Nearly three years after a major tornado destroyed much of Joplin, Mo., former Joplin resident Suzanna Long created a process to help communities recover quickly from large-scale natural disasters.
Long, Hist’84, Phys’84, MS EMgt’04, PhD EMgt’07, an assistant professor of engineering management and systems engineering, worked with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez to develop the process. Her model takes into account critical infrastructure elements, such as sewer lines and power grids, along with geographical characteristics of the area, hazard damage and the time it took to restore the area, to create a comprehensive recovery approach. It is one of the first models to consider all of these elements.
To build the model, Long gathered data for Overland Park, Kan., which experiences tornadic activity at more than four times the national average. For the next phase of the study, Long plans to model the impact of an 8 or 9 magnitude earthquake along the New Madrid fault in southeast Missouri.