App from Virginia's Old Dominion University Simulates Storm Effects

The app, called Hurricane Evacuation Encouragement Demonstrator, provides real-time updates, evacuation routes and a video on possible conditions to expect for anyone who decides to stay home.

by Austin Bogues, McClatchy News Service / July 3, 2014

A new app can allow you to learn more about major storms and hurricanes that are approaching the area and customized evacuation routes.

The app, called HEED, or Hurricane Evacuation Encouragement Demonstrator, was developed with grants totaling $240,000 from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, according to a news release. The app was developed by Old Dominion University's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC).

"It's designed to simulate what individuals will actually experience if they decide to stay in their homes in the face of a big storm," said Sol Sherfey, a senior project scientist at VMASC.

After users input their address, they receive their chosen evacuation route and information on any detours because of wind or high water. Users also see the path of the storm, its potential effects and a short, animated video that depicts the conditions they could expect to experience from their home if they decide to stay there.

The app also provides real-time updates with additional information on storm tracks and emergency shelters.

©2014 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

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