make sure to press the submit button at the end) and sending us message if you’d like to share your email with us, especially if you’d like to contribute your experience and exchange on these perspectives during forthcoming webinars.

Happy new year and season’s greetings,
Samuel Rufat
Alexander Fekete
Christian Kuhlicke
Emeline Comby
Iuliana Armas
Peter Robinson
Wouter Botzen

First Risky Monday 2021

On the 25th of January there will be the first Risky Monday Session of 2021. The event will be hosted online via Zoom. We welcome Mr. Anton Hünnemeyer-Weber who will present some of his first hand experiences during the humanitarian aid mission of the German Federal Agency of Technical Relief (THW: Technisches Hilfswerk) in Beirut after the explosion on the 4th of October 2020.

Event language is German.

Flyer Risky Monday Beirut

WAKE project workshop on technical methods of knowledge management in civil protection organized by the TH Köln/University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the THW/Federal Agency for Technical Relief

— Deutsche Version unterhalb —

“How can exchange and configuration of knowledge in civil protection be fostered?” was the main topic of the virtual workshop on improving the use of databases, e-learning and social media in civil protection. The workshop took place on November 18th and 19th 2020 as part of the WAKE project and was organized by the TH Köln/University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the THW/Federal Agency for Technical Relief.

Well equipped with a workshop kit (see illustrations), the participants – coming from various civil protection organizations, public authorities, the private sector, and from science and research – started off into the two-day workshop. Working in interdisciplinary groups, the attendees collected and discussed practical solutions and inter-organizational needs for databases, e-learning and social media platforms.

Starting basis for the workshop in general and for the group works in particular were the challenges for civil protection in dealing with the three technical systems. These challenges had been worked out in advance in the WAKE project out of multiple experiences during the refugee situation in 2015/16 and the current corona pandemic. In addition, the agenda was completed by lectures on practical knowledge management solutions from WBI Knowledge Solutions and time4you GmbH.

Despite the length of the workshop, lasting nearly two days, and despite being held online, the cross-organizational collaboration and the collaboration with public authorities was enriching and the interaction with each another was very appreciative. In this pleasant atmosphere, many practical ideas and solutions were brought together. The findings of the workshop are available in a detailed protocol, which gladly will be provided on request. We would like to thank the participants and the speakers most sincerely. We are looking forward to pursuing further cooperation.

Wake Projektworkshop zu technischen Methoden des Wissensmanagements im Bevölkerungsschutz veranstaltet von der Technischen Hochschule Köln in Zusammenarbeit mit der Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk

„Wie lassen sich der Austausch und die Organisation von Wissen im Bevölkerungsschutz verbessern?“ war die Leitfrage des virtuellen Workshops zu Datenbanken, E-Learning und Social Media, welcher am 18. und 19. November 2020 im Rahmen des Projektes WAKE stattgefunden hat. Ausgerichtet wurde dieser von der Technischen Hochschule Köln in Zusammenarbeit mit der Bundesanstalt Technisches Hilfswerk.

Gut ausgestattet mit einem Workshop-Kit (s. Abbildungen) sind die Teilnehmenden aus verschiedenen Hilfsorganisationen, Behörden, der Privatwirtschaft und aus Wissenschaft und Forschung in den zweitägigen Workshop gestartet. In interdisziplinären Gruppenarbeiten wurden praktische Lösungsansätze für interorganisationale Anforderungen an E-Learning, Datenbanken und Social Media Plattformen gesammelt und diskutiert. Die inhaltliche Basis lieferten die Herausforderungen im Umgang mit den drei technischen Systemen im Bevölkerungsschutz. Diese wurden im Vorfeld im Projekt WAKE aus den Erfahrungen der Flüchtlingssituation 2015/16 und der aktuellen Coronapandemie erarbeitet. Zusätzlich wurde das Programm durch Vorträge zu praktischen Wissensmanagementlösungen der Firmen WBI Wissensmanagement und time4you GmbH abwechslungsreich ergänzt. Trotz der Länge des Workshops über zwei Tage und trotz des Online-Formates war die organisations- und behördenübergreifende Zusammenarbeit bereichernd und der Umgang miteinander sehr wertschätzend. In dieser angenehmen Atmosphäre wurden viele praxisnahe Ideen und Lösungsansätze zusammengetragen. Diese finden sich im ausführlichen Workshopprotokoll, welches wir auf Anfrage gerne zur Verfügung stellen.

