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  • A definition of cascading disasters and cascading effects: going beyond the 'toppling dominos' metaphor
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A definition of cascading disasters and cascading effects: going beyond the 'toppling dominos' metaphor

Source(s):  Global Risk Forum (GRF Davos)

GRF Davos Planet@Risk, Volume 3, Number 1, Special Issue on the 5th IDRC Davos 2014, March 2015:

This paper offers a clear definition of cascading disasters and identifies the specific features that differentiate "cascading disasters" and "cascading effects" from other forms and dynamics of disasters. These evidence-based definitions may help scholars and practitioners address the challenges posed by cascading events.

In the first part, an analysis of the current glossaries and the state of art, including a reflection on the specific features of the cascade metaphor is provided. In the second part, the specific drivers that distinguish the phenomena are addressed and tested by development of an overview of disasters that involve cascades. As a conclusion, this research argues that interdependencies, vulnerability, amplification, secondary disasters and critical infrastructure are important factors that need to be addressed in risk reduction practices in order to limit cascading during disasters.



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  • A definition of cascading disasters and cascading effects: going beyond the 'toppling dominos' metaphor
  • Publication date 2015
  • Author(s) Pescaroli, Gianluca; Alexader, David
  • Number of pages 10 p.

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