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Modeling Evacuate versus Shelter-in-Place Decisions in Wildfires

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  • Thomas J. Cova

    () (Department of Geography, University of Utah, 260 S. Central Campus Dr., Rm 270, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
    Center for Natural & Technological Hazards, University of Utah, 260 S. Central Campus Dr., Rm 270, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA)

  • Philip E. Dennison

    () (Department of Geography, University of Utah, 260 S. Central Campus Dr., Rm 270, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
    Center for Natural & Technological Hazards, University of Utah, 260 S. Central Campus Dr., Rm 270, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA)

  • Frank A. Drews

    () (Center for Natural & Technological Hazards, University of Utah, 260 S. Central Campus Dr., Rm 270, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
    Department of Psychology, University of Utah, 380 S. 1530 E., Rm 502, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA)

Abstract

Improving community resiliency to wildfire is a challenging problem in the face of ongoing development in fire-prone regions. Evacuation and shelter-in-place are the primary options for reducing wildfire casualties, but it can be difficult to determine which option offers the most protection in urgent scenarios. Although guidelines and policies have been proposed to inform this decision, a formal approach to evaluating protective options would help advance protective-action theory. We present an optimization model based on the premise that protecting a community can be viewed as assigning threatened households to one of three actions: evacuation, shelter-in-refuge, or shelter-in-home. While evacuation generally offers the highest level of life protection, it can place residents at greater risk when little time is available. This leads to complex trade-offs involving expected fire intensity, available time, and the quality and accessibility of in-place shelter. An application of the model is presented to illustrate a range of issues that can arise across scenarios.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Cova & Philip E. Dennison & Frank A. Drews, 2011. "Modeling Evacuate versus Shelter-in-Place Decisions in Wildfires," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(10), pages 1-26, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:3:y:2011:i:10:p:1662-1687:d:14205
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Stepanov, Alexander & Smith, James MacGregor, 2009. "Multi-objective evacuation routing in transportation networks," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 198(2), pages 435-446, October.
    2. Sherali, Hanif D. & Carter, Todd B. & Hobeika, Antoine G., 1991. "A location-allocation model and algorithm for evacuation planning under hurricane/flood conditions," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 439-452, December.
    3. Shafran, Aric P., 2008. "Risk externalities and the problem of wildfire risk," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 488-495, September.
    4. Altay, Nezih & Green III, Walter G., 2006. "OR/MS research in disaster operations management," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 475-493, November.
    5. L. Randall Wray & Stephanie Bell, 2004. "Introduction," Chapters,in: Credit and State Theories of Money, chapter 1 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Philippe Robert-Demontrond & R. Ringoot, 2004. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00081823, HAL.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Shahparvari, Shahrooz & Chhetri, Prem & Abbasi, Babak & Abareshi, Ahmad, 2016. "Enhancing emergency evacuation response of late evacuees: Revisiting the case of Australian Black Saturday bushfire," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 148-176.
    2. repec:eee:jomega:v:72:y:2017:i:c:p:96-117 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    disaster planning; resiliency; decision making; evacuation; wildfire;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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