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Cascading Infrastructure Failures: Avoidance and Response
  • George H Baker, James Madison University
  • Cheryl J Elliott, James Madison University

No critical infrastructure is self-sufficient. The complexity inherent in the interdependent nature of infrastructure systems complicates planning and preparedness for system failures. Recent wide-scale disruption of infrastructure on the Gulf Coast due to weather, and in the Northeast due to electric power network failures, dramatically illustrate the problems associated with mitigating cascading effects and responding to cascading infrastructure failures once they have occurred.

The major challenge associated with preparedness for cascading failures is that they transcend system, corporate, and political boundaries and necessitate coordination among multiple, disparate experts and authorities. This symposium brought together concerned communities including government and industry technical and policy principals with experience in cascading infrastructure failures. The forum was designed to illuminate best practices for avoiding and responding to cascading failure contingencies created by natural, accidental, or malicious infrastructure debilitation.

  • Critical Infrastructure Assurance,
  • Education,
  • Infrastructure Interdependency,
  • community resiliency,
  • infrastructure modeling,
  • emergency response,
  • high consequence events,
  • natural disasters
Publication Date
Spring 2008
Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance, James Madison University
Citation Information
George H Baker and Cheryl J Elliott. Cascading Infrastructure Failures: Avoidance and Response. Harrisonburg, Va(2008)
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