Title page for ETD etd-04142009-103539

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Fennell, Jason
URN etd-04142009-103539
Title A Decision Making Framework for Hurricane Evacuation and Sheltering
Degree Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)
Department Civil & Environmental Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Marc Levitan Committee Chair
Barry David Keim Committee Member
Ivor L Van Heerden Committee Member
Michele Barbato Committee Member
  • wind
  • sheltering
  • evacuation
  • hurricane
  • risk
  • decision
Date of Defense 2009-03-30
Availability unrestricted
There are few tools currently available to emergency managers to assist in making decisions about whether to evacuate, shelter locally, or shelter-in-place, and none of these tools explicitly consider risk to life safety.

A methodology was developed to provide risk-based guidance for evacuation versus sheltering decision making. The hurricane hazards considered in the developed methodology are high winds, storm surge flooding and waves, and rainfall flooding. Vulnerability of buildings to these hazards and the associated risks to life safety are then determined. These results are compared to the hazards and risks associated with evacuation, particularly for medical special needs populations where evacuations themselves create significant life safety issues. Novel approaches to assessing and applying hurricane track and intensity forecast errors were developed and incorporated into the hazard assessment methodology. The decision support tools created here are applicable as planning tools as well as response to a particular hurricane approaching landfall. Examples of the developed method are provided for hurricanes making landfall along the Northern Gulf of Mexico coast.

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