New York October Surprise snow storm response to be studied
| 12.29.2006 | 06:41:24 | Views: 2541 | ID:
December 29 '06: Researchers at the University of Buffalo, New York have received a $30,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the area's response to the "October Surprise" snow storm this year which dumped more than 2 feet of snow and cut power to thousands the university's news center reported.
"The researchers will examine a critical issue in effective disaster mitigation: whether the functioning of emergency responders is impaired significantly when they are worried about their own safety and the safety of their families," the website read.Because of the extensive damage to the area's power grid, some responders were directly affected and had to work despite having no power for almost two weeks in some cases. H.R. Rao, Ph.D., professor of management science and systems at the UB School of Management said, "This natural disaster provided a unique time-limited opportunity to examine and understand the differences between the different groups of first responders. ... First responders who were personally affected by the storm will be compared with those who were not affected, as well as with the second responders such as the National Guard." Rao said he and the other researchers would be looking for the psychological effects on decision-making under the conditions which existed during the storm. "Other goals of the project include determining how and when first responders shifted from normal incident response patterns to disaster-level patterns and whether perceptions had changed among first responders after they experienced the unprecedented storm," the university's news center reported.
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