New information technology is becoming available for first responders at a rapid rate. Often this new technology comes with not only new capabilities but also a high price tag. Policy makers and emergency managers need a way to assess which portfolio of technologies achieves the greatest benefit at a minimal cost. Assessing these technologies in a real world setting not only takes a long time but is also often cost-prohibitive. Thus, using computer simulation to assess the benefits of new technologies would yield significant insight into the usefulness of new technologies in a cost and time-efficient manner. A computer simulation combining an agent-based architecture and GIS information called Disaster Response Information Flow and Technology Simulator (DRIFTS) is developed to model the information flow in a disaster setting. DRIFTS, combined with a response surface methodology, can be used to assess different types of information technologies for disaster response.
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