In this work, small-scale experiments of fire whirl were conducted to study the spinning fire phenomenon and to gain comprehensive understandings of fire tornadoes and the factors that affect their behavior. High speed imaging was used to track the flames at both temporal and spatial scales. This allowed us to better understand the role of the near-ground height in creating a boundary layer flow profile that, in turn contributes to formation of vortices around the fire, and consequent fire whirls. Based on the results obtained from these observations, we were able to spot the differences in the fuel burning rate of the fire itself as a function of a newly defined specific non-dimensional near-ground height. Based on our observations, there is a cutoff non-dimensional height, beyond which a normal fire can be turned into a fire whirl. Additionally, the results showed that the fire burning rate decreases by moving the fire to a height higher than the ground level. These effects were justified by the interactions between vortices formed by, the back pressure and the boundary layer velocity profile, and the vortices generated by the fire itself.
In the wake of recent disasters happening around the world such as earthquake in Italy (January, 2017); hurricanes in the United States (US) (September 2016 and September 2017); and compounding disasters in Haiti (September 2010 and September 2016); to our best knowledge, never has the world seen the need to work on preemptive rather than reactionary measures to salvage this situation than now. Tornadoes are natural hazards that mostly affect mid-western and central states in the US. Tornadoes, like all natural hazards such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and others, are very destructive and result in massive destruction to homes, cause billions of dollars in damage and claims many lives. Healthcare facilities in general are vulnerable to disasters, and therefore, the safety of patients, health workers and those who come in to seek shelter should be a priority. The focus of this study is to assess disaster management measures instituted by healthcare facilities. Thus, the sole aim of the study is to examine the vulnerabilities and the design of safe spaces in healthcare facilities in Central US. Objectives that guide the study are to primarily identify the impacts of tornadoes in hospitals and to assess the structural design or specifications of safe spaces. St. John’s Regional Medical Center, now Mercy Hospital in Joplin, is used as a case study. Preliminary results show that the lateral base shear of the proposed design to be 684.24 ton (1508.49kip) for the safe space. Findings from this work will be used to make recommendations about the design of safe spaces for health care facilities in Central US.
Natural disasters are inevitable to the biodiversity. Disasters such as flood, tsunami and tornadoes could be brutal, harsh and devastating. In Australia, flooding is a major issue experienced by different parts of the country. In such crisis, delays in evacuation could decide the life and death of the people living in those regions. Congestion management could become a mammoth task if there are no steps taken before such situations. In the past to manage congestion in such circumstances, many strategies were utilised such as converting the road shoulders to extra lanes or changing the road geometry by adding more lanes. However, expansion of road to resolving congestion problems is not considered a viable option nowadays. The authorities avoid this option due to many reasons, such as lack of financial support and land space. They tend to focus their attention on optimising the current resources they possess and use traffic signals to overcome congestion problems. Traffic Signal Management strategy was considered a viable option, to alleviate congestion problems in the City of Geelong, Victoria. Arterial road with signalised intersections considered in this paper and the traffic data required for modelling collected from VicRoads. Traffic signalling software SIDRA used to model the roads, and the information gathered from VicRoads. In this paper, various signal parameters utilised to assess and improve the corridor performance to achieve the best possible Level of Services (LOS) for the arterial road.
Perfectly suited for natural or man-made emergency and disaster management situations such as flood, earthquakes, tornadoes, or tsunami, multi-target search path planning for a team of rescue agents is known to be computationally hard, and most techniques developed so far come short to successfully estimate optimality gap. A novel mixed-integer linear programming (MIP) formulation is proposed to optimally solve the multi-target multi-agent discrete search and rescue (SAR) path planning problem. Aimed at maximizing cumulative probability of successful target detection, it captures anticipated feedback information associated with possible observation outcomes resulting from projected path execution, while modeling agent discrete actions over all possible moving directions. Problem modeling further takes advantage of network representation to encompass decision variables, expedite compact constraint specification, and lead to substantial problem-solving speed-up. The proposed MIP approach uses CPLEX optimization machinery, efficiently computing near-optimal solutions for practical size problems, while giving a robust upper bound obtained from Lagrangean integrality constraint relaxation. Should eventually a target be positively detected during plan execution, a new problem instance would simply be reformulated from the current state, and then solved over the next decision cycle. A computational experiment shows the feasibility and the value of the proposed approach.
Response to the public health-related emergencies is analysed here for a rural university in South Africa. The structure of the designated emergency plan covers all the phases of the disaster management cycle. The plan contains elements of the vulnerability model and the technocratic model of emergency management. The response structures are vertically and horizontally integrated, while the planning contains elements of scenario-based and functional planning. The available number of medical professionals at the Rhodes University, along with the medical insurance rates, makes the staff and students potentially more medically vulnerable than the South African population. The main improvements of the emergency management are required in the tornado response and the information dissemination during health emergencies. The latter should involve the increased use of social media and e-mails, following the Taylor model of communication. Infrastructure must be improved in the telecommunication sector in the face of unpredictable electricity outages.