Disruption of emergency response to vulnerable populations during floods
journal contributionposted on 2020-05-15, 07:57 authored by Dapeng YuDapeng Yu, Jie Yin, Robert WilbyRobert Wilby, Stuart N. Lane, Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts, Ning Lin, Min Liu, Hongyong Yuan, Jianguo Chen, Christel Prudhomme, Mingfu Guan, Avinoam Baruch, Charlie W. D. Johnson, Xi Tang, Lizhong Yu, Shiyuan Xu
Emergency responders must reach urgent cases within mandatory timeframes, regardless of weather conditions. However, flooding of transport networks can add critical minutes to travel times between dispatch and arrival. Here, we explicitly model the spatial coverage of all Ambulance Service and Fire and Rescue Service stations in England during flooding of varying severity under compliant response times. We show that even low-magnitude floods can lead to a reduction in national-level compliance with mandatory response times and this reduction can be even more dramatic in some urban agglomerations, making the effectiveness of the emergency response particularly sensitive to the expected impacts of future increases in extreme rainfall and flood risk. Underpinning this sensitivity are policies leading to the centralization of the Ambulance Service and the decentralization of the Fire and Rescue Service. The results provide opportunities to identify hotspots of vulnerability (such as care homes, sheltered accommodation, nurseries and schools) for optimizing the distribution of response stations and developing contingency plans for stranded sites.
Unlocking the potential of surface water flood nowcasting for emergency services in a changing climate : NE/S017186/1
The work was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council of the UK (grant numbers NE/R009600/1, NE/N013050/1 and NE/S017186/1); by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant number 2017YFE0100700); by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant number 41871164); and by the National Science Foundation of the United States (grant number EAR-1520683).
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Geography and Environment
Published inNature Sustainability
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)
Rights holder© The Authors
Publisher statementThis paper was accepted for publication in the journal Nature Sustainability and the definitive published version is available at https://www.nature.com/articles/s41893-020-0516-7.