Hazard Assessment Reports must be in writing but what should they contain and why? (VUELCO Barcelona 2013)

By Richard Bretton, Jo Gottsmann1

1. University of Bristol

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Immediately after the VUELCO-Colima 2012 volcanic unrest simulation exercise, feedback was obtained from the two Civil Protection authorities that took part – the authorities for the States of Colima and Jalisco respectively. The feedback was mixed and yet very informative. It covered the content and format of the scientific output from the expert elicitations and the perceived strengths and weakness of the exercise.
We will present not only a detailed written analysis of the feedback but also a draft pro-forma "boilerplate" hazard assessment report for discussion.
This exercise (the first of four VUELCO unrest simulations) raises a surprising variety of challenging issues, which need to be considered before the next simulation later this year. They include:
•the representative status of individual committee members;
•the allocation of roles for communication with stakeholders and the media (the "L'Aquila issue");
•the clear, accurate and full presentation of hazard scenarios, probabilities and trends;
•advice regarding:
oalert levels; and
ofuture monitoring activities and related safety issues; and
•the careful explanation of terms, assumptions and limitations.
A further interesting dilemma arose during the exercise. What should scientists (hazard assessors) do when the Civil Protection authorities, to whom they are reporting, have very different expectations in relation to the role of scientists and the content and purpose of their contribution?

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Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Richard Bretton; Jo Gottsmann (2013), "Hazard Assessment Reports must be in writing but what should they contain and why? (VUELCO Barcelona 2013)," https://vhub.org/resources/2369.

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