Extreme events decision making in transport networks: A holistic approach using emergency scenarios and decision making theory

Fred Ferreira, Andre Dantas, Erica Seville, Sonia Giovinazzi

Proceedings of the 8th EASTS Conference: Enhancing Transportation Infrastructure and Services in Rapid Regional Growth. 16th to 19th November 2009, Surabaya, Indonesia


This paper proposes a novel method to analyse decision-making during extreme events. The method is based on Decision-making Theory and aims at understanding how emergency managers make decisions during disasters. A data collection framework and an analysis method were conceptualized to capture participant’s behaviour, perception and understanding throughout a game-board simulation exercise, which emulates an earthquake disaster scenario affecting transport systems. The method evaluates the participant’s actions in order to identify decision-making patterns, strengths and weaknesses. A set of case studies has shown two typical patterns, namely: a) Support immediate rescue; b) Support lifelines recovery. Good decision-making practices regard to objective-oriented decision making, understanding of conflicting priorities and appropriate resource management. Weaknesses are associated with comprehending relationships between community/environment and projecting future scenarios. Overall, the case study’s results demonstrate the efficiency and robustness of the proposed method to analyse decision making during disasters.

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