Emergency Management

Promoting Transportation Flexibility in Extreme Events through Multi-Modal Connectivity

Promoting Transportation Flexibility in Extreme Events through Multi-Modal Connectivity
U.S. Department of Transportation Region II Urban Transportation Research Center, New York, NY: NYU-Wagner, June 2014.

R. Zimmerman, C.E. Restrepo, J. Sellers, A. Amirapu, and Theodore R. Pearson

Extreme events of all kinds are increasing in number, severity, or impacts. Transportation provides a vital support service for people in such circumstances in the short-term for evacuation and providing supplies where evacuation is not undertaken, yet, transportation services are often disabled in disasters. Nationwide and in New York and New Jersey record-setting weather disasters have occurred and are expected to continue. Disadvantaged populations are particularly vulnerable. Network theories provide insights into vulnerability and directions for adaptation by defining interconnections, such as multi-modality. Multi-modal connectivity provides passenger flexibility and reduces risks in extreme events, and these benefits are evaluated in the NY area. Focusing on public transit, selected passenger multimodal facilities are identified that connect to transit, emphasizing rail-bus connectivity. Publicly available databases are used from MTA, NJ rail, and U.S. DOT’s IPCD. For NYC, statistical analyses suggest there may be some differences by poverty levels. For NYC and three northeastern NJ cities connectivity differs for stations that are terminuses and have high rail convergence. This report provides statistical summaries, cases, and a literature review to characterize multi-modal facilities and their use in extreme events. Recommendations and future research directions are provided for the role of passenger multi-modality to enhance transit flexibility.

The research was funded by a faculty research grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Region 2 University Transportation Research Center to NYU-Wagner, 2012-2014.

Crisis Communications

Crisis Communications
SAGE Encyclopedia of Crisis Management, edited by K. B. Penuel, M. Statler, and R. Hagen, Sage Publishers, pp. 188-193

R. Zimmerman

Although now a growing and respectable research field, crisis management—as a formal area of study—is relatively young, having emerged since the 1980s following a succession of such calamities as the Bhopal gas leak, Chernobyl nuclear accident, Space Shuttle Challenger loss, and Exxon Valdez oil spill. Analysis of organizational failures that caused such events helped drive the emerging field of crisis management. Simultaneously, the world has experienced a number of devastating natural disasters: Hurricane Katrina, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, etc. From such crises, both human-induced and natural, we have learned our modern, tightly interconnected and interdependent society is simply more vulnerable to disruption than in the past. This interconnectedness is made possible in part by crisis management and increases our reliance upon it. As such, crisis management is as beneficial and crucial today as information technology has become over the last few decades.

Crisis is varied and unavoidable. While the examples highlighted above were extreme, we see crisis every day within organizations, governments, businesses and the economy. A true crisis differs from a “routine” emergency, such as a water pipe bursting in the kitchen. Per one definition, “it is associated with urgent, high-stakes challenges in which the outcomes can vary widely (and are very negative at one end of the spectrum) and will depend on the actions taken by those involved.” Successfully engaging, dealing with, and working through a crisis requires an understanding of options and tools for individual and joint decision making. Our Encyclopedia of Crisis Management comprehensively overviews concepts and techniques for effectively assessing, analyzing, managing, and resolving crises, whether they be organizational, business, community, or political. From general theories and concepts exploring the meaning and causes of crisis to practical strategies and techniques relevant to crises of specific types, crisis management is thoroughly explored.

How Social Media Moves New York, Part 2: Recommended Social Media Policy for Transportation Providers

How Social Media Moves New York, Part 2: Recommended Social Media Policy for Transportation Providers
NYU Rudin Center for Transportation, December 2012

Kaufman, Sarah.

Social media networks allow transportation providers to reach large numbers of people simultaneously and without a fee, essential factors for the millions of commuters and leisure travelers moving through the New York region every day. This report, based on earlier findings (from Part 1), which analyzed local transportation providers’ use of social media, and a seminar on the subject in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, recommends social media policies for transportation providers seeking to inform, engage and motivate their customers.

