Resilience through risk assessment : a conceptual framework for extreme weather risk assessment of the Texas port system

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2021-05-06

Authors

Bathgate, Kyle Duram

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Abstract

As extreme weather events increase in frequency and intensity, it is imperative to understand the existing resilience capabilities of critical physical infrastructure systems and identify areas for future improvement. Seaport systems are host to several interconnected and interdependent critical systems with a diverse set of freight transportation modes and supporting infrastructure systems present. Disruptions to port operations may have severe consequences for both local and regional economies. Therefore, understanding which infrastructure components are critical, vulnerable, and exposed to extreme weather hazards is paramount for identifying assets in need of retrofitting to reduce the risk of failure and increase system resilience. This study presents a conceptual framework to assess the risk of port system assets to extreme weather hazards. A review of relevant literature is presented, followed by the characterization of extreme weather events, a description of Texas port systems and inventory data, and methods and results of port stakeholder outreach activities. Finally, an initial conceptual framework is described that incorporates data and results obtained from previous chapters. The framework is intended to be straightforward for easy implementation and is targeted toward real-world application by port stakeholders. The framework contains four main components: 1) criticality assessment, 2) vulnerability assessment, 3) extreme weather exposure assessment, and 4) physical risk assessment. The risk scores may help inform port stakeholders as to the susceptibility of their infrastructure assets and may offer a tool to increase system resilience through future project selection and allocation measures.

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