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Emergency planning and preparedness; Evacuation; Transportation planning; Public transit
Dr. Hess traveled to New Orleans with a team of MCEER researchers shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 and again subsequent to Hurricane Gustav in 2008. He is the PI for an NSF grant to assess changes to hospital emergency plans and outcomes. His research there focused on investigating hospital disaster preparedness and response and finding ways to strengthen the resilience of medical infrastructure during extreme events (http://mceer.buffalo.edu/publications/reconnaissance/08-SP07/default.asp). His other projects have focused on emergency planning for and security assessment of surface transportation in cities and regions, especially public transit systems. A current research project focuses on the ability of Upstate New York cities and regions to perform a complete evacuation during an extreme event.