The goals of social media in transportation are to inform (alert riders of a situation), motivate (to opt for an alternate route), and engage (amplify the message to their friends and neighbors). To accomplish these goals, transportation providers should be:

- Accessible: Easily discovered through multiple channels and targeted information campaigns

- Informative: Disseminating service information at rush hour and with longer-form discussions on blogs as needed

- Engaging: Responding directly to customers, marketing new services, and building community

- Responsive: Soliciting and internalizing feedback and self-evaluating in a continuous cycle

Transportation During and After Hurricane Sandy

Transportation During and After Hurricane Sandy
Rudin Center for Transportation, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, November 2012

Kaufman, Sarah, Carson Qing, Nolan Levenson and Melinda Hanson

Hurricane Sandy demonstrated the strengths and limits of the transportation infrastructure in New York City and the surrounding region. As a result of the timely and thorough preparations by New York City and the MTA, along with the actions of city residents and emergency workers to evacuate and adapt, the storm wrought far fewer casualties than might have occurred otherwise.

This report evaluates storm preparation and response by New York City and the MTA, discusses New Yorkers' ingenuity in work continuity, and recommends infrastructure and policy improvements.

Using Electronically Available Inpatient Hospital Data for Research

Using Electronically Available Inpatient Hospital Data for Research
Clinical and Translational Science, 2011. Volume 4 / Issue 05 / October 2011, pp 338-345, Published online

Mandar Apte, Matthew Neidell, E. Yoko Furuya, David Caplan, Sherry Glied, and Elaine Larson

Despite a push to create electronic health records and a plethora of healthcare data from disparate sources, there are no data from a single electronic source that provide a full picture of a patient’s hospital course. This paper describes a process to utilize electronically available inpatient hospital data for research. We linked several different sources of extracted data, including clinical, procedural, administrative, and accounting data, using patients’ medical record numbers to compile a cohesive, comprehensive account of patient encounters. Challenges encountered included (1) interacting with distinct administrative units to locate data elements; (2) finding a secure, central location to house the data; (3) appropriately defining health measures of interest; (4) obtaining and linking these data to create a usable format for conducting research; and (5) dealing with missing data. Although the resulting data set is incredibly rich and likely to prove useful for a wide range of clinical and comparative effectiveness research questions, there are multiple challenges associated with linking hospital data to improve the quality of patient care. Clin Trans Sci 2011; Volume 4: 338–345

Advancing Research Data Infrastructure for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research

Advancing Research Data Infrastructure for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2011. Volume 306 / Issue 11 / September 2011, pp 1254-1255, Published online

Amol Navathe, Carolyn Clancy and Sherry Glied

Patient-centered outcomes research, which aims to assist clinicians and patients in making informed decisions regarding prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, is essential for improving the delivery of quality health care. Much of patient-centered outcomes research relies on observational and quasi-experimental methods applied to data generated as a byproduct of providing care. While existing data sources have improved, there remain important data-related barriers to rapid, efficient research. Recent changes in the policy environment, coupled with significant technological progress, provide an opportunity to surmount some of these obstacles.

We All Want It, but We Don't Know What It Is: Toward a Standard of Affordability for Health Insurance Premiums

We All Want It, but We Don't Know What It Is: Toward a Standard of Affordability for Health Insurance Premiums
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, 2011. Volume 36 / Issue 05 / July 2011, pp 829-853, Published online

Peter Muennig, Bhaven Sampat, Nicholas Tilipman, Lawrence D. Brown and Sherry A. Glied

The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), or ACA, requires that U.S. citizens either purchase health insurance or pay a fine. To offset the financial burden for lower-income households, it also provides subsidies to ensure that health insurance premiums are affordable. However, relatively little work has been done on how such affordability standards should be set. The existing literature on affordability is not grounded in social norms and has methodological and theoretical flaws. To address these issues, we developed a series of hypothetical vignettes in which individual and household sociodemographic characteristics were varied. We then convened a panel of eighteen experts with extensive experience in affordability standards to evaluate the extent to which each vignette character could afford to pay for one of two health insurance plans. The panel varied with respect to political ideology and discipline. We find that there was considerable disagreement about how affordability is defined. There was also disagreement about what might be included in an affordability standard, with substantive debate surrounding whether savings, debt, education, or single parenthood is relevant. There was also substantial variation in experts' assessed affordability scores. Nevertheless, median expert affordability assessments were not far from those of ACA.


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