DHS partners with tech labs to simulate disasters
| 08.07.2007 | 09:00:17 | Views: 3836 | ID:
August 7 '07: Using a computer-generated model of the United States, tech experts and the Department of Homeland Security are studying the ways in which a potential terrorist attack, natural disaster or infrastructure collapse might affect the nation's cities and communities, Bloomberg reported. The simulation programs are being run through a partnership with the Sandia National Laboratories, DHS and Los Alamos Laboratory.
According to Bloomberg, the simulation programs help scientists to "imagine a whole series of events and one by one run the tests," Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism chief said. During these tests, federal officials are "using graphic modeling to predict a disaster's human and economic toll, expose weak spots in defenses and train policy makers in improving their crisis responses."So far, researchers have compiled pandemic flu vector simulations; the fallout from a earthquake along the Madrid Fault in the Midwest; and financial institutions' weaknesses. "The scientists who create them say that the computerized simulations can be useful tools for state and local disaster officials, with limitations. For instance, the labs came close to predicting that 2.35 million Gulf Coast residents would lose power in 2005 because of Hurricane Katrina, yet could do little to shore up the region's defenses." Bloomberg continued, "Since Katrina, the labs have created programs that can show within hours a disaster's potential impact on a region's economy, power and phone systems - conclusions that used to take days to reach."
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