Public Evacuation Decisions and Hurricane Track Uncertainty
Public 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.
Volume (Year): 54 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Regnier, Eva, 2008. "Doing something about the weather," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 22-32, February.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:54:y:2008:i:1:p:16-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
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.