Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

2 Introduction

Booz Allen recently prepared a literature search for the Federal Highway Administration for the Assessment of the State of the Practice and State of the Art in Evacuation Transportation Management project. From reports and numerous other articles and publications, the literature search attempted to assess what is known about transportation management during evacuations of no-notice situations.

The next step in the project is the delivery of case studies regarding no-notice evacuations from a transportation point of view. Four possible candidates identified included the:
  • El Dorado, Arkansas, hazardous-material fire
  • Graniteville, South Carolina chlorine gas incident
  • South Salt Lake City, Utah hazardous chemical leak from a tanker car
  • Southern California wildfires.
These case studies were identified for several reasons, including:
  • The Graniteville and El Dorado incidents both involved no-notice evacuations and have occurred recently with lessons to be learned still fresh in the mind of participants.
  • The El Dorado incident involved the evacuation of two nursing homes and a jail, thus providing information on the transportation of special needs evacuees.
  • The South Salt Lake City incident involved a large-scale no-notice evacuation of 3,000 people in a major urban area and involved a closure of the interstate system for a period of time.
  • The southern California wildfires have been previously studied, but not from a transportation perspective.

The intent of the case studies is to identify commonalities and unique distinctions among the cross-section of incidents to identify successes, lessons learned, and best practices to provide guidance to agencies in their planning for and management of evacuations.

Each case study follows the following format:

  • What happened in terms of the incident and the evacuation
  • Decision making
  • Description of the community
  • Difficulties in the evacuation
  • The focus at the start, during, and after the evacuation
  • After-action reports
  • Transportation impacts
  • Special needs evacuations
  • Advance planning and preparation
  • Best practices
  • Communication between entities and to evacuees and the general public
  • Lessons learned
  • Use of ITS equipment/advanced technology
  • What worked and what did not work
  • Coordination efforts
  • Improvements for next time.

February 6, 2006
Publication #FHWA-HOP-08-014