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Analysis of Decision Making Skills for Large Scale Disaster Response

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Technical Report

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MIT Lincoln Laboratory Lexington United States

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A large scale disaster such as the detonation of an improvised nuclear device IND in a U.S. city would pose significant response challenges for all levels of government, private organizations, and the general public. Public officials and emergency managers would face difficult and high impact choices throughout the response effort, and they must prepare to make timely and key decisions throughout the effort. Decision making preparation may involve more than technical training and resources. It may extend to emergency managers being cognitively and emotionally prepared for the situations they may face. This paper presents the first step toward the larger goal of developing alternative disaster preparedness training methods that teach effective decision making. The project team interviewed highly experienced, disaster response professionals and analyzed decisions they emphasized as being both important and difficult during an IND response. The respondents also identified the critical skills needed to make those decisions effectively. This paper reports on the findings and analysis of specific decisions and skills required for an IND response.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Safety Engineering

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