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Hurricane Database to Assist Researchers

The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) deployed, on October 13, 2005, the first of three teams of technical experts under a multi-organizational partnership to perform assessments of physical structures damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita along the nation's Gulf Coast. The partnership- coordinated by NIST and comprised of approximately 26 engineers from 16 separate private sector, academic, and federal organizations- will document field data on damage to major buildings, infrastructure facilities, and residential structures due to wind, wind-borne debris, storm surge, surge-borne debris, and flooding.

To facilitate the research and reporting, MCEER's Information Service has compiled a comprehensive, searchable database for the NIST team members. Organized as an information portal, the query results provide the researcher with an active link (URL) to the source document or website. Searches can be configured in four formats, based on a specific Organization, a unique Category, a Domain type, or a search that covers multiple Organizations and Categories. The database includes links culled from the private and public sectors, in addition to recent research findings from MCEER-sponsored reconnaissance teams.

Expanding the original concept, the Information Service has extended invitations to NSF-funded academics from across the country to contribute their findings from similar field investigations based on these hurricanes. Their materials will be added to the existing database in an effort to develop a single access point for the growing body of documentation. For more information, contact Sofia Tangalos at tangalos@buffalo.edu.

The Bulletin is a free publication offering articles on Center research, cooperative ventures, reports from conferences, educational activities, upcoming events, and reviews of new MCEER publications Spring 2006

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