Chapter 20. Vulnerability Analysis Tool for First Responders: Results of a Case Study


Sabrina Scheuer, MSc, Constanze Geyer, MA, and Dr. Yvonne Prinzellner
Department of Research and Innovation, Johanniter Austria, Vienna, Austria

Part of the book: The Challenges of Disaster Planning, Management, and Resilience


Vulnerability strongly influences the magnitude of negative consequences of natural and manmade disasters for people and communities. Manmade disasters (e.g., CBRNe incidents, terrorist attacks) can lead to a large number of victims and often require evacuation. Therefore, we developed a vulnerability analysis tool. With our tool, the potential number of affected people and buildings can be estimated, which in turn serves as relevant information for first responders to assess the required resources from a technical and medical perspective. We have developed and evaluated the vulnerability analysis tool for calculating the number of affected buildings as well as the number of affected people, categorized by their potential injuries as well as the medical resources needed for their on-site treatment. The tool offers the functionality to estimate the number of vulnerable people that may need special care (e.g., people who are not mobile). It can also be used beforehand, for a fast calculation at the beginning of, or during the operation. The main findings of the mixed-methods evaluation study highlight the tools’ potential for the practice of first responders, due to its simplicity. Its functional and trustworthy calculations were emphasized. Suggested enhancements include adding specific categories (e.g., buildings equally used for private and business) as well as combining it with other tools (e.g., tools for localizing of POIs; online GIS systems) for a faster and more valid estimation of the affected area and identification of buildings.

Keywords: vulnerability, manmade disasters, CBRNe, evaluation, vulnerable people, first responders


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