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Josh Behr and Rafael Diaz, research associate professors at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center, will give a talk this week about their ongoing research into the effect of major hurricanes on vulnerable populations in Hampton Roads.

The presentation, "Go or Stay? Hurricane Vulnerability and Evacuation: Perceptions and Behavior of Hampton Roads Residents," will be delivered from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 31, in the auditorium of the E.V. Williams Engineering and Computational Sciences Building (ECSB). It is a networking event under the auspices of ODU's Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative, a multidisciplinary research and outreach effort aimed at mitigating the effects of rising sea levels on Hampton Roads and other communities.

Behr and Diaz's research touches on the complexity inherent in the decision by a local resident to either evacuate or seek shelter in the face of a potentially devastating storm. Drawn from interview data from more than 7,000 Hampton Roads households, the research suggests that myriad factors go into the decision-making calculus of residents, and aren't merely based on economics or geography.

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Published on: March 1, 2013