Modeling/Simulation Software Debuted at National-Level Disaster Exercise

This new tool allows first responders to visualize post-event disaster environments


LIVERMORE, CA – Using iPad™ mobile devices, emergency preparedness officials and first responders participating in FEMA’s recent National Level Exercise 2011 (NLE-11) were able, for the first time, to make use of a new, science-based software tool that allows them to view and modify accurate models of building damage and other post-event disaster effects.

With funding and direction from the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate (DHS/S&T) and support from FEMA’s National Exercise and Simulation Center, Sandia National Laboratories has developed the tool, known as the Standard Unified Modeling, Mapping and Integration Toolkit (SUMMIT). It was piloted at the NLE-11 exercise.

“Say you’re a firefighter, paramedic, or police officer and you’re participating in an annual exercise to hone your preparedness skills,” said Karim Mahrous, the SUMMIT project lead at Sandia. “Such drills, you realize, are vital in mitigating the damage that might arise from natural disasters or terrorist events.

“Almost by definition, however, exercise planners have an inherent challenge in creating drill scenarios that can be vividly imagined and thus acted upon by participants,” Mahrous continued. “Typically, first responders playing in an exercise must pretend and dream up how a damaged building might look. With SUMMIT, there’s no more pretending.”

See the full Sandia news release here: https://share.sandia.gov/news/resources/news_releases/summit/.