The Mission 2009 Project
This site is the product of a 3-month intensive research and design effort to solve the complex problem posed by Mission 2009. Mission 2009, or Solving Complex Problems (12.000), is a course taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that allows students to work as part of a team to develop a solution to a complex problem. In light of the December 26th, 2004 tsunami, this year's mission is to develop strategies for developing countries in the Pacific basin to cope with tsunami hazards and disasters. Due to the unique needs of each country, we specifically focused on developing plans for Peru and Micronesia.
In our approach to solving this complex problem, our class was divided into ten groups, guided by trusty mentors. Each group was dedicated to finding a solution for a specific aspect of the problem. Later in the term, we united as one team and solidified a solution for this tsunami problem.
Our mentors greatly facilitated this project. They were there every step of the way to make sure we stayed on track. In addition to our mentors, we could not have completed this project without various other resources.
The reader can begin browsing our site by clicking on any of the categories in the menu to the left. We have organized the issues, as best we could, chronologically, starting from before the tsunami strike, moving into the strike itself and the direct aftermath, and then into long-term consequences and recovery.
Before the Tsunami
The Before Section of this website will focus on issues that reflect what happens before a tsunami hits. To better help you navigate this website the information in the Before link is broken down into these other seven links that are summarized below:
- Risk Assessment - Risk Assessment deals with evaluating the danger in areas of Peru and Micronesia. Under this link you will find information concerning tsunamis and how they interact with the environment as well as the danger they can cause when they hit the shorelines. Other helpful information include an algorithm for the risk assessment and also information on the sensors for the tsunami such as how they function and where they will be placed.
- Chain of Command - The Chain of Command deals with the people involved in the whole process in the case of a tsunami happening. It is broken down into 5 other components with directors of people that will decide the danger of a tsunami, and communicating this information to the governments. The Directors will be responsible for maintaining the detection instruments and for coordinating the whole situation.
- Warning Systems — Before a tsunami hits there will be a warning system already installed. Parts of this warning system include local Television broadcasting of the tsunami warning, radios, computers, text messages, phones and even sirens to warn the population of the danger.
- Preparation for Relief — When the tsunami happens in this section of the link there is information about the evacuation of both Micronesia and Peru, and on the preparation procedures for such events. Before the tsunami happens there will be already in place supply depots and other evacuation camps and also medical facilities.
- Education — This link outlines and gives detailed information on how to educate Micronesia and Peru into being prepared for the tsunami. Thus before a tsunami happens there will be teachers who will be trained on talking on the issue of tsunamis to the children and also spreading the information to the General Public as well. Also the builders and contractors will be educated on how to create safer buildings that will resist tsunamis, and the health issues are dealt with as well.
- Information System — The information system deals with the scientists and with the people who will have all the information before the tsunami hits and also this section will deal with better helping to prepare against the tsunami the rest of the community.
- Funding — To create and maintain everything there needs to be a source of monetary support thus this section deals with the funding issues involved and how the whole group will be able to get the money to make the whole plan work effectively.
During the Emergency
The During part of the tsunami plan deals with the time between detection of the tsunami by the buoys or seismographs to three days after the tsunami’s impact (three days being the number of days worth of supplies that will be stocked at the evacuation camps). This section of the website is divided into five parts.
- Chain of Command - Chain of COmmand describes the organization of the various groups that will carry out the emergency procedures during this time-period.
- Detection and Warning System - Detection and Warning System gives a detailed look at the route of the tsunami warning message from tsunami headquarters to the population.
- Evacuation - Evacuation explains the paths, modes of transportation and destinations to be taken by the population when evacuating.
- Relief - Relief describes the services that will be provided to evacuees within the evacuation camps.
- Tracking of Survivors - Tracking of Survivors describes the procedures to be followed within the camps to keep track of the location and status of survivors within a database.
After the Disaster
After a tsunami strikes, relief workers must handle humanitarian, physical, and economic issues of the devastated area. While immediate response is vital to save lives and identify the deceased, relief efforts must also present long-term recovery plans. We set an arbitrary dividing line of three days after a tsunami event to help organize activities between the “During” and “After” sections, although there is much overlap between these groups.
- Humanitarian - The Humanitarian section provides information on overall coordination of relief organizations, allocating aid money, transportation of food and supplies among survivors, maintaining the overall health of refugees, and search and rescue protocol.
- Cleanup - Cleanup involves removing debris and floodwaters arranged by the tsunami impact, decontaminating water sources, and identification and disposal of the deceased.
- Social Revival - Our segment covering Social Revival details plans for long-term economic recovery of the tourist and agricultural industries, as well as the care of orphans or children separated from their parents during the evacuation.
- Physical Repair - Physical Repair entails returning pre-tsunami amenities such as power, transportation, safe homes, and healthy environmental resources.