Critical infrastructure systems provide vital resources and services to the population, commercial ventures, industrial operations, government entities, as well as to other interdependent critical infrastructure. These infrastructure systems depend upon extensive interconnections with one another; thus, the consequences resulting from one infrastructure dysfunction can propagate across infrastructure systems, generating cascading and escalating failures that could scale up a crisis. Critical infrastructure interdependencies are therefore fundamental considerations when assessing the resilience of infrastructure assets, systems, and, ultimately, the communities they serve. Expanding the understanding of how critical infrastructure systems operate in concert is essential in order to anticipate potential disruptions, manage the impacts, and develop adaptation measures for future conditions. Managing the dynamics and complexities of critical infrastructure interdependencies requires the combination of top-down and bottom-up analysis techniques in a flexible and adaptive approach.
This paper proposes a critical infrastructure interdependency analysis framework and illustrates its application in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. This framework leverages system-level and asset-level infrastructure analyses to illustrate potential cascading and escalating failures, as well as to identify and prioritise potential resilience strategies. The Puerto Rico case study also elucidates the elements and required conditions to operationalise critical infrastructure interdependency analysis in all phases of risk and emergency management, and in the broader perspective of long-term adaptation planning and sustainable development.
This paper is a contribution to the 2019 edition of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR 2019).
To cite this paper:
Lewis, L. P. and Petit, F. Critical infrastructure interdependency analysis: Operationalising resilience strategies. Contributing Paper to GAR 2019