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Emergency management faculty awarded grant to study hurricane evacuation

Ge

Ge

Klenow

NDSU researchers, along with colleagues from Purdue University and Virginia Tech University, have been selected to receive a $2.5 million National Science Foundation Hazards Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability, known as SEES, grant to understand the role of uncertainty in hurricane evacuation decision-making.

Gurt Ge, NDSU assistant professor of emergency management, is a co-principal investigator leading the social science team for the four-year multi-campus project. Daniel J. Klenow, professor of emergency management, is the senior personnel on the grant, which brought $249,943 as a sub-award to NDSU.

The interdisciplinary project will develop next-generation data-driven tools for capturing and mitigating uncertainty in hazards such as hurricanes. The integrative approaches of transportation modeling, social science and computational systems science will be developed in leveraging recent advancements in data gathering with the goal to improve the safety of evacuations. Project outcomes will assist emergency managers and agencies to anticipate transportation and sheltering needs and enhance community planning prior to and after hurricanes. The improvements will lead to lower evacuation costs, stress and loss of life.

Ge and Klenow are involved in collecting novel data through post-hurricane mail surveys, web experiments, personal interviews, and social media. They are developing new integrative scientific approaches to modeling household level behaviors and social network effects across households and other stakeholders. The project will develop new understanding of household level decision-making behaviors, how individuals and agencies process uncertainty at different instances of the hurricane onset and the consequences of the household decisions on city-scale traffic congestion, using computational sciences as a supporting discipline.

In addition, the project will model evacuation logistics for hurricanes. The project will provide a holistic approach to characterize, measure and analyze uncertainty in various aspects of hurricane evacuation modeling, social networks, household decision-making and stochastic traffic modeling.

Ge and Klenow's collaborators include project principal investigator Satish Ukkusuri, civil engineering; Seungyoon Lee, communication; and Milind Kulkarni, electrical and computer engineering, from Purdue University and Pamela Murray-Tuite, civil engineering, from Virginia Tech.

Additional details about the project can be found here.

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