Natural disasters create emergency situations that must be dealt with quickly and effectively in order to minimize injury and loss of life. Simulating such events before they occur can help emergency responders fine-tune their preparations. To create the most accurate modeling scenarios, exercise planners need to know critical event details, such as infrastructure damage and numbers of immediate casualties or displaced citizens.

SUMMIT links together models and provides an integrated view of data results. The software offers a graphical view of damaged areas, making it easier for exercise participants to comprehend what is going on in the exercise and make better decisions.

Current modeling and simulation tools provide individual pieces of the picture; however, until now, there was no automated method for sharing information from various models and compiling it into usable data to allow rapid, accurate overall situation assessment.

Sandia developed a new software architecture, the Standard Unified Modeling, Mapping, and Integration Toolkit (SUMMIT), that provides this coupling ability. Funding from the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Exercise and Simulation Center supported SUMMIT development to help emergency planners more effectively use and integrate advanced modeling and simulation capabilities.

SUMMIT users must only enter relevant information; the system then automatically

  • links to the appropriate models,
  • distributes the data to the models in the proper format,
  • performs any necessary translations to ensure consistency, and finally
  • generates an integrated picture that can be used in the exercise.

SUMMIT technology is transitioning to FEMA’s National Exercise Division where it will be made available to the U.S. emergency preparedness community.

Read more about this EC, DHS, and FEMA partnership.