"Hurricanes have caused severe damage to electric power systems throughout the world, and electric power is critical to post-hurricane disaster response, as well as to long-term recovery for impacted areas," study co-author Seth Guikema of Johns Hopkins University said.
"Effectively predicting and managing power outage risk can dramatically improve the resilience of infrastructure systems and speed up restoration of electric power."
The program is based on data from power outages following Hurricanes Katrina (10,105 outages), Ivan (13,568 outages), Dennis (4,840 outages) and other events in the Gulf Coast region since the mid-1990s, the researchers said.
The researchers said their new modeling approach takes into account more environmental and power system infrastructure factors than previous analyses, providing "more accurate predictions of the number of power outages in each geographic area of a utility company's service area and a better understanding of the response of the (utility company's) system."
The study that included Seung-Ryong Han of Korea University and Steven Quiring of Texas A&M appears in the journal Risk Analysis.