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Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Purdue Experts on Hurricane Sandy-related Issues

Thu, November 01, 2012General

Makarand Hastak, professor of civil engineering, head of construction engineering and management

Researchers at Purdue University specialize in systems that predict how a disaster’s impact on critical infrastructure would affect a city’s social and economic fabric, a potential tool to help reduce the severity of impacts, manage the aftermath of catastrophe and fortify infrastructure against future disasters. The model simulates how a disaster affects elements such as bridges, roads, municipal water and wastewater treatment services, along with vital economic and social components such as employers, hospitals, schools and churches. The research includes work to determine the resilience and capacity of a community, debris management and alternate financing strategies for disaster risk mitigation, particularly for a developing nation. The work is led by Makarand Hastak, professor of civil engineering and head of construction engineering and management at Purdue University, and doctoral student Abhijeet Deshmukh.

CONTACTS: Makarand Hastak, 765-494-0641, hastak@purdue.edu

Abhijeet Deshmukh, adeshmuk@purdue.edu

Daniel Aldrich, associate professor of political science, Disaster recovery expert

Aldrich can talk about the role neighbors and community relationships play when recovering from a disaster. His research shows that people who have stronger individual friendships, community connections and civic involvement are more likely to have access to resources and information during and after a disaster. Aldrich is author of the new book “Building Resilience: Social Capital in Post-Disaster Recovery,” and he has studied evacuation, disaster recovery and community rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Tamil Nadu, the 1923 earthquake in Tokyo and the 1995 earthquake in Kobe, Japan.

Personal homepage: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~daldrich/

CONTACT: Daniel P. Aldrich, daniel.aldrich@gmail.com

Julio Ramirez, chief officer of NEES, professor of civil engineering

Researchers who are part of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supported George E. Brown Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) focus on earthquake effects but also have occasionally studied questions related to the potential effects of high winds on high-rise buildings, storm surge on levees and other critical structures affected by hurricanes.

“In some cases earthquakes demand flexibility, whereas wind demands stiffness,” said Julio Ramirez, chief officer of NEES and a professor of civil engineering at Purdue. “So they offer competing design challenges.”

Through NEES, researchers are developing tools to learn how earthquakes impact the buildings, bridges, utility systems and other critical components of today’s society. The same tools, however, help to safeguard structures against the forces exerted on structures by high winds. Nearly 400 NEES projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation, other government agencies and industry have been completed or are in progress since 2002. In 2009, Purdue entered into a five-year Cooperative Agreement with the NSF to lead NEES and its experimental facilities located at universities across the country.

NEES is made up of 14 university partners from around the nation and Purdue University, home of the headquarters for operations, deployment of cyberinfrastructure education, training and outreach activities

CONTACT: Julio Ramirez, 765-494-2716, Ramirez@purdue.edu

Steve Cain, Purdue Extension Disaster Education Network

The best way for people to help victims of Hurricane Sandy this week is by donating cash that would go directly to meet specific needs in flooded areas, a Purdue University disaster education specialist said. “Cash is best,” said Steve Cain, Purdue Extension Disaster Education Network homeland security project director. “It is better to donate cash instead of goods because local responders can more readily convert that into what’s needed.” Cain, who also is president of the national disaster-aid relief group Indiana Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, of which Purdue Extension is a member, and serves on the board of the National VOAD, said people wanting to help can donate cash through the group’s website at http://www.nvoad.org/donate. Donations will go toward specific needs in affected areas. Donations such as clothing and household items can become difficult for disaster responders to handle and might not be needed in some areas. Cain suggests that individuals and organizations with goods they want to donate might be more effective if they sell those items at a garage sale and donate the money raised.

CONTACT: Steve Cain, 765-583-3348, cain@purdue.edu

Eugene C. Spafford, executive director of CERIAS - Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Spafford can speak about best practices to know that you are donating to a legitimate relief effort or if a website seeking donations is a scam. Spafford is a foremost figure in the cybersecurity field for his leadership in foundational research in security technology, his leading role in the development of influential educational programs, and his longtime advocacy and public service in information security. He has worked with the government, law enforcement, corporate and academic officials, two U.S. presidents, the FBI, the departments of Justice and Energy, the U.S. Air Force, Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Lockheed-Martin, Northrop Grumman, and the National Science Foundation. He has testified before Congress many times on cybersecurity and has received numerous professional recognitions and distinctions.

Personal homepage: http://spaf.cerias.purdue.edu/

CONTACT: Eugene C. Spafford, 765-494-7825

Note to Journalists: The Purdue University experts below can talk about certain topics related to Hurricane Sandy.

Source contact information is listed below. Media contacts are Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu, James Schenke, broadcast media liaison, (Office) 765-494-6262, (Mobile) 765-237-7296, jschenke@purdue.edu, and Amy Patterson Neubert. 765-494-9723, apatterson@purdue.edu

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