Tool developed for the Army to protect from dangerous chemical dispersion to be presented in a paper at the IEEE International Conference on Homeland Security in Boston
DALLAS (Sept. 30, 2013) – Fears of toxic accidents and protecting the public in a chemical emergency, such as the recent terror attacks in Syria, are prompting a new look at solutions. Among the technologies being presented at the IEEE Homeland Security conference coming to Boston is a web-based emergency management decision support system.
The tool is WebPuff developed by IEM, and has been in use by the military since 2004, when it was fielded at sites in the continental U.S. where chemical weapons are stored. “WebPuff is unique because it integrates real and forecast weather as well as topography data to generate the most realistic path of a chemical plume over space and time,” says IEM’s CEO Madhu Beriwal.
A state of the art GIS map within WebPuff provides users with real-time indications of plume arrival and departure times for areas at risk. And the tool calculates the optimal time for residents to exit a shelter. “If residents don’t exit a shelter at the right time,” said Beriwal, “at some point, the concentration of chemical inside the shelter will be greater than the concentration outside.”
Beriwal spoke by phone from her office near Durham, NC, on the ScienceNews Radio Network program, the Promise of Tomorrow with Colonel Mason. The program originates in Dallas, Texas, and can now be heard Webcast and archived for its world audience.
WebPuff can be used to model a number of toxic industrial chemicals and has been designed to be easily customizable for use with other hazards and other concepts of operations.
HST ’13 will bring together global science and technology thought leaders to foster homeland security technology innovation and showcase peer-reviewed technical papers.