4.4 Saving Lives with L-REAC®, an Airborne Health-Hazard Decision Aid

Thursday, 10 January 2013: 4:15 PM
Ballroom E (Austin Convention Center)
Gail Vaucher, Army Research Laboratory, White Sands Missile Range, NM
Manuscript (656.9 kB)

“Saving more lives” is one of the building blocks for the First Symposium on Building a Weather-Ready Nation, and is the primary goal of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Local-Rapid Evaluation of Atmospheric Conditions System (L-REAC®). As a product of three progressively more complex urban-research field studies, L-REAC® provides automated, decision-able information for natural, manmade, and accidental airborne health-hazards. Specifically, this tool provides 24/7, near real-time wind (and when available, plume) information to first responders and consequence management personnel. “First responders” include the general public, who have the unfortunate providence of encountering the airborne release first-hand, as well as the professional Emergency First Responder, whose goal is to safely approach and resolve the airborne hazard.

This paper will present example scenarios showing how this weather tool contributes to the “Nation's Readiness and Responsiveness”. Real-world incident experiences have led to the development of a Mobile L-REAC® System “Proof of Concept”. The types of life saving decisions facilitated by this forward looking system will be described in the paper. Finally, L-REAC® successfully completed a feasibility study showing how the real-time, local information decision aid could be integrated into a larger, national ‘system of systems' program. The implied potential gleaned from that milestone, and a look toward the future will conclude the presentation.

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