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Agent-based modeling to inform flood emergency planning and management

Manuela Di Mauro, BEng, MEng, PhD, Darren Lumbroso, MEng, MSc, CEng, Andy Tagg, MEng, CEng


Objective: Agent-based modeling can provide powerful tools to inform flood emergency management and to provide an assessment of loss of life due to a flood event. The objective of this work is to study the suitability and robustness of this type of models for being applied in practice in managing flood emergencies.
Design: This article describes the application of a prototype, agent-based Life Safety Model (LSM) to two populated areas in the Thames Estuary. Parameters sensitivity analyses have also been performed to assess the robustness and the applicability of this model as part of the actual emergency practice.
Results: The model of the two areas resulted in the estimation of the number of fatalities for each scenario for different causes such as drowning, exhaustion, building collapse, and vehicles being swept away. The model was also successfully validated against historical data from the 1953 Canvey Island flood.
Conclusions: The LSM offers a scientifically robust method of assessing injuries and lives lost, and it allows the comparison of different emergency management strategies that could assist in reducing the loss of life during future flood incidents.


flood, disaster management, emergency planning, loss of life, agent based

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