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

1.3. Interview Methods

The first step in the interview process was to identify regions of interest for possible interviews. The criteria for candidate regions were notable presence of a potential threat that could force a mass evacuation or the occurrence of a large-scale special event (past or future) in the region. The goal was to identify, and interview, agencies within these regions that were likely to have existing evacuation plans or plans in development.

After selection of the five regions discussed in the previous section, which agencies to interview within those five regions had to be determined. Candidate agencies were divided into two groups—first-tier agencies (those that are expected to have strong familiarity with evacuation transportation management and may include multi-agency organizations) and second-tier agencies (those that may play a more supportive role in providing information or managing a single component of the transportation system). Three to five agencies were selected from each region to address both traffic and transit issues.

After all of the key agencies had been identified, one person associated with the evacuation planning efforts within each agency was identified to participate in a phone interview. Questions were provided to each interviewee prior to the interview and, in some cases, the interviewee provided some of their agency’s emergency evacuation documentation as reference material to facilitate the task. The phone interviews lasted between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours. At the end of the interview, the answers were summarized and sent to the interviewee for review and concurrence. See the Appendix for final interview documents.

June 26, 2006
Publication #FHWA-HOP-08-016