On the influence of stress on crew and passengers during evacuation
Paper i proceeding, 2005
Abandoning a ship out in the open sea will always imply great risks for everyone involved. Different types of technical systems are to be handled; problems will occur and will have to be solved and difficult decisions will have to be made. Furthermore large groups of people with little or no knowledge of the evacuation procedures are to be handled. This is often made worse because the weather is bad and everyone involved are frightened and under stress. A few of the constituent parts which have an effect on the probability to achieve a successful evacuation are stress, individual and group reactions and the demands the crew and passengers have to face up to. Stress is an involuntary reaction to a threat or to a situation which is apprehended by the individual as threatening. The consequences of stress are both physical and psychological. Stress can to a certain level sharpen our senses and abilities but more often stress dramatically decreases our ability to function in demanding and threatening situations such as an evacuation. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to test and evaluate evacuation equipment during realistic circumstances. An alternative to this is to model the process. To be able to model the process of evacuation human behaviour and the effect of stress need to be quantified in order to establish input values to this model.