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

6.6 Evacuations

6.6.1 Evacuation Management

  1. Provide “Evacuation Resource Sharing – An effective information sharing service is implemented that keeps all agencies in all affected jurisdictions apprised of the evacuation plan and evacuation status. Resources are coordinated through the same information sharing capability. Resource requirements are accurately forecast based on the evacuation plans, and the necessary resources are located, shared between agencies if necessary, and deployed at the right locations at the appropriate times. Current status of all resources is tracked so that resource status is known at all times.”
    Disaster Response and Evacuation User Service: An Addendum to the ITS Program Plan

  2. Provide “Evacuation Traffic Management – Special traffic control strategies are implemented to control evacuation traffic, including traffic on local streets and arterials as well as the major evacuation routes. Reversible lanes, shoulder use, closures, special signal control strategies, and other special strategies may be implemented to maximize capacity along the evacuation routes. Incident management on the evacuation route is paramount with critical need for service patrols to minimize the traffic flow impact of minor incidents. Transit resources play an important role in an evacuation, removing many people from an evacuated area while making efficient use of limited capacity. Additional shared transit resources may be added and managed in evacuation scenarios. Toll and transit agencies must also be notified so that tolls and fares are eliminated during an evacuation. Traffic control strategies are also implemented to facilitate reentry to the evacuated area.”
    Disaster Response and Evacuation User Service: An Addendum to the ITS Program Plan

  3. Provide “Evacuation Traveler Information – The public must be provided with real-time evacuation guidance including basic information to assist potential evacuees in determining whether evacuation is necessary. Once the decision is made to evacuate, evacuation times, one or more evacuation destinations, the evacuation route (tailored for the evacuee), available transit services, expected travel times, expected evacuation durations, and other information are provided that are necessary for an orderly evacuation.

    This function will also provide guidance for returning to evacuated areas, information regarding clean-up, and other pertinent information to be distributed from federal, state, and local agencies.

    Information on the services (shelters, medical services, hotels, restaurants, gas stations) along the evacuation route and at the evacuation destination are also important to the evacuee and should include real-time information on availability and address special needs (disabilities, the elderly, pets/livestock, etc.). Real-time information on traffic conditions, closures, road and weather conditions, and incident information are also provided along with information on alternative routes so that evacuees can better anticipate their travel times and select alternate routes where available.”
    Disaster Response and Evacuation User Service: An Addendum to the ITS Program Plan

6.6.2 Evacuation Plan

  1. Develop an Evacuation Plan – “The evacuation plan includes all phases of the evacuation: the event; warning, informing, and moving people; shelter and services for evacuees; and recovery, reconstruction, and return. An important component of the evacuation plan is information about when an evacuation is warranted; there is a discussion of the benefits of shelter in place as an effective response in many emergency situations.”
    Synthesis of Transit Practice 27: Emergency Preparedness for Transit Terrorism

6.6.3 Evacuation Procedures

  1. “Coordinate Refuge-of-Last-Resort Procedures – These procedures should address the possibility that evacuees may be stranded on evacuation routes.”
    State of Florida Regional Evacuation Procedure

6.6.4 Evacuation Routes

  1. Inform the Public of What to Do in an Emergency and Provide Evacuation Information. Encourage the Public to Know Their Evacuation Route.
    The Jacksonville State University Police – Jacksonville, Alabama, for the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program (CSEPP)

  2. Use Contra-Flow Lanes for Evacuations – “The State of Florida has developed a multi-agency plan to convert several limited-access roadways to one-way operation in the event of a major evacuation. These roadways will be converted on an as-needed basis depending on expected traffic needs.”
    ITE Journal: “Implementing ITS for Hurricane Evacuations in Florida”

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