A holistic framework to evaluate water availability for post-earthquake firefighting

Negar Elhami Khorasani, Maxwell Coar, Amir Sarreshtehdari, Maria Garlock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Earthquake is a potential hazard for communities in seismically active regions, and fire following earthquake, a cascading multi-hazard event, can cause major social and economic losses. A number of fire ignitions across a community could be expected following an earthquake; however, the key is to prevent fire from spreading and to confine the fire to the location of origin. Previous historical events show that it is often the lack of water pressure and flow that prevents firefighters from suppressing fires. Dependency of water and electric networks is one of the factors that could affect availability of water, while pump stations, wells, and water treatment plants require power to operate. This chapter starts with an overview of existing tools and models on fire following earthquake and identifies the knowledge gap, in properly modeling the water availability for firefighting purposes, in existing tools. The chapter describes a methodology, based on network analysis, to quantify water flow and pressure following an earthquake while including the dependency of components to power. It is shown that ignoring explicit dependence of the electric network on the water network may provide inaccurate and unconservative predictions of available water pressure at fire hydrants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781351392778
ISBN (Print)9781138306875
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • General Social Sciences


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