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New Tool Allows First Responders to Visualize Post-Event Disaster Environments

By Sandia National Laboratories

August 24, 2011

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During the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE-11), emergency preparedness officials and first responders used iPads and the Sandia National Laboratories-developed Standard Unified Modeling, Mapping, and Integration Toolkit (SUMMIT), which allowed them to view and modify accurate models of building damage and other post-event disasters.

"The SUMMIT software tool ... will be a phenomenal training aid for all responders within our county," says Craighead County, Ark., emergency management director David Moore. "By having a graphical view of damaged areas, it's much easier to comprehend what's going on in the exercise and thus make smarter, firmer decisions."

The SUMMIT software provided NLE-11 participants with an enhanced, three-dimensional virtual view of damage in the field, creating a new level of realism and common operating pictures for players in future exercises.

SUMMIT improves the cycle of activities that emergency response teams perform, such as pre-event planning and equipping, training and exercises, and evaluation and improvement. SUMMIT's architecture will help emergency preparedness professionals at the federal, regional, and local levels tap into existing models to ensure consistency, accuracy, and robustness of exercise scenarios.

From Sandia National Laboratories
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