Wir bedanken uns sehr herzlich bei den Teilnehmenden und den Vortragenden und freuen uns auf eine weitere Zusammenarbeit.

Wenn der Kritischen Infrastruktur das Wasser ausgeht


Die Wasserver- und -entsorgung sind nicht nur Bestandteile der Daseinsvorsorge, beide gehöre auch zu den sog. Kritischen Infrastrukturen (KRITIS), bei deren Ausfall empfindliche Störungen der Grundversorgung und Gefährdungen für Leben und Gesundheit bis hin zur Störung der Öffentlichen Sicherheit resultieren können. Diese Rolle der Wasserwirtschaft wirft in einigen Bereichen noch immer neue Fragen auf. Starkregen und Hochwasser aber auch die eingeschränkte Wasserbereitstellung bei Waldbränden betreffen immer häufiger auch Kräfte der Einsatzorganisationen wie z.B. der Feuerwehren.

Auch die elementare Versorgung von Einrichtungen des Gesundheitswesens in Notsituationen ist gegenwärtig Gegenstand von Forschungsprojekten wie NOWATER. Ähnlich wie beim Thema Stromausfall ergeben sich aus dem Blickpunkt KRITIS auch hier neue Planungsszenarien, wie die Betreiber von Krankenhäusern gemeinsam mit Behörden und Einsatzorganisationen in einem solchen Fall eine Minderversorgung oder gar den Ausfall der Wasserver- oder -entsorgung bewältigen können.

Des Weiteren erfolgt ein direkter Transfer der Erkenntnisse aus der Forschung in die Praxis bei den KRITIS-Betreibern. So untersucht das Institut für Rettungsingenieurwesen und Gefahrenabwehr für die Stadtentwässerung Peine aktuell die Risiken und Auswirkungen von Extremwetterereignissen sowie Infrastrukturausfällen auf den Betrieb. Aus dieser Untersuchung werden Maßnahmen abgeleitet, um die Funktionsfähigkeit der Stadtentwässerung bei Schadensereignissen zu gewährleisten und damit die Versorgungssicherheit aufrechtzuerhalten.

Zum Volltext.

Hetkämper, Chris; Fekete, Alexander; Joel, Elena; Krause, Steffen; Schaum, Christian; Wick, Natalie (2020) Wenn der Kritischen Infrastruktur das Wasser ausgeht. wwt – wasserwirtschaft wassertechnik. Modernisierungsreport 2020/21 Krisenmanagement und Zukunftsgestaltung. 6-10

System Criticality of Road Network Areas for Emergency Management Services—Spatial Assessment Using a Tessellation Approach. New Publication

Open Access Article: Link


Emergency management services, such as firefighting, rescue teams and ambulances, are all heavily reliant on road networks. However, even for highly industrialised countries such as Germany, and even for large cities, spatial planning tools are lacking for road network interruptions of emergency services. Moreover, dependencies of emergency management expand not only on roads but on many other systemic interrelations, such as blockages of bridges. The first challenge this paper addresses is the development of a novel assessment that captures systemic interrelations of critical services and their dependencies explicitly designed to the needs of the emergency services. This aligns with a second challenge: capturing system nodes and areas around road networks and their geographical interrelation. System nodes, road links and city areas are integrated into a spatial grid of tessellated hexagons (also referred to as tiles) with geographical information systems. The hexagonal grid is designed to provide a simple map visualisation for emergency planners and fire brigades. Travel time planning is then optimised for accessing city areas in need by weighing impaired areas of past events based on operational incidents. The model is developed and tested with official incident data for the city of Cologne, Germany, and will help emergency managers to better device planning of resources based on this novel identification method of critical areas. View Full-Text

Keywords: geographic information systemcriticality assessmentrisk assessmentroad networkemergency managementdisaster risk management

Rohr, Adrian; Priesmeier, Peter; Tzavella, Katerina; Fekete, Alexander. 2020. “System Criticality of Road Network Areas for Emergency Management Services—Spatial Assessment Using a Tessellation Approach.” Infrastructures 5, no. 11: 99.