Our interdisciplinary approach to research results in robust and applied solutions to managing the human factor in public safety and communication. We partner with faculty and organizations throughout Alabama and the country to focus on specific challenges in applied settings.

Concentrating on topics including severe weather communication and emergency management, we strive to understand these complex issues in both the public and private sectors. We develop products and tools informed by this research to aid in applying and implementing industry standards and best practices.

Research Papers Conferences Traffic Safety Research

Vortex SE 2019: Tornado Research Project

The Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment-Southeast (VORTEX-SE) brings together meteorologists, researchers, and social scientists to collaborate on a research program looking at the storms and conditions that produce tornadoes in the Southeast United States. The broader study aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the vulnerabilities that communities face when taking action during severe weather events. This research experiment began in 2016 and continues through 2018.

Led by Dr. Laura Myers, director and senior research scientist at CAPS, students at The University of Alabama will observe nearby volunteer households to record how people react to severe weather events.

“There’s never been research on what actually happens in a home when they first become aware of pending weather,” said Dr. Laura Myers. “We want to observe how they get their weather alerts, what they do when they get it, do they have a plan, when do they enact their plan, when do they think they are safe.”

Algo Traffic // Website & Mobile App

Algo Traffic is a public-facing mobile and web app that informs Alabama drivers of current roadway conditions from the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) and the National Weather Service (NWS) via push notifications and audible alerts.

Algo Traffic seamlessly integrates live access to the National Weather Service and an ALDOT camera network with a back-end system for ALDOT traffic management centers to manually update conditions. Information from Algo Traffic also informs roadway message sign readouts across the state.

Analyzed Algo Traffic data helps state agencies better alert the public to roadway hazards and mitigate some potentially hazardous situations.

Project stakeholders included ALDOT, ALEA, and FMCSA.

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