Modeling Macro Scale Disaster Risk: The CATSIM Model

  • Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler
  • Reinhard MechlerEmail author
  • Georg Pflug
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 32)


Developing countries are placing increasing emphasis on improving their preparedness for and management of disaster risk. We discuss the CATSIM (CATastropheSIMulation) model developed at IIASA for assistance in such planning exercises. CATSIM represents a simple but risk-based economic framework for evaluating economic disaster impacts, and the costs and benefits of measures for reducing those impacts. CATSIM uses stochastic simulation of disaster risks in a specified region and examines the ability of the government and private sector to finance relief and recovery. The model is interactive in the sense that the user can change parameters and test different assumptions about hazards, exposure, vulnerability, general economic conditions and the government’s ability to respond. As a capacity building tool it can illustrate the tradeoffs and choices government authorities are confronted with for increasing their economic resilience to the impacts of catastrophic events. The model can be used for supporting policy planning processes for the allocation of resources between ex-ante spending on disaster risk management (such as prevention, national reserve funds, sovereign insurance) and ex-post spending on relief and reconstruction. Our paper describes key model features and mechanics, and sets the stage for model applications to the Nepal and Hungary/Tisza cases discussed in this volume.


Catastrophe modeling Economic impacts Government risk management Fiscal stability Development 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Hochrainer-Stigler
    • 1
  • Reinhard Mechler
    • 2
    Email author
  • Georg Pflug
    • 1
  1. 1.Risk Policy and Vulnerability DepartmentInternational Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria
  2. 2.Risk, Policy and Vulnerability (RPV) ProgramInternational Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)LaxenburgAustria

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