The US Air Force and the University of Buffalo are teaming up to develop a predictive software program that can simulate the primary and secondary effects of natural and man-made disasters
. Acting as an expert system of sorts, the software is based on information gathered from multiple sources during a variety of disasters, dating back to the 1994 Northridge earthquake in California. The purpose is to better manage emergency response and to anticipate secondary emergencies.
When used, the software will be able to help emergency managers deploy resources within minutes after a disaster occurs. It will also provide scenarios to help them prepare for secondary events such as ruptured gas lines, power failures, releases of toxic chemicals and widespread disease.
The system is currently in beta mode, and should be ready for deployment within a year.