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3D Printing of coastal protection Reefs

The Albanian coastline has been declining in recent years due to coastal erosion and uncontrolled...

HAZ-I

A flood is the most common and the most damage inflicting natural disaster. Climate change causes more frequent extreme precipitation events globally. While increased urbanization increases soil sealing degree and limits water infiltration. Therefore in future the flood impact can be even greater. In 1997 FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency in US) developed a GIS-based risk assessment software called HAZUS97. Today it is known as Hazus-MH (Hazards US - Multi Hazard) and is capable to assess risk and damages caused by hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis. Hazus-MH works only with US datasets thus any analysis outside US is not possible. HAZ-I solves this issue by overcoming a number of technical and conceptual problems and gives users a possibility to create their own flood study region anywhere in the world.

Developed by
Institute of Environmental Engineering, Kaunas University of Technology

The beginning of a research started 7 years ago when Hazus-MH flood model was adapted to satisfy needs of European Flood Directive - map hazard and risk maps. Later on it was adapted to international scale and it was able to perform flood risk analysis (and damage assessment) internationally. Additionally VGI functionality has been added to this application - it was able to easily acquire essential facilities, required for flood risk analysis, from VGI (Volunteer Geographic Information) systems such as Open Street Map with almost no effort.

TRL5. Laboratory testing of integrated system
Technology validated in relevant environment. Fidelity of breadboard technology increases significantly. The basic technological components are integrated with reasonably realistic supporting elements so they can be tested in a simulated environment. Examples include “high-fidelity” laboratory integration of components. HAZ-I is operational and has been tested in multiple sites: from US, Canada, to Japan, Hong Kong and other countries. Flood risk and damages were assessed and evaluated.

See more information about this level and the TRL and SRL levels.

The main components of the system have been tested separately, and an initial integration exercise has been conducted.

Credits
Collaborators

How does it work?

Firstly, a Hazus-MH application which is free to download, has to be installed. Second, an ESRI ArcGIS has to be installed as well. Third, a python script collection is downloaded and an ESRI ArcMap MXD document is opened where all the scripts are in place. User navigates and with few clicks creates a study region. Another functions enable user to download critical information (i.e. schools, police stations, hospitals etc.) from Open Street Map server or population data from other sources for selected region. Later on this data is added via Hazus-MH inventory. In the end user overwrites a created region on a default Hazus-MH inventory and is able to perform flood risk analysis for a custom study region not restricted by US boundaries.

Limitations/conditions under which this innovation does not work or is less effective

Although this application uses VGI to supply data, more additional information, such as flood damage curves or flood depth grid should be added (no matter what kind of software do you use). Additionally a compatibility of HAZ-I with never Hazus-MH versions should be checked.

Added value
A main added value is that it enables a free and well proven tool, a Hazus-MH flood model, to work globally. Moreover, it motivates local communities to capture their local spatial data and add it to the inventory which might help in future to reduce vulnerability not only to floods but also to other disasters.

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