📢 [NESS2022 event] The human variable in societal resilience to disasters: the perspective of CORE EU-funded Project project 📢

📢 [NESS2022 event] The human variable in societal resilience to disasters: the perspective of CORE EU-funded Project project 📢

📅 Last 23-25 October, our partner ISSNOVA (Gabriella Duca) presented CORE EU-funded Project perspective - addressing the "human variable in societal resilience to disasters" - in the 2022 Nordic Ergonomics and Human Factors Society (NES) Annual Conference in Uppsala (Sweden).

 

📑 ABSTRACT 📑

 

Background and purpose

A relevant component of complexity in disaster preparedness and response relies on the wide diversity in levels of vulnerability, risk awareness, safety culture, social and science trust among interested populations either at regional or at European scale. A lesson learned by the recent COVID 19 crisis is that risk is systemic, and crises are cascading; even if everyone can be affected by a crisis, not everyone is equally impacted: elderly, people with disabilities, poorly educated and low income are most vulnerable categories.

The European research project CORE (sCience& human factOr for Resilient sociEty) is working on a crisis modelling framework able to describe disaster scenarios and dynamics according to human, social and societal variables and organizational aspects under cascading effects. CORE project aims at evaluating and reviewing inherent and structural vulnerabilities, as well as behaviours and responses to crises in order to propose new collaborative approaches and strategies for community awareness, leadership, and crisis readiness and management.

 

Methodology

In order to understand the role of human variability in vulnerability and social resiliency, CORE project relies on two specific building blocks: the “Safety Culture in European population” and the “Human vulnerability taxonomy”.

CORE project is transferring current safety culture concepts and practices from safety critical industries to the field of DRR, developing appropriate indicators to measure and explain the shaping factors and aspects of the safety culture among European population with respect to natural and man-made risks.

Case studies of past disasters provide a valuable framework for assessing human behaviour and disasters’ impact in all its diverse forms, including psychological, sociological and socio-economic perspectives. CORE is considering scenarios relating to the following past events: wildland fire, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, industrial accidents, flash floods, tsunami and COVID-19 pandemics in several countries. Analysis of pitfalls involving vulnerable categories is under development, and the risk perception of those categories and their level of preparedness will be investigated.

 

Results

CORE is building the methodological framework to understand risks awareness in Europe in relation to diversity at individual and societal levels, among EU regions and outside EU as well as among social and institutional groups at regional or local level. This will result in novel and specific Safety Culture and vulnerability indicators for the six project disaster scenarios, targeting separately: citizens and civil society associations, public officers, first responders, governmental agencies, other indirect institutional actors in disaster scenarios. Furthermore, a framework for mapping vulnerable social groups will be delivered, to support involved institutions and rescuers when a crisis scenario occurs.

 

Conclusions

Scientific advances under development in CORE will finally result in the definition of a set of indicators to assess preparedness, reaction, overcoming and learning of local actions (in terms of plans and actual operations), serving as solid basis for further recommendations/advises to policy making, decision making, resources allocation within EU countries and between countries.

 

Acknowledgement:  This paper presents contents produced within CORE project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101021746.

 

Keywords. Disaster Resilient Society, Human Variability, Safety Culture, Vulnerability

 

 🔗 With Giovanni Gugg, Raffaella Russo (Università degli Studi di Salerno), Stefano Zanut (Ministero dell'Interno - Corpo Nazionale dei Vigili del Fuoco), Consuelo Agnesi, SOFIA KARMA.

 

💡 The NES 2022 Conference invited us to explore and discuss the role of ergonomics and HF/E professionals in an increasingly complex and unpredictable world. It was arranged by the Swedish Ergonomics and Human factors Society (EHSS) together with Uppsala University and endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA).