Interactive Modeling System for Disaster Policy Analysis



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University of Colorado Institute of Behavioral Science


This monograph describes an interactive modeling system that was developed at the University of Pennsylvania for the purpose of providing guidance to decision makers on the relative benefits and costs of alternative hazard mitigation and recovery policies. This effort has been supported by funds from the National Science Foundation and brings together concepts from Civil Engineering, Decision Sciences, and Finance. The work is an outgrowth of earlier research concerned with how individuals behave in protecting themselves from losses in floods and earthquakes, focusing particularly on the decision to purchase insurance. In the course of that effort, it became apparent that in choosing among policy options there was a need for a supporting tool that could project outcomes of interactions among hazards, populations at risk and policies. Such a vehicle should have several attributes: - it should integrate information of several types--physical, social, economic, behavioral, and engineering. - it should deal with representative samples of entities--homeowners, businesses, farms, and public facilities--at a disaggregated level because these are the entities upon which hazards and policies act. - it should be sufficiently flexible that extensions and adaptations to new situations, policies, theories, and types of analyses should be relatively easy to accomplish. - it should be embodied in an interactive person-computer system that is designed to be as convenient to use as possible.


137 pages


cost benefit analysis, disaster planning, natural disasters, disaster policy, mathematical models