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Hurricane season: Predicting in advance what could happen

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A Sandia National Laboratories team with the help of the Los Alamos National Laboratory is gearing up for hurricane season, readying analyses to help people in the eye of a storm.
The Department of Homeland Security’s National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC), jointly housed at Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories, studies how hurricanes and other disasters disrupt critical infrastructure, such as roads, electricity and water systems.
Hurricane season began June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. It generally peaks in August and September, notwithstanding Superstorm Sandy’s appearance late last October.
With the onset of hurricane season, NISAC has two jobs: conducting annual “hurricane swath” analyses of probable impacts on the Gulf Coast and East Coast and providing quick analyses of crisis response in the face of an imminent hurricane threat to the United States.
A swath analysis looks at how a hurricane might interrupt critical services and at impacts to infrastructure specific to an area, such as petroleum and petrochemical industries in Houston or financial services in New York City. It also looks at such things as the economic impact of the storm or how it could upset food deliveries.


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