Tools for local critical infrastructure protection

Johnson, C.W. and McLean, K. (2008) Tools for local critical infrastructure protection. In: Third IET Systems Safety Conference, NEC, Birmingham, UK, 2008, Birmingham, UK, 20-22 October 2008, pp. 1-6.

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Previous terrorist attacks, infrastructure failures and natural disasters have revealed the problems that States face in preparing for civil contingencies. One aspect of this is that the agencies which typically coordinate the protection of critical infrastructures have a national responsibility. However, the impact of particular failures is often focused at a local or regional level. For example, Hurricane Katrina was most acutely felt in the City of New Orleans (over 350,000 people affected), with concentrations in suburban Jefferson Parish (175,000) and St. Bernard Parish (53,000) and along the Mississippi Coast (54,000). The terrorist attacks of 2001 and the UK floods of 2007 also show how multiple localised contingencies can occur at the same time. National infrastructure protection agencies must, therefore, be prepared to provide simultaneous help to multiple local agencies. It is for this reason that national civil protection bodies provide national guidance but then devolve responsibility for the implementation of contingency plans to a local level. Unfortunately, many of the regional groups who are responsible for infrastructure protection have little or no idea about the detailed inter-relationships that exist between their own local infrastructures. For example, in the UK ‘risk registers’ enumerate local hazards without considering how, for example, an attack on a gas storage facility might damage power distribution infrastructures. Nor do they consider the knock-on effects that such damage might have upon water pumping and purification systems. This paper introduces a Geographic Information System that is intended to help identify dependencies between local critical infrastructures. Although we focus on supporting interaction between local and national contingency planning within the United Kingdom, similar problems affect many other nations. The goal is to support the ‘joined up’ thinking that is often recommended in the aftermath of previous failures.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Additional Information:Isbn: 9780863419706
Keywords:Safety and security, civil resilience, infrastructures
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnson, Professor Chris
Authors: Johnson, C.W., and McLean, K.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science

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