Disaster Management 2019

6th International Conference on Disaster Management and Human Health Risk: Reducing Risk, Improving Outcomes


25 – 27 September 2019
Ancona, Italy


Disaster Management 2019

6th International Conference on Disaster Management and Human Health Risk: Reducing Risk, Improving Outcomes took place in Ancona Italy from 25 – 27 September 2019. The Conference was organised by the Wessex Institute, UK, and the Marche Polytechnic University, represented by Professor Giorgio Passerini.

The conference, which started in The New Forest UK, in 2009, is well-established and always attracts a wide international spread of delegates. This series of conferences originated with the need for academia and practitioners to exchange knowledge and experience on the way to handle the increasing risk of natural and human-made disasters. Recent major earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, floods and other natural phenomena have resulted in huge losses in terms of human life and property destruction. A new range of human-made disasters have afflicted humanity in modern times; terrorist activities have been added to more classical disasters such as those due to the failure of industrial installations, for instance. It is important to understand the nature of these global risks to be able to develop strategies to prepare for these events, and plan effective responses in terms of disaster management and the associated human health impacts.

Opening of the Conference

The conference was opened by Giorgio Passerini who welcomed the delegates to the conference, before paying tribute to the founder of the Wessex Institute, the late Prof Carlos A Brebbia.

Professor Passerini then mentioned that the main object of WIT is the dissemination of knowledge, with particular emphasis on science and engineering. Another way in which this is achieved is by the publication of papers from conferences and Journals, through its publishing arm, WIT Press. Professor Passerini then stressed that WIT publications are now available on line free of charge, all of them indexed on main science-indexing sites.

Invited Presentations

There were a series of invited lectures on advanced topics of research and applications, as follows:

  • “Case study: 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting—lessons learned and best practices” by Irene Navis of Navis Strategic Services LLC, USA.
  • “Harvey unstrapped: experiencing adaptive tensions on the edge of chaos” by Professor Magdalena Denham, Sam Houston State University, USA.
  • “Information systems supporting disaster management of droughts” by Professor Roman Brandtweiner, Vienna University of Economics & Business, Austria.
  • “The Risk Management Index (RMI) for the Districts of Mexico City, Mexico” by Dr David Novelo-Casanova, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico.
  • “Tropical cyclones in the South West Pacific: a scrutiny of the past - insights for the future,” as part of a special session chaired by Dr Vivienne Saverimuttu, of Western Sydney University, Australia
  • “Microbial fuel cell: An energy harvesting technique for environmental” by Professor Vincenzo Ferrara, University of Rome, La Sapienza, Italy

Conference Sessions

The papers presented during the conference were classified under the following headings:

  • Flooding and other natural disasters
  • Disaster analysis
  • Disaster response
  • Disaster monitoring and mitigation
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Health risk and disaster psychology
  • Multi-hazard risk assessment
  • Natural hazard management
  • Remediation
  • Risk communication
  • Risk mitigation
  • Terrorism and man-made disasters
  • Special Session on Learning from Disasters chaired by V. Saverimuttu, University of Western Sydney, Australia

There were numerous occasions for holding informal discussions during the coffee breaks and the complimentary lunches provided.

Conference Publication

Papers presented at this conference will appear in Vol. 190 of the WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1743-3509). Papers presented at the meeting will be available Open Access in the eLibrary of the Wessex Institute (https://www.witpress.com/elibrary) from where they can be freely downloaded by any interested parties.

A few papers were selected for publication in the International Journal of Safety and Security Engineering. This Journal covers areas such as crisis management; security engineering; natural disasters and emergencies; terrorism; IT security; man-made hazards; risk management; control; protection and mitigation issues.

ISAC Dinner

The meeting of the International Scientific Advisory Committee (ISAC) of the Conference took place over dinner at the Hotel Internationale. At the meeting, members of the committee were encouraged to inform WIT of any suggestions for new topics to the conference and also discussed the evolution of the conference.

Conference Dinner

The Conference dinner took place at Restaurant Giacchetti, located on the beach in Portonovo, close to the conference venue, where the participants could enjoy local dishes, including an exceptional range of fresh fish and shellfish caught locally and cooked freshly. The evening started with an aperitif which was particularly appreciated by the participants.

Closing of the Conference

The conference was closed by Professor Giorgio Passerini, who thanked the delegates for attending and hoped that they would consider attending the next conference in the series which is due to be reconvened in 2021.

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