Public Evacuation Decisions and Hurricane Track Uncertainty
AbstractPublic officials with the authority to order hurricane evacuations face a difficult trade-off between risks to life and costly false alarms. Evacuation decisions must be made on the basis of imperfect information, in the form of forecasts. The quality of these decisions can be improved if they are also informed by measures of uncertainty about the forecast, including estimates of the value of waiting for updated, more accurate, forecasts. Using a stochastic model of storm motion derived from historic tracks, this paper explores the relationship between lead time and track uncertainty for Atlantic hurricanes and the implications of this relationship for evacuation decisions. Typical evacuation clearance times and track uncertainty imply that public officials who require no more than a 10% probability of failing to evacuate before a striking hurricane (a false negative) must accept that at least 76%--and for some locations over 90%--of evacuations will be false alarms. Reducing decision lead times from 72 to 48 hours for major population centers could save an average of hundreds of millions of dollars in evacuation costs annually, with substantial geographic variation in savings.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.
Volume (Year): 54 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
decision analysis; risk; natural systems; disaster planning; public evacuations;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Bish, Douglas R. & Sherali, Hanif D., 2013. "Aggregate-level demand management in evacuation planning," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 224(1), pages 79-92.
- McLay, Laura A. & Boone, Edward L. & Brooks, J. Paul, 2012. "Analyzing the volume and nature of emergency medical calls during severe weather events using regression methodologies," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 55-66.
- Samohyl, Robert, 2012. "Audits and logistic regression, deciding what really matters in service processes: a case study of a government funding agency for research grants," MPRA Paper 41557, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Bretschneider, S. & Kimms, A., 2011. "A basic mathematical model for evacuation problems in urban areas," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(6), pages 523-539, July.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.