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The logistics of household hurricane evacuation

Abstract

Although there is a substantial amount of research on households’ hurricane evacuation decision making, there is much less research on the logistical issues involved in implementing those evacuations. The limited research on household evacuation logistics has consistently shown that most evacuees stay in the homes of friends and relatives or in commercial facilities rather than in public shelters. However, evacuation logistics—which can be defined as the activities and associated resources needed to reach a safe location and remain there until it is safe to return—encompasses a much broader range of behaviors than this. The present study extends previous research by reporting data on other aspects of evacuation logistics such as departure timing, vehicle use, evacuation routes, travel distance, shelter type, evacuation duration, and evacuation cost. Hurricane Lili evacuation data at the county level are generally consistent with the data from previous hurricanes, but there is notable variation across counties studied here. There were only modest correlations of demographic and geographic variables with the evacuation logistics variables, a result that indicates further research is needed to better understand what happens between the time an evacuation decision is made and the time re-entry is begun. Moreover, research is needed to understand the logistics of evacuation by special populations such as transients and households with disabled members.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants CMS 0219155 and SES 0527699. None of the conclusions expressed here necessarily reflects views other than those of the authors.

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Correspondence to Michael K. Lindell.

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Lindell, M.K., Kang, J.E. & Prater, C.S. The logistics of household hurricane evacuation. Nat Hazards 58, 1093–1109 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-011-9715-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-011-9715-x

Keywords

  • Hurricanes
  • Evacuation
  • Traffic management