A Holistic Approach For Assessing Impact Of Extreme Weather On Critical Infrastructure

M Räikkönen, K Mäki, M Murtonen, K Forssén, A Tagg, P Petiet, A Nieuwenhuijs, M McCord

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban infrastructures are essential to the health, safety, security and economic well-being of citizensand organisations. Therefore, the managers of critical infrastructures (CI) and infrastructure systemsin urban areas need to be constantly aware of and prepared for to any man-made and natural disasters.In this paper, we propose a structured approach to assess extreme weather impacts on CI and discusshow resilience and risk tolerance of critical infrastructure can be enhanced. The approach is aimed atsupporting CI owners’ and managers’ decision-making on a strategic level. It follows a process flowfrom hazard and CI identification, vulnerability analysis, potential damage estimation, loss assessmentto identification and assessment of measures. The approach incorporates many elements, phases andmethods from hazard assessment, vulnerability assessment, risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis(CBA), and combines and incorporates them into one aggregated structure, thus providing a holisticview to risk management and CI protection. The proposed approach is flexible in the sense that itencompasses not only a rigorous quantitative assessment, but also allows for a semi-quantitative orqualitative assessment. In addition, the approach enhances transparency of decision making and contributesto more comprehensive use of available information. The paper is based on research carried outin the INTACT and HARMONISE projects, which are co-funded by the European Union under the 7thFramework Programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-180
JournalInternational Journal of Safety and Security Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 May 2016


  • cost-benefit analysis
  • critical infrastructure
  • extreme weather
  • measure
  • resilience
  • risk
  • risk assessment
  • urban infrastructure
  • urban resilience
  • vulnerability


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