This finding, as well as many others, was derived from interviews of residents in the Chicago metropolitan area, with particular focus in two areas where neighborhood evacuations are likely due to large amounts of toxic materials that are transported nearby Logan Square and Blue Island, Ill. Logan Square is a predominantly Latino, low-income community with a high concentration of recent arrivals to this region from Mexico and Puerto Rico. By contrast, Blue Island is a mixed-race, predominantly low to middle income community on Chicago's south side.
Pamela Murray-Tuite, http://www.nvc.vt.edu/murraytu/ an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, led this study that she calls the first of its kind. "We took an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to evacuation study. This approach is absolutely critical to the development of transportation evacuation models, but in practice, it was virtually non-existent until our work," she said.
In the past, officials have "made overly optimistic evacuation time predictions that could have potentially devastating consequences," she added.
Murray-Tuite's study was unique because it integrated social science perspectives with transportation engineering. It used in-depth personal interviews to gather household decision-making data and to model household member interactions and decision-making when faced with an immediate, no-notice evacuation. The study also estimated the resulting effects on traffic and evacuation times, and considered the relocation of school children to sites within the communities to facilitate pick up.
Working with Murray Tuite was Lisa Schweitzer of the University of Southern California, an associate professor in its school of policy, planning and development. She has expertise in sustainable transportation and hazardous materials in urban environments. The late Janice Metzger, a senior program manager at the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) in Chicago, also served as a co-principal investigator on the NSF project. Henry Sullivan of this center finished the study.
Schweitzer described one of the influencing factors their team found regarding emergency evacuations was that in the Logan Square area nearly 60 percent of the immigrant mothers were stay-at-home, whereas U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has put the average percentage of mothers outside of the paid workforce at a little less than 10 percent. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the U.S. recession was responsible for this much higher than average number.
"Foreign born women who are engaged in traditional care giving roles may be exceptionally vulnerable to events that disrupt their neighborhood. However, native-born women, though far more mobile due to their higher car usage and roles outside the home, also have dimensions upon which they may be more vulnerable," since they retain the primary role for securing their children, the researchers wrote in their report to NSF.
Some 300 households participated in the research project. Approximately 50 questions were posed in each of the interviews. Personal information about such issues as education level and income were answered separately and included in an anonymous sealed envelope.
The interviews covered topics from everyday commuting habits, child-transportation both before and after school, to thoughts about how they might handle short to long-term evacuations.
Murray-Tuite presented some initial findings at the Fourth International Conference on Women's Issues in Transportation. Her doctoral student Sirui Liu of Falls Church, Va., presented the relocation model at the 90th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.
She and her colleagues are also publishing several technical papers on emergency evacuations that include emphasis on scenarios such as child pick-up from another location, as well as one on how the effect of spouses attempting to find each other impacts a hasty exit from a community.
"We know from our study that everyday travel behavior and neighborhood environments shape what people believe they would do when they envision disaster conditions," Murray-Tuite said. "We now have a series of discrete choice analyses that we are working on to uncover systematic differences in everyday travel behavior in men and women, parents and non-parents, and how those systematic differences in everyday travel behavior affect how individuals view their disaster resources."
Lynn Nystrom | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy