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Simulation tests that were carried out to evaluate decision support system design factors in the context of emergency management decision-making are reported. In particular, two basic issues have been examined: the availability of a microcomputer for enhancing data display during an emergency: and the stage or severity of the emergency. The exercise involved the response to a nuclear generating facility accident, a situation that typically would require various inputs from public officials to protect the local community from potential radiation exposure. The results of the experiment indicate: clear support for computerization of emergency management decision support systems; and an apparent need to focus attention on further development of these systems to improve the decision-making capabilities of public managers during the later, less-structured stages of an emergency.