All Risk Integrated System TOwards Trans-boundary hoListic Early-warning
ARISTOTLE will deliver world leading multi-hazard capability to the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC). ARISTOTLE has been designed to offer a flexible and scalable system that can provide new hazard-related services to the ERCC and to create a pool of experts in the field of Meteorology and Geophysics of Europe that can support the ERCC with regard to situation assessments in crisis situations.
The new services system is set up in a way that it builds up on and adds value to existing information systems and sources, and that it fully respects national and regional responsibilities. As required, a multi-hazard scientific partnership and its governance will be created to ensure the holistic understanding of crisis management in natural disasters with interrelated consequences and cascade & linked effects, which may lead to an unforeseen chain of events. Within ARISTOTLE, a collaborative network of scientific and operational experts will be established across Europe to exploit the available scientific and technological expertise and to assure mutual learning and improved coordination based on a multi-hazard approach, including the definition and implementation of the required prevention countermeasures, enhancing the information provided to the ERCC and, through the governance structure, ensuring a collaborative dialogue with the national mandated civil protection authorities.
“When a disaster strikes, every minute counts. An immediate coordinated and pre-planned response saves lives.” – a key message presented in the ECHO factsheet by the ERCC. This agrees exactly with the main goal of the ARISTOTLE proposal.
ARISTOTLE is a pilot project that aims at providing accurate and authoritative information on natural disaster to ERCC through three cornerstones:
- designing a flexible multi-hazard scalable early-warning service
- comprehensive reporting of the available information gathered by the 24/7 operational centers
- providing expert analysis by an expert panel readily available upon request through e.g. teleconferencing.
To achieve these aims, the pilot project requires the establishment of a partnership among the participants and of a network of scientific and operational centres run by a governance body that will evaluate and agree on the adoption of common international standards for the delivery of monitoring reports. Last, but not least, the project will provide adequate training to ensure preparedness and to achieve common understanding on the services developed and their reporting activities. The developed service shall also be scalable to include additional hazards and 24/7 operational centers. Indeed, the developed system benefits largely of the existing and functioning infrastructures (e.g., seismic networks, operational centres) funded at national level by the local governments, see figure.
Prompt response to natural disasters through evaluation of the area, infrastructures and the population affected is of extreme importance to civil protections in order to draw proper contingency planning. Early Warning Systems therefore play a crucial role, linking – for some hazards – the pre-disaster phase to the response phase, whereas, for others where it is impossible to make any forecast, provide the disaster first assessment to the response. In this context, integration and collaboration between the European Emergency Response Capacity (EERC) and the relevant scientific and operational centres in the Member States, can be fundamental for operating in a coordinated and coherent way when trans-boundary natural disasters occur (e.g., earthquakes at frontier borders, tsunamis in the Mediterranean basin, severe or extreme weather phenomena causing floods, storm surges or forest fires, …). Being aware of the importance of such an integrated approach, the European Commission has issued a tender for a Pilot project in the area of Early Warning System for natural disasters. The aim of the tender is to establish a system to improve the flow of information towards the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) of the Commission. The ERCC aims at becoming a reference Centre in its field.