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BEE: Bettering Emergency Evacuations
AuthorGinac, Christopher William
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Emergency evacuations are often confusing and dangerous. Fires can block roads, floods can wash out infrastructure, and hurricane evacuation zones can be hard to determine. The good news, though, is that the vast majority of people subject to evacuation orders have smartphones in their pockets. This thesis presents BEE, or Bettering Emergency Evacuations, a system designed to make easier disseminating vital information during an evacuation or disaster. This system is composed of two distinct, yet complimentary, components. The first component is the EMS (Emergency Management System), which is used by Emergency Managers to define the evacuation zones, evacuation routes, and information to send to evacuees. The second component is the BEE iPhone application, which is used by citizens to know that they need to evacuate, what path to evacuate on, and what information they need to know during the evacuation. This thesis presents the motivation of this project then describes in detail the requirements, architecture, user experience design, and implementation of each system component and the behind the scenes server that manages the data. Additionally, the thesis contains a survey designed to gather information about what users think about the system’s ability to disseminate important information, and it discusses the results obtained. Finally, related works and possible future developments are presented. The data collected in the survey shows that the efforts invested in designing and building BEE were successful, as the respondents rated BEE highly in every aspect questioned in the survey.