Special Tools in HURREVAC

HURREVAC Tech Note 9 - updated 5/15/2012

Supplementing HURREVAC's standard toolset are a few special tools that handle unique circumstances and locally-tailored analysis for certain states. These special tools are included with HURREVAC's main installation (Version 1.2.1 and higher).

Special tools currently available in HURREVAC are as follows:

Risk Profile - A report that compiles custom threat assessment information for a state and its localities. Risk Profiles are available for the following states:

Facilities Timing - Reports and special settings that handle complex HES clearance time calculations for bridges, tunnels, and other transportation facilities in the New York City metropolitan area.

Risk Profiles

A Risk Profile is customized for an individual state using a series of criteria (questions) and conditions (possible answers) identified by emergency managers in that state as most relevant. The Risk Profile extracts the required information from the main HURREVAC program and presents it in a series of tables organized by topic.

For each criterion, a color coded box (red, yellow, or green) highlights the severity of the condition and when certain criteria reach either a yellow or a red condition, they are further flagged with 'Critical' or 'Of Concern' indicators.

The intention is to lead the emergency manager toward a decision in a logical manner that takes advantage of the information that is available, but which may not be readily apparent to all but the most experienced.

For more information on Risk Profiles, refer to the in-program help documentation or the Special Tools chapter of the Hurrevac User's Manual.

Facilities Timing

Facilities Timing refers to a special set of HURREVAC functions developed specifically to accommodate Hurricane Evacuation Study (HES) clearance times for bridges, tunnels, and other transportation facilities in the New York City metropolitan area.

HURREVAC's report capabilities for facilities are similar to those for counties, but with some extra features to handle the more complicated evacuation/closure scenarios required by transportation facilities.

Discrete Action Periods

Instead of a single evacuation clearance time as in the case of counties, facilities have 3 time periods for actions that need to be taken before arrival of the hazards. They are:

  1. Mobilization Period - Amount of time needed to organize internal decision making and stage equipment, vehicles, and personnel.
  2. Evacuation Period - Time frame during which a facility will function to move evacuees.
  3. Closure Period - Amount of time needed to secure and close facilities and redirect employees to safe shelter before hazards arrive.

A facility's clearance time is the sum total of the mobilization, evacuation, and closure times.

Wind versus Surge-Timed Facilities

In calculating the hazard arrival time for facilities, HURREVAC must differentiate between two types of facilities:

  1. Wind-Affected facilities are impacted initially by wind hazards, specifically 34 knot (39mph) winds of an approaching storm, and treated much the same as county evacuation timing in HURREVAC. For tall facilities such as bridges however, an offset (also known as pre-landfall hazard time) of 1, 2, or 3 hours is placed in front of (ground) forecasted 34 knot wind arrival time to account for the fact that winds are routinely stronger at these high altitudes and the storm effects will be felt sooner. Therefore with wind-affected facilities, HURREVAC computes the direct hit arrival time of 34 knot winds to the facility, and subtracts the combined times for mobilization, evacuation and closure to arrive at a proper decision time.
  2. Surge-Affected facilities are impacted initially by storm surge inundation as determined by the National Weather Service SLOSH model, which predicts flooding that would occur assuming a direct hit or worst case assumption. The SLOSH model data results in an offset time, in hours, before the arrival of the eye, when flooding would commence at the facility. This may range from 0 hours (flooding arrives only when eye arrives) or as much as 7 hours before the eye for a severe storm approaching from a critical direction. This offset is based on the location and elevation of the facility. In most cases, the flood-affected facilities will have much later decision times than the wind-affected ones.

For more information on the Facilities Timing Tool, refer to the in-program help documentation or the Special Tools chapter of the Hurrevac User's Manual.

Custom development work is handled by Sea Island Software. Refer to the website www.seaislandsoftware.biz if you are interested in developing a special tool for your state, locality, or agency.