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A simulation environment for the dynamic evaluation of disaster preparedness policies and interventions.

Abstract

Disasters affect a society at many levels. Simulation-based studies often evaluate the effectiveness of 1 or 2 response policies in isolation and are unable to represent impact of the policies to coevolve with others. Similarly, most in-depth analyses are based on a static assessment of the "aftermath" rather than capturing dynamics. We have developed a data-centric simulation environment for applying a systems approach to a dynamic analysis of complex combinations of disaster responses. We analyze an improvised nuclear detonation in Washington, District of Columbia, with this environment. The simulated blast affects the transportation system, communications infrastructure, electrical power system, behaviors and motivations of population, and health status of survivors. The effectiveness of partially restoring wireless communications capacity is analyzed in concert with a range of other disaster response policies. Despite providing a limited increase in cell phone communication, overall health was improved.

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