The objective of the ESRA Technical Committee on Safety from Natural Hazards is to review the ways of European countries to deal with the risk of natural hazards affecting industrial systems and infrastructures. It will investigate stochastic and probabilistic state-of-the-art approaches and identify emerging ideas and solutions which hold promise for practical implementation to environmental sciences and engineering, including interactions of earth and atmospheric environments with people and ecosystems. In particular the investigation and review of the performance of short- and long term probabilistic forecasting models of hydro-geological hazards (river-and sea floods, storms, extreme precipitation, earthquakes, etc), taking into account the availability of mapping and management strategies, improved disaster preparedness and mitigation will be studied. Focus will be made on uncertainty - and risk assessment of short-term and long-term forecast models, the effectiveness of emergency management, the use of big data and the role of citizen response. We also focus on methods to train and validate response strategies top cope with natural hazards related to a acceptable level of risk. The committee furthermore investigates the need for observations of basic marine, terrestrial and atmospheric parameters necessary for global change research and management strategies, and of extreme events analysis.
The committee will promote ways and means for addressing identified gaps and collaborate with other national and European Networks in areas of safety from natural hazards. It promotes harmonization and standardization of techniques, methods and management systems where disparate practices exist between countries or different hazards.
The committee members are involved in the organization of Natural Hazards sessions on ESREL conferences, in the participation as author, reviewer of papers, and will be active in the attraction of new participants.
Pieter van Gelder