Web-based HURREVAC
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Web-based HURREVAC


[SOUND OF CRASHING WAVES] PENNEY: SO WE ARE AT THE FEMA
REGION 3, REGIONAL OFFICE IN PHILADELPHIA AT THE INTERAGENCY COORDINATING
COMMITTEE ON HURRICANES ANNUAL MEETING, WHERE WE’RE GOING TO BE SHOWING THE MEETING PARTICIPANTS THE NEW WEB-BASED VERSION OF THE
HURREVAC DECISION SUPPORT PLATFORM. WILSON: WEB-ENABLED HURREVAC. IT’S A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT
BETWEEN DHS SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, FEMA, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, THE NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER AND MIT LINCOLN LABORATORY. THE GOAL IS TO PROVIDE THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY WITH NEXT-GENERATION HURRICANE
EVACUATION PLANNING TOOLS AND CAPABILITIES. PENNEY: HURREVAC IS A DECISION-SUPPORT
PLATFORM FOR GOVERNMENT EMERGENCY MANAGERS, THAT HELPS THEM MAKE DECISIONS ON EVACUATIONS AND
PROTECTIVE ACTIONS WHEN HURRICANES ARE THREATENING. HALLOWELL: THEY KNOW A STORM’S COMING;
HOW LONG DO THEY HAVE TO ACTUALLY EVACUATE, TO TELL PEOPLE THEY NEED TO GET OUT. HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR THOSE PEOPLE TO LEAVE THE ZONE. QUINN: WEB-ENABLED HURREVAC PROVIDES EMERGENCY MANAGERS WITH THE BEST TOOLS, PRODUCTS AND INFORMATION THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE DECISIONS TO GET THE
PUBLIC TO SAFETY DURING A HURRICANE THREAT. HALLOWELL: SO IN TERMS OF WEATHER
INFORMATION ABOUT THE HURRICANE AND ABOUT STORM SURGE THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN DURING THE HURRICANE, ALL OF THAT INFORMATION PRIMARILY
COMES FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER. IT ALSO GATHERS INFORMATION
GENERALLY FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE, WHICH GIVES YOU THINGS LIKE SATELLITE AND RADAR INFORMATION. FROM USGS, IT PROVIDES TIDE GAUGE AND RIVER GAUGE DATA, SO THERE’S QUITE A BREADTH OF INFORMATION, INCLUDING ALL THE WAY TO THINGS LIKE WHAT
ROADWAYS ARE AVAILABLE FOR EVACUATION ROUTES, WHAT ARE THE MOBILE HOME PARKS IN THE AREA. SO, SO SORT OF IMPACT ASSESSMENT CAN START TO HAPPEN. [THUNDEROUS SOUND OF WIND AND WATER] PENNEY: WHAT HURREVAC ALLOWS THEM TO DO IS NOT
ONLY SEE ALL THIS INFORMATION IN ONE LOCATION, BUT IT ALSO PULLS IN EVACUATION CLEARANCE
TIMES FROM HURRICANE EVACUATION STUDIES, TO PROVIDE SOME GUIDANCE ON THE TIME
WHEN EVACUATIONS OR OTHER PROTECTIVE ACTIONS MAY NEED TO START AND WHEN DECISIONS ON
TAKING THOSE ACTIONS MAY NEED TO OCCUR. REDSTONE: THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
THE LEGACY HURREVAC AND WEB-BASED HURREVAC THAT I FIND USEFUL IS HOW INTUITIVE
THE WEB-BASED HURREVAC PROGRAM IS. IT MAKES IT MUCH SMOOTHER TO TRACK A
HURRICANE FOR, AS FORWARD OR BACKWARDS. BOESCH: IT REMOVES THE REQUIREMENT TO
HAVE A CERTAIN TYPE OF OPERATING SYSTEM. IT’S GOING TO BE CAPABLE ON ALL
DIFFERENT TYPES OF WEB PLATFORMS, EVERYTHING FROM A FULL DESKTOP COMPUTER DOWN TO AN IPHONE. WEBSTER: ONE IMPROVEMENT THAT WE
WANTED TO BE SEEN THAT WE ARE SEEING WITH THE WEB-BASED HURREVAC IS THE MOBILE CAPABILITY, WHICH IS REALLY APPLICABLE TO
