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Simulating hazard warning triggers: lessons from recent wildfires

Authors: Tom Cova*, University of Utah
Topics: Hazards, Risks, and Disasters, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: hazards, warning, wildfires, giscience
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Warning triggers are a means to answer the question: who should be warned to take a protective action in a disaster and when? A warning trigger is comprised of a target population, a recommended protective action, and an environmental condition – where the target population is warned to take the action if the condition occurs. While triggers have been studied across different hazards for specific study areas, they have not been explored from a general geometric perspective. The goal of this study is to apply simulation to compare the efficacy of two geometric approaches to defining warning triggers using assumptions regarding threat dynamics, decision making, and public response. The results reveal strengths and weaknesses of each approach that may help inform decision makers on which trigger type would be most effective in a given threat scenario.

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