experience a massive influx of population, resulting in a proliferation
coastal construction, including single-family residential buildings,
condominiums, hotels and motels. This has increased the potential for
storm-induced damage and personal injury or death. In the past, Texas
has been hit with
many major hurricanes, including the 1900 unnamed hurricane, Bret,
Beulah, Celia, Allen and Rita in 2005.
experiences with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have underscored the
a well-planned and dynamic strategy for effectively evacuating large
metropolitan areas. Severe
as they are,
the social and economic impact of such natural disasters could be
in the absence of a well-planned and well-executed evacuation plan. The Rita experience, for
example, can be
characterized by a massive traffic congestion resulting from
evacuation attempts by millions of residents coupled with significant
of fuel, sanitary, medical and other basic necessities and services.
light of that experience, a task force report to the Texas Governor
among others, better management of traffic flow and adequate plans for
evacuating people with special needs.
To these ends,
research is needed to
develop a methodology to assess how
best to utilize the available roadway capacity, including the extended
capacity and to design an effective evacuation plan.
Such a plan should
include, among other
things, sequential evacuation plans with designated evacuation zones
routes, pre-designated collection points and related logistics for
persons with special needs, and coordination of logistics and support
along evacuation routes for traffic control, food, fuel, sanitary
medical services, shelters, etc. There is also a need for a unified
control and development of evacuation drills involving the public.
support simulation tool to evaluate various disaster scenarios and
evacuation strategies should also be developed.
Such a tool could be
value in devising evacuation drills
as well as in other preparedness and response efforts.
These would include
times under various evacuation strategies such as evacuation by
conversion of various roadways to one way operations, optimum locations
collection depots for bus evacuations, spatial distribution of shelters
pets, and procedures for evacuation of special facilities such as
prisons, assisted living centers, etc.