Emergency response in cascading scenarios triggered by natural events

Federica Ricci, Ming Yang, Genserik Reniers, Valerio Cozzani*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Emergency response is a procedural safety barrier of paramount importance for the mitigation of fire scenarios and the prevention of escalation. However, in Natech scenarios, emergency response may be affected by the natural event impacting the site. Indeed, when contrasting Natech accidents, emergency responders have to face both the natural event and the cascading technological scenario. Despite the criticality of the issue, limited attention was devoted to date to the analysis of emergency response in cascading sequences triggered by natural events. The present study provides a novel and technically sound methodology to assess the performance of emergency response and the required intervention time in Natech scenarios. An expert survey combined with a Bayesian Network model was used to assess the performance of the emergency response. The routing and setup phases were identified as those mostly affected by natural events. Monte Carlo simulations were used to obtain baseline data and specific probability distributions for the time required to carry out the emergency response considering the factors that may hinder the response during natural events. In Natech accidents, the time for effective mitigation resulted higher of at least a factor 2 with respect to that expected in the case of conventional accidents. The methodology developed may be used to support the improvement of the emergency management of Natech scenarios, allowing for a detailed definition of site-specific emergency response plans. Moreover, the results may be used to provide a more accurate assessment of the fire-driven escalation probability in Natech events.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109820
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • Cascading events, Natech, Quantitative risk assessment, Bayesian Network, Monte Carlo simulation
  • Emergency response


Dive into the research topics of 'Emergency response in cascading scenarios triggered by natural events'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this