EMERGENCY MANAGERS WHO ARE OUT IN THE FIELD OR WHO ARE AROUND THE OFFICE AND AWAY FROM A DESKTOP COMPUTER. WE CAN THEN TAKE THE WEB-BASED HURREVAC
AROUND THE OFFICE AND PROVIDE BRIEFINGS FOR SENIOR LEADERSHIP OR FOR THE
GOVERNOR AND IT’S ALL RIGHT THERE IN ONE SPOT. WE DON’T HAVE TO CLICK THROUGH
TABS OF THE WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER AND THE HURRICANE CENTER AND THE RIVER FORECAST CENTER; WE CAN SHOW THEM ALL IN ONE GRAPHIC,
WHAT IT IS THAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. [MUSIC] HALLOWELL: THERE’S TRAINING BUILT INTO THE
SYSTEM, SO IT’S EMBEDDED INTO THE SYSTEM, WHERE AT ANY TIME THEY CAN
LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT THE SYSTEM OR THEY CAN LEARN SOMETHING NEW ABOUT
HURRICANES AND THEY CAN TEST THEMSELVES ON THAT. QUINN: STUDENTS CAN DO TRAINING AT THEIR CONVENIENCE. THEY CAN DO IT WHEN IT’S MOST IMPORTANT TO GET IT. MAYBE THEY WANT A REFRESHER IN THE
BEGINNING OF THE HURRICANE SEASON. THEY DON’T HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE
TRAINERS ARE AVAILABLE TO COME TO THEM. BOESCH: WITH A DYNAMIC KIND OF GAMING-BASED TRAINING PLATFORM, I THINK IT IMMERSES YOU MUCH MORE
INTO THE OVERALL TRAINING ENVIRONMENT AS YOU GO FROM LOOKING AT A PRODUCT TO MAKING A DECISION. HALLOWELL: WE CAN ACTUALLY GENERATE
SIMULATIONS OF HURRICANES TO DO THE TRAINING. SO YOU’LL BE TRAINED ON A PARTICULAR MODULE AND THEN YOU CAN RUN THROUGH A MODULE WITH A SAMPLE CASE. AND BECAUSE WE CAN USE SIMULATIONS
AND CREATE DIFFERENT ONES EACH TIME, THEY GET A DIFFERENT SIMULATION EACH TIME THEY PLAY THE GAME. PENNEY: A LOT OF TIMES PEOPLE, WHEN THEY’RE DOING AN EXERCISE, THEY GENERALLY HAVE AN IDEA OF
WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH THE HURRICANE. THEY FIGURE THEY’RE, THEY’RE THERE FOR AN EXERCISE; THE HURRICANE’S PROBABLY GOING TO BE ONE
THAT IMPACTS THEM AND REQUIRES A LOT OF ACTIONS. BUT IN THIS CASE, THEY’RE GOING TO BE SORT OF
PLAYING AGAINST A HURRICANE THEY’VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. AND SO THROUGH THIS DECISION-MAKING SIMULATION, THEY’RE GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE SOME DIFFICULT
DECISIONS ABOUT EVACUATION AND PROTECTIVE ACTIONS, WITHOUT ACTUALLY KNOWING IF THE
HURRICANE IS GOING TO IMPACT THEM. HALLOWELL: WHEN WE BEGAN THE
PROCESS OF LOOKING AT THE TECHNOLOGY, WE IMMEDIATE ENGAGED LOCAL AND
STATE EMERGENCY MANAGERS IN THE PROCESS. WE CREATED A WORKING GROUP AND WE WOULD HAVE PERIODIC, TYPICALLY QUARTERLY MEETING WITH
THAT GROUP, WHERE WE WOULD GET FEEDBACK. AND SO THE USERS, THE EMERGENCY
MANAGERS, ARE THE KEY TO THE WHOLE SYSTEM. IF WE DIDN’T HAVE THEM, THEN IT WOULDN’T HAVE
BEEN A SUCCESS AT THE END, IN THE TRANSITION. WEBSTER: FROM MY EXPERIENCE, THE
DEVELOPMENT TEAM HAS GONE ABOVE AND BEYOND IN INVITING ALL EMERGENCY MANAGERS
AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS TO THE TABLE. ULTIMATELY IT’S OUR PRODUCT; WHAT WE ARE SEEING NOW IS BASED OFF
OF OUR COMMENTS SEVERAL YEARS AGO. BOESCH: I USED WEB-BASED HURREVAC EXTENSIVELY THIS LAST FALL WITH MY EXPERIENCES WITH
HURRICANE HARVEY AND WITH HURRICANE NATE. WEB-BASED HURREVAC IS A VERY, VERY CRITICAL TOOL FOR ME. IT WAS THIS LAST SUMMER AND I EXPECT IT TO BE IN THE FUTURE. [MUSIC]

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