Sandia's N-ABLE™

This agent-based tool models complex economic & critical infrastructure impacts on local & international scales.

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Sandia has conducted well over 100 detailed economic analyses of manmade and natural disasters. Using best-of-class economic models, Sandia has substantial experience developing infrastructure investment strategies to help jurisdictions maximize their potential for an economically competitive and resilient future.

A city's resilience is often measured by the ability of its economy to recover from disasters and sustain future populations.

To understand its near-term economic resilience, a city needs accurate estimates of the impacts from manmade and natural disasters. Cities must minimize these economic losses to businesses and households, including minimizing the time that businesses cannot operate and employees cannot work. Often these economic impacts are caused by losses of physical infrastructure, e.g., transportation, electric power, and communications.

Economic impact studies help cities understand which regions and sectors of their local economy are most vulnerable to disasters, and what can be done to mitigate, if not prevent, these impacts.

By their very nature, cities are economically interdependent with surrounding regional, national, and international economies. Cities' economic resilience analyses must carefully consider these interdependencies and inform city planners of ways to reduce the risk of not meeting their near-term and long-term resilience goals.

When hit by a hurricane, flood, or other natural disaster, a city's economic recovery is highly dependent on the recovery of its critical infrastructure systems, such as electric power, transportation, and telecommunications. Given the costs of infrastructure preparedness and recovery, cities need to determine the acceptable duration and level of economic disruption, and ensure that the infrastructure systems can support these requirements.

Economic recovery is also dependent on conditions of homes and families, which if heavily impacted, could significantly delay restarting the local economy. Without proper planning, these delays could mean additional economic consequences to the neediest segments of the population.

Studying the potential economic consequences of disruptive events allows a city to rigorously assess its own economic weaknesses, and threats to rapid recovery. Economic assessments at the city, regional, and even state level allow planners to identify which sectors and regions are most vulnerable to economic loss, where infrastructure interdependencies are the strongest (such as key transportation routes), and where the largest opportunities exist to reduce risks, minimize economic impacts, and improve city economic resilience. Since infrastructure and economic risks are quantified in dollars, cities can use benefit-cost analysis to gain support for their economic resilience plans.

Sandia has extensive experience analyzing the economic impacts of manmade and natural disasters, particularly those due to the loss of such critical infrastructure systems as transportation, electric power, and communications. Examples include:

Near-term economic-impact analysis: Sandia has conducted well over 100 detailed economic analyses of manmade and natural disasters, including hurricanes, terrorist attacks, pandemics, oil spills, pipeline disruptions, wild fires, floods, and drought.

Table-top exercises: In support of numerous disaster-planning exercises, Sandia has proprietary tools to estimate the local and regional supply chain, and the macroeconomic impacts of different scenarios for disruptive events. These analyses have helped localities determine their best prevention and mitigation strategies. Sandia also has substantial experience designing and running disaster-planning exercises that include assessing the feasibility and practicality of economic-impact mitigation strategies.

Long-term economic growth/investment analysis: Whether due to forecasted future population levels or lessons learned from the near-term analysis of economic vulnerabilities, cities must make plans and investments now that ensure long-term economic resilience. Using best-of-class economic models, Sandia has substantial experience developing infrastructure-investment strategies that help a city ensure its economy has minimized long-term economic risks and maximized potential for an economically competitive and resilient future.