The Life Safety Model (LSM) is an agent-based model that represents people’s interactions with a flood and provides estimates of the number of people that are likely to be injured or killed as a result of a flood event, as well as the time that is required for them to evacuate the area at risk.
How does the LSM work?
There are a number of simple, empirically based equations which allow simple estimates of the risk to people from floods to be made. Although these equations may be suitable for simple risk screening exercises, they do not provide the ability to model each individual person, how they interact with the floodwater and the effects of measures such as improvement in flood warnings, as well as evacuations routes.
The Life Safety Model (LSM) provides the ability to simulate each person, building and vehicle in a floodplain and their interaction with the flood wave based on fundamental physical equations. The LSM comprises an “agent-based” simulator which can assess the “fate” of individual people. The LSM uses outputs from commercially available two dimensional hydrodynamic models (e.g. Telemac-2D, TuFlow, MIKE 21) and couples them in a Geographic Information System (GIS) environment with a simulator that models their interaction with the floodwater. This interaction is based on mathematical models which include representations of people’s and vehicles’ stability and the strength of buildings in floodwater.
How can the LSM assist you?
The LSM simulates people’s responses to a flood event or dam break. It can be used to contribute to risk assessments and emergency plans by:
Providing credible estimates of loss of life using transparent auditable methods
Allowing estimates of evacuation times to be made both by people on foot, in vehicles, or a combination of these
Assessing the effects of improving evacuation routes and flood warnings on the risk to people