A Holistic Approach for Assessing Impact of Extreme Weather on Critical Infrastructure

A Holistic Approach for Assessing Impact of Extreme Weather on Critical Infrastructure

M. Räikkönen K. Mäki M. Murtonen K. ForssÉN A. Tagg P. J. Petiet A.H. Nieuwenhuijs M. Mccord 

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Finland

HR Wallingford Ltd, UK

TNO, The Netherlands

Ulster University, Ireland

30 June 2016
| Citation



Urban infrastructures are essential to the health, safety, security and economic well-being of citizens and organisations. Therefore, the managers of critical infrastructures (CI) and infrastructure systems in 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 discuss how resilience and risk tolerance of critical infrastructure can be enhanced. The approach is aimed at supporting CI owners’ and managers’ decision-making on a strategic level. It follows a process flow from hazard and CI identification, vulnerability analysis, potential damage estimation, loss assessment to identification and assessment of measures. The approach incorporates many elements, phases and methods from hazard assessment, vulnerability assessment, risk assessment and cost-benefit analysis (CBA), and combines and incorporates them into one aggregated structure, thus providing a holistic view to risk management and CI protection. The proposed approach is flexible in the sense that it encompasses not only a rigorous quantitative assessment, but also allows for a semi-quantitative or qualitative assessment. In addition, the approach enhances transparency of decision making and contributes to more comprehensive use of available information. The paper is based on research carried out in the INTACT and HARMONISE projects, which are co-funded by the European Union under the 7th Framework Programme


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


[1] The HARMONISE-project, A Holistic Approach to Resilience and Syste Matic Actions to Make Large Scale Urban Built Infrastructure Secure http://harmonise.eu/

[2] Luiijf, E., Nieuwenhuijs, A., Klaver, M., Eeten, M. & Cruz, E., Empirical findings on critical infrastructure dependencies in europe. In Critical Information Infrastructure Security: Third International Workshop, CRITIS 2008, Rome, Italy, Revised Papers, Springer-Verlag, pp. 302–310, 2009. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-03552-4_28

[3] Räikkönen, M., Pilli-Sihvola, K., Kunttu, S., Yliaho, J., Jähi, M., Zuccaro, G. & Del Cogliano, D., Assessing economic impacts of crises – a decision-support approach to long-term strategic planning. Proceedings of the IX International Conference on Risk Analysis and Hazard Mitigation, C.A. Brebbia, WIT Press (Wessex Institute of Technology), pp. 229–241. Risk Analysis 2014. New Forest, UK, 2014. http://dx.doi.org/10.2495/risk140201

[4] Nieuwenhuijs, A., & Geerdink, T. (eds), Report on Structure and Content of the IRG, INTACT Deliverable D6.1, project co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, 2015.

[5] Fingrid. Jatkunut myrsky aiheutti uusia vikoja. [Online] www.fingrid.fi/fi/ajankohtaista/ tiedotteet/Sivut%2FJatkunut-myrsky-aiheutti-uusiavikoja.aspx

[6] Fingrid, Talvimyrskyn vaikutukset kantaverkkoon 26.-27.12.2011. [Online] www.fingrid.fi/fi/ajankohtaista/tiedotteet/Sivut%2FTalvimyrskyn-vaikutuksetkantaverkkoon-26.-27.12.2011-%28P%C3%A4ivitetty-9.1.2012%29.aspx

[7] Mäki, K., Forssén K. & Vidar Vangelsten, B. (eds), Factors Contributing to CI Vulnerability and Resilience, INTACT Deliverable D3.2, project co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, 2015.

[8] Millet, I. & Wedley, W.C., Modelling risk and uncertainty with the analytic hierarchy process. Journal of Multicriteria Decision Analysis, 11(2), pp. 97–107, 2002. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mcda.319

[9] ISO 31000, Risk management – Principles and Guidelines, International Organization for Standardization, 24 p., 2013.

[10] Cavasogly, H., Making sound security investment decisions. Journal of Information Privacy & Security, 6(1), pp. 53–71, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15536548.2010.10855881

[11] Aven, T. & Renn, O., Risk Management and Governance, Concepts, Guidelines and Applications, Springer Berlin Heidelberg, Vol. 16, 2010.

[12] IRGC - International risk governance council. An introduction to the IRGC Risk Governance Framework, 2012.

[13] McCord, M., Rodgers, J., Davis, P., Haran, M. & Berchtold, C., SOTA gaps and guidance parameters for all WP’s, INTACT Deliverable D1.1, project co-funded by the  European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme, 2015.

[14] SE Handbook, Systems Engineering Handbook—A Guide for System life Cycle Processes and Activities, San Diego: INCOSE, 2011.

[15] ISO IEC 15288, Systems and Software Engineering – System Life Cycle Processes, (IEEE Std 15288-2008), 2 edn, 2008.

[16] ISO IEC 26702. Systems engineering – application and management of the systems engineering process, (IEEE Std 1220-2005), 1 edn, 2007.

[17] Tiusanen, R., An Approach for the Assessment of Safety Risks in Automated Mobile Workmachine Systems, Espoo, VTT. 200 p. + app. 6 p. VTT Science, 69, 2014.

[18] UNISDR. 2009 UNIDSR terminology on disaster risk reduction, Geneva, Switzerland, Nations. 30 p, 2009.

[19] Kröger, W. & Zio, E., Vulnerable Systems, Springer, 2011.

[20] McKenzie, E., Prasad, B. & Kaloumaira, A., Guidelines for estimating the economic impact of natural disasters in the pacific. The Australia Agency for International Development, pp. 1–38, 2005.

[21] Middelmann, M.H. (Ed), Natural Hazards. Identifying Risk Analysis Requirements in Australia. Chapter 2: Impact of Natural Disasters. Department of Industry, Tourism & Resources Minister for Industry, Tourism & Resources: The Hon. Ian Macfarlane, MP Parliamentary Secretary: The Hon. Bob Baldwin, MP. pp. 7–29, 2007.

[22] Räikkönen, M., Rosqvist, T., Poussa, L. & Jähi, M., A framework for integrating economic evaluation and risk assessment to support policymakers’ security-related decision. Proceedings of the 11th International Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management Conference & The Annual European Safety and Reliability Conference, The European Safety and Reliability Association (ESRA), PSAM11 & ESREL 2012,  Helsinki, 2012, USB memory stick, pp. 18-Tu3-2, 2012.

[23] Räikkönen, M., Kunttu, S., Murtonen, M. & Jähi, M., Economic Evaluation of Large Scale Urban Built Infrastructure - Introducing the RESEC Method, VTT Technology 260, 37p. + app.3 p. http://www.vtt.fi/inf/pdf/technology/2016/T260.pdf, ISBN 978951-38-8421-5, VTT, Espoo, 2016.