Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Number of Pages



Hazardous materials transport is a significant economic activity. Routing is one of the key issues in hazardous materials transport. Cost and risk are primary factors influencing routing. Emergency preparedness is an issue that is common to all of these. Traditionally, risks and emergency preparedness have been addressed as two interdependent issues, but the interactions between them have not been addressed explicitly. This often results in risk estimates that ignore the effect of emergency preparedness; This research presents a framework for quantifying effects of emergency preparedness on risk of hazardous materials transportation. Risk estimates are typically based on the probability of accident, probability of a release given an accident, and consequence. An emergency response factor, {dollar}\beta{dollar}, is introduced to obtain a modified estimate of risk. The modified risk is termed effective risk and considers emergency preparedness. Effective risk is defined as a product of {dollar}\beta{dollar} and initial risk derived using the probabilistic risk methodology. Emergency preparedness is measured in terms of response times and capabilities of initial responders. Initial responders were assumed to be fire units. Travel time is used to represent response times, which were evaluated using a Geographic Information System (GIS) program. Capabilities include personnel availability, personnel training, personal protective equipment, and general control equipment. These were evaluated using a rating scheme. Three indices were introduced to represent response times and capabilities. These are the travel time index, response unit index, and response capability index. These indices were used to estimate emergency response factor; A case study of three major routes I-15, US-95, and US-93 in Clark County, Nevada is presented to illustrate the emergency preparedness based risk assessment methodology. The study shows that the effective risk tends to decrease with emergency preparedness and increase with the lack of it. In metropolitan areas where emergency responders are immediately available, effective risks are lower than the initial risk estimates. For the three routes analyzed, the critical segments identified in the initial risk analysis remained critical, despite the inclusion of emergency preparedness. These were the segments with either high accident rates or population density, or a combination of both. Route segments, with no or relatively poor emergency response capability, which were not initially identified to be high risk have been highlighted in the effective risk estimates. These segments were shown to be as important as those which were identified to be critical. Emergency response is significant in areas where the responders are not available within the 10-minute travel time; Effective risk estimates could support decision and policy making, resource management, developing hazardous materials routing criteria, identifying critical links and areas, addressing questions of equity and risk distribution, and re-evaluating "disjoint" techniques that are currently being used.


Emergency; Framework; Hazardous; Materials; Modeling; Responses; Risk; Transportation

Controlled Subject

Transportation; Civil engineering; City planning

File Format


File Size

4341.76 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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