Grant will boost emergency preparedness around Chicago
Written by TechPurdue // August 19, 2011 // Business & Industry, Computer and Information Technology, Current Students, Faculty & Staff, Prospective Students, Research, Security and Forensics, TechBytes // 1 Comment
Purdue University has been selected to develop a planning guide for regional centers being created to provide critical services during catastrophes such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks in Chicago and surrounding counties in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The Purdue Homeland Security Institute (PHSI) at the university’s Discovery Park has been awarded $1.5 million for the work. It is part of a project funded by a grant of up to $6 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Regional Catastrophic Preparedness Grant Program.
Eric Dietz, associate professor of computer and information technology (CIT), is director of PHSI. He and Cliff Wojtalewicz, managing director, will lead the effort to create the region’s shelter and evacuation plans.
Through the life of the one-year grant, they will collect data about community resources and needs to create comprehensive plans for shelter, hospitalization and response for the greater Chicago Area.
“We’re hoping we can get a better handle on how to quantify resources. There will be a lot of data gathering and management,” Dietz said.
While they are helping address this challenge, they will have the opportunity to create additional educational materials for others who work with disaster planning. The materials could be presented in a variety of formats, including distance education courses, a series of publications or even a textbook.
Wojtalewicz, who is also a doctoral student in CIT, will, as part of his graduate work, explore ways in which social media can be used to help inform a community about plans — once they are in place and when they are put into effect.
Both researchers describe the planning effort as interdisciplinary, involving experts from across campus in the process.
Read the full Purdue news release about the grant.