Enhancing preparations and response for natural disasters and national emergencies

Enhancing preparations and response for natural disasters and national emergencies
Operations Research and Systems Analysis

Overview

Development of a real-time decision support system for proactive response, including recourse planning, under uncertain active cascading emergencies

Hurricanes, tornados, forest fires, tsunamis and major storms all have the potential to create devastation and loss of life. When a disaster or emergency (D&E) follows the projected path our emergency responders are prepared and able to coordinate a response plan with a generally good outcome.

As we have seen in recent natural disasters, such as significant hurricanes in the southeastern U.S., the course of the storm can change very quickly. The ability to make real-time decisions and change response plans as events unfold is critical to restoring vital transportation and electrical services rapidly in times of disaster.

Solution

Working with DHS Department of Energy Laboratories and local emergency managers to review lessons learned from past D&E events, CAOE is developing an understanding of how emergency managers and responders currently react to cascading disasters. Based on this understanding, the project team is developing a real-time decision system (RTDS) that is able to make recommendations on emergency command-and-control for public safety and security and provide advice on actions for repair and recovery of transportation, electrical power and diesel-fuel supply chains. The key to this method is developing a system that is based on real-time feedbacks instead of predetermined scenarios. The results of this approach will result in a response that decreases property loss and saves more lives during the worst natural disasters and emergencies.

Impact

Enhancing preparations and response for natural disasters and national emergencies

Given the volatile and sudden nature of natural disasters and national emergencies, planning for the best outcomes has always been challenging. The CAOE is developing a RTDS for emergency command-and-control and repair and recovery of vital transportation, electrical power and diesel fuel supply chains.

Research Leadership Team

Principal Investigator: Pitu Mirchandani, Arizona State University
Co-PI: David Morton, Northwestern University
Co-PI: Lauren Davis, North Carolina A&T State University