Friday, July 20, 2007

New software product based on Sandia-developed RAMPART

Terra Daily: Regina Hunter, retired Sandia National Laboratories employee, is launching a new software product, Safe at Home, based on Sandia-developed RAMPART. Safe at Home allows homeowners to assess risks arising from accidents, fire, crime inside or outside the house, hurricane, flood, earthquakes, tornados and winter storms. The software analyzes the risks of death, injury, property and content loss, loss of use of the home, and first-responder delays.

"Safe at Home does not require the user to have any expertise in risk analysis," Hunter says. "It asks about 200 questions and takes about half an hour to get results. Users can change their answers and get revised results in real time, allowing them to determine what changes might lessen their risks."

Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory. Hunter led the development of the parent software, RAMPART, while still working at Sandia. RAMPART software is the first risk-based approach to building management. It is used by the General Services Administration (GSA) to assess the risks of terrorism, natural disasters and crime to the nearly 8,000 federal buildings it manages nationwide.

Hunter is president of Ducks in a Row, Inc., the company launching the new Safe at Home software. Ducks, which has been part of the Sandia RAMPART team since 2004, helped develop version 3.0 of RAMPART and is currently working on version 4.0, together with Susan Carson (6766), the Sandia principal investigator, and Robert Browitt of Architrave Software, Inc. Sandia awarded a licensing agreement to Ducks in a Row when Regina retired three years ago. She has been developing Safe at Home ever since…

"We ask people 'What have you got to lose?'" Hunter says. "Usually they don't know. They have little knowledge of the relative probabilities or consequences of manmade or natural hazards, so they tend to worry about the wrong things and invest inappropriately in home safety."

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