Scientists at Purdue University and two other schools are developing detailed computer models intended to predict how people behave in the panic-filled hours after local officials issue hurricane evacuation orders.
The scientists at Purdue, Florida International University and Virginia Tech say they hope the models help public safety officials better plan for storm disasters by giving them insights into human behavior as hurricanes approach populated areas.
The engineering and social science researchers said they are
particularly interested in answering the question of who will actually evacuate as a hurricane approaches, and who will stay put.
These models will be tested in the Miami-Dade and Houston areas.
The work has been funded by several National Science Foundation grants that currently total about $1.25 million.