Hurricane Evacuation Planning for Special Needs Populations

The lessons learned from Katrina point to the special attention needed for the population who are unable to evacuate by themselves. This population is commonly invisible, impoverished, and often cannot access necessary resources to avoid future disasters. Special needs populations often receive inadequate attention because emergency management personnel are traditionally more focused on evacuation time and the operations of highway facilities and do not understand well the challenges special needs populations face, where they are, who they are, and how many there are. This study is aimed at developing a method for assessing the vulnerability of special needs populations and estimating their demand for public assistance based on the threats of hurricanes and social vulnerability. The demand is considered separately in each of three emergency support function areas: communication needs of populations that are linguistically isolated, medical needs of senior citizens and people with disabilities and/or living in nursing homes, and transportation needs of people who do not have their own means to evacuate. Utilizing a survey data set that provides information on special needs populations during a hurricane evacuation, this report estimates the demand special needs population would make on public services, and describes the process of identifying the location and number of this population using census data. The transit supply required to meet the needs of these people is also analyzed, including the bus pick-up locations and required bus trips. The proposed procedure is simple and, using geographic information systems with local data, can be easily applied to help public agencies across the country in emergency planning and preparation.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 134p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01159846
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FTA-FL-04-7104-2010.04, LCTR-TRANSPO-Year2-P3
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 28 2010 4:40PM