Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies Evacuation of Special Need Facilities

Jail facilities and nursing homes are special needs facilities that have been evacuated in the past. For example, during the evacuation from a hazardous material fire in El Dorado, Arkansas, in January 2005, the KSLA-TV article “Arkansas Inmates Spend Night in Louisiana Because of Fire” reported 139 “inmates from the Union County Jail in Arkansas were transferred to the Union Parish Detention Center in Louisiana after a fire broke out at an El Dorado area chemical plant.”

The Texarkana Gazette News article “Fire Occurs at El Dorado Waste Plant” reported the evacuation of two nursing homes during this incident: “Two nursing homes—Hillsboro Manor and Oakridge Nursing Home—were evacuated and will have to remain away. [David] Smith said those who needed constant care were at area hospitals and that the others were at church and community center shelters along with other evacuated residents.”

The article “Air Near Plant Safe; Residents Sent Home” reported: “Nancy Cook, Hillsboro’s director of nursing, said the evacuation went well. And while some of the residents were grumpy and anxious, no one was hurt. ‘We’re keeping them dry and comfortable. The question every few minutes is, ‘When can I go home?’ she said Monday morning.”

Patients at Hospitals – Special needs evacuees may require assistance when evacuating from hospitals. During the evacuation of Mississauga, Canada, Transportation in Emergencies: An Often Neglected Story reported: “Police assist by keeping clear traffic lanes open among the involved hospitals. That plan was put in place in November 1979, when a train derailment forced a massive evacuation in Mississauga, Ontario, next to Toronto, an evacuation that included the Mississauga General Hospital.”

February 7, 2006
Publication #FHWA–HOP-08-015