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FIU Studies Hurricane Evacuation Behavior

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(ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

(ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – If a hurricane was heading this way and you were ordered to evacuate for your own safety, would you?

Researchers at Florida International University, along with two other schools, are working on computer models which will predict how people will behave after officials issue evacuation orders due to an approaching hurricane.

Those working on the project at FIU, Virginia Tech and Purdue said they hope the models will one day help public safety officials better plan for storm disasters by giving them insights into human behavior as hurricanes approach populated areas. These models will be tested in the Miami-Dade and Houston areas.

The engineering and social science researchers said they are particularly interested in answering the question of who will actually evacuate as a hurricane approaches, and who will stay put.

The work has been funded by several National Science Foundation grants that currently total about $1.25 million.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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