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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Evacuation destination choice modeling is an integral aspect of evacuation planning. Outputs from such models are required to estimate the clearance times on which evacuation orders are based. The number of evacuees arriving at each destination also informs allocation of resources and shelter planning. Despite its importance, evacuee destination modeling has not received as much attention as identifying who evacuates and when. In this study, we present a new approach to identify evacuees and determine where they go and when using privacy-enhanced smartphone location data. We demonstrate the method using data from four recent U.S. hurricanes affecting multiple geographies (Florence 2018, Michael 2018, Dorian 2019, and Ida 2021). We then build on those results to develop a new machine learning model that predicts the number of evacuees that move between pairs of metropolitan statistical areas. The machine learning model incorporates hurricane characteristics, which have not been thoroughly exploited by existing methods. The model’s predictive power is comprehensively evaluated through a tenfold cross validation, holdout validation using Hurricane Ida (2021), and comparison with the traditional gravity model. Results suggest that the new model substantially outperforms the traditional gravity model across all performance indicators. Analysis of feature importance in the machine learning model indicates that in addition to distance and population, hurricane characteristics are important in evacuee destination choices.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  4. Emergency managers have the important responsibility of planning and implementing mitigation policies and programs to reduce losses to life and property. To accomplish these goals, they must use limited time and resources to ensure the communities they serve have adequately mitigated against potential disasters. As a result, it is common to collaborate and coordinate with a wide variety of partner agencies and community organizations. While it is well established that strengthening relationships and increasing familiarity improve coordination, this article advances that narrative by providing direct insights on the ways a select group of local, state, and federal emergency managers view relationships with other mitigation stakeholders. Using insights from a 1-day workshop hosted at the University of Delaware to gather information from mitigation stakeholders, this article provides a discussion of commonalities and challenges workshop participants identified with other stakeholder groups. These insights can inform other emergency managers about potential collaborators and coordination opportunities with similar stakeholders in their own communities. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 16, 2024
  5. Abstract

    Light-weighting vehicular components through adoption of light-metal structural alloys holds promise for reducing the fuel consumption of internal combustion engine vehicles and increasing the range of battery electric vehicles. However, the alloyed microstructure and surface precipitates of aluminum alloys render these materials susceptible to corrosion under modest excursions from neutral pH. Traditional chromium-based anodic passivation layers are subject to increasingly stringent environmental regulations, whereas options for sacrificial cathodic films are sparse for electropositive metals. While hybrid nanocomposite coatings have shown initial promise, mechanistic underpinnings remain poorly understood. Here, a fully imidized polyetherimide (PEI) resin is utilized as the continuous phase with inclusion of unfunctionalized exfoliated graphite (UFG). A comprehensive investigation of the mechanisms of corrosion protection reveals key fundamental design principles underpinning corrosion inhibition. First, strong interfacial adhesion, which for PEI is facilitated by binding of imide carbonyl moieties to Lewis acidic sites on Al surfaces. Second, the miscibility of ion-impervious nanoscopic UFG fillers and stabilization of a substantial interphase region at UFG/PEI boundaries that result in minimizing the free volume at the filler/polymer interface. Finally, extended tortuosity of ion diffusion pathways imbued by the below-percolation-threshold 2D fillers. These three design principles help govern and modulate ion transport from electrolyte/coating interfaces to the coating/metal interface and are crucial for the extended preservation of barrier properties. The results suggest an approach to systematically activate multiple modes of corrosion inhibition through rational design of hybrid nanocomposite coatings across hard-to-abate sectors where light metal alloys are likely to play an increasingly prominent role.

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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024