Hurricane evacuation demand models with a focus on use for prediction in future events

Although substantial literature exists on understanding hurricane evacuation behavior, few studies have developed models that can be used for predicting evacuation rates in future events. For this paper, the authors develop new ordered probit models for evacuation using survey data collected in the hurricane-prone state of North Carolina in 2011 and 2012. Since all covariates in the models are available from the census or based on location, the new models can be applied to predict evacuation rates for any future hurricane. The out-of-sample predictive power of the new models are evaluated at the individual household level using cross validation, and the aggregated level using available data from Hurricane Irene (2011), Hurricane Isabel (2003) and Hurricane Floyd (1999). Model results are also compared with an existing participation rate model, and a logistic regression model available from the literature. Results at the individual household level suggests approximately 70% of households’ evacuation behavior will be predicted correctly. Errors are evenly divided between false positives and false negatives, and with accuracy increasing to 100% as the percentage of people who actually evacuate goes to zero or all and decreasing to about 50% when the population is divided and about half of all households actually evacuate. Aggregate results suggest the new models compare favorably to the available ones, with average aggregate evacuation rate errors of five percentage points.


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  • Accession Number: 01597522
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 12 2016 9:17AM