A new web-based system developed by the European Commissions Joint Research Centre (JRC) assesses the risk of and maps the potential impact of natural hazards on industrial installations. RAPID-N allows estimating the risk of hazardous-material releases following natural disasters (known as Natech risk). It also identifies Natech-prone areas to support land-use planning, emergency-response planning, damage estimation and early warning. Such risks are expected to increase in the future due to growing industrialisation, more natural hazards due to climate change, in combination with the vulnerability of an ever more interconnected society. However, there is a lack of methodologies for the assessment of Natech risk. RAPID-N was developed in response to calls by governments for a decision-support tool for Natech risk management. Calculating natural-hazard parameters at the location of the installation and using fragility curves to determine probabilities of structural damage at process and storage facilities, RAPID-N estimates the overall risk of damage and associated consequences. The results are presented as risk summary reports and interactive risk maps. RAPID-N can be applied at different stages of the Natech risk-management process. For prevention and preparedness it assesses the potential consequences of different scenarios to develop Natech risk maps for land-use and emergency planning. In the response phase, the tool can be used to rapidly locate facilities where Natech accidents may have occurred based on up-to-date natural-hazard information, so that first responders and the population in the vicinity of the facilities can receive timely warnings. The RAPID-N system is in principle applicable to any kind of natural hazard. It is currently implemented for earthquake impact on industrial facilities. Work is underway to extend the system to analyse also other hazards, such as floods and other installations, such as pipelines.
EC Joint Research Centre, 20 November 2014 ;http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/jrc/index.cfm ;