2013 Conference of the International Medical Geology Association (25–29 August 2013)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 4:50 PM


NUKAVARAPU, Nivedita and DURBHA, S.Surya, Csre, IIT Bombay, Geosystems Lab Room no. 209, Powai, Mumbai, 400076, India, nnivedita@iitb.ac.in

During disasters hospitals are one of the most important critical infrastructures (CI) that must be protected and prepared to handle a mass casualty. However, critical health infrastructure (CHI) is dependent on other CIs such as electricity, water supply, etc., and disruption in the service of one infrastructure during a disaster can lead to cascading and escalating disruptions across other infrastructures. Hence, to ensure a resilient CHI, analyzing the interdependency on other CI is important.

This paper proposes a multi agent based modeling approach that is integrated with web based geographic information services for simulating the vulnerability of a critical health infrastructure for a disaster, and the interdependencies on the other interconnected CI. Multi agent-based modeling is performed by interconnecting multiple agents, which are autonomous computational entities. Software agents are developed that register each critical infrastructure, such as Healthcare infrastructure agent, Transportation agent, etc. The agents check for an infrastructure state change (e.g. the roads which lead to the hospital are blocked due to debris ), and if there is a state change then they would reason about the impacts of these events upon other interdependent infrastructures. For example, a hospital needs both life saving supplies and fuel for its backup generator but, due to road blockage, the supplies cannot reach the hospital. In this scenario, the transportation agent would find another path to reach the hospital. Similarly other agents such as flood level agent will check for the level of flood (e.g. whether the flood level is 1m, 2m. etc) and each submerged area can be used for further analysis.

In addition, the system is integrated with various disaster scenarios to study the preparedness of the health care infrastructure during a disaster. Further, using the HAZUS-MH model (adapted for Indian conditions) the physical, economic and social impacts can be studied. The simulation environment can be used to understand and highlight various vulnerabilities during a flood disaster. Simulation of these vulnerabilities on a spatio-temporal scale will help to understand how resilient a hospital critical infrastructure in these situations and also its disaster preparedness.