Emergency Transportation Operations

Highway Evacuations in Selected Metropolitan Areas: Assessment of Impediments

San Diego, California

#17-Most Congested
#17-Population (3,001,000)
INRIX® National Traffic Scorecard 2009

map of San Diego, California

The Plan

California and San Diego officials affirmed that the draft plan provided is the most current version, having been reviewed in July 2009, and that the San Diego evacuation plan is incorporated into the State plan, which is awaiting final signature. The San Diego plan generally does not extend more than 30 miles beyond the metropolitan area. Evacuation Plans are reviewed every 3 years, or when the need presents itself after a major event. After-action reports are evaluated and may potentially affect the overall evacuation plan.

The California, State Emergency Plan (SEP) establishes the California Emergency Functions (CA-EFs) as a key component of California's system for all-hazards emergency management. The California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) initiated the development of the CA-EFs in cooperation with California's emergency management community including Federal, State, tribal, and local governments, public/private partners and other stakeholders to ensure effective collaboration during all phases of emergency management. The development of the CA-EFs involves organization of the participating stakeholders and gradual development of emergency function components. This development also includes a process to maintain each of the CA-EFs as a permanent component of California's emergency management system.

As described in Section 13 of the SEP, the CA-EFs consist of 17 primary activities deemed essential to addressing the emergency management needs of communities in all four phases of emergency management. Based upon authorities and responsibilities, a lead agency has been designated for the development of the State government level CA-EFs. As the CA-EFs development expands to include other stakeholders from the emergency management community, the CA-EFs will determine a governance structure. The governance structure will be developed with the administrative direction of Cal EMA and be flexible to allow for the participation of future stakeholders. Evacuation Planning is one of the listed 17 CA-EFs.

Top Highway Impediments

Top Highway Impediments

  • Communication Capabilities
  • Evacuation Route Capacity
  • Need Public Outreach Campaign

Respondents identified the most significant impediments along the NHS routes that may impact effective large-scale, mass evacuations from the San Diego metropolitan area.

  1. Communication Capabilities - Although the capability or capacity of the existing communication infrastructure meets current needs, evacuation planners stated that a failure of the communication system would significantly impact evacuation operations.
  2. Evacuation Route Capacity - Currently identified evacuation routes remain congested and are often filled to capacity during daily operations. The strength of the existing Evacuation Plan(s) and comprehensive communication infrastructure could minimize this deficiency.
  3. Need Public Outreach Campaign - Outreach would help authorities and the public understand evacuation plans. Authorities believe that improving outreach programs would benefit current evacuation plans. Respondents indicated that this is a priority and would improve the likelihood of a successful evacuation operation.

cover of Shelter-in-Place- If You Can't Evacuate report

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