Quantifying physical and psychological impacts of explosive attacks on building occupants

Steven Schuldt, Ahmet Soylemezoglu, Noah Garfinkle, Khaled El-Rayes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Personnel suffer devastating physical and psychological impacts from explosive terrorist attacks targeting buildings. Explosive attacks produced 42,972 casualties in 2017 alone and survivors of terrorist attacks experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at rates as high as 40%. Designers use three primary strategies to protect buildings and their occupants against explosive terrorist attacks: (1) maximize the distance between a building and where an explosive can be easily placed; (2) construct perimeter blast walls; and (3) employ blast-resistant building materials. This paper presents a personnel impact assessment model capable of efficiently quantifying physical and psychological impacts experienced by the occupants of buildings damaged by explosive attacks. The model provides a comprehensive analysis of significant personnel impacts, including fatalities, serious injuries, minor injuries, and occurrences of PTSD. Model performance was evaluated using case studies of single and multi-building sites, and the results illustrated the model’s expediency and flexibility. These capabilities are expected to assist building designers in their critical task of analyzing and selecting the design strategy that minimizes the security risks to site personnel from the threat of explosive terrorist attacks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDisaster Management and Human Health Risk VI
EditorsG. Passerini
PublisherWITPress
Pages191-198
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781784663537
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Disaster Management and Human Health Risk: Reducing Risk, Improving Outcomes, 2019 - Ancona, Italy
Duration: Sep 25 2019Sep 27 2019

Publication series

NameWIT Transactions on the Built Environment
Volume190
ISSN (Print)1743-3509
ISSN (Electronic)1746-4498

Conference

Conference6th International Conference on Disaster Management and Human Health Risk: Reducing Risk, Improving Outcomes, 2019
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityAncona
Period9/25/199/27/19

Keywords

  • Blast effects
  • Consequence
  • Injury
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Building and Construction
  • Transportation
  • Automotive Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Safety Research
  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering

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