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600451-00114-1 Report Abstract

Analysis of Evacuation Clearance Time under Megaregion Disaster Threats

Zhao Zhang and Brian Wolshon, January 2016

The significance and continuous growth of urbanized areas throughout the world has led to the emergence of the global phenomenon of megaregions. Megaregions often share common historical, cultural, environmental, and topographic/geologic systems as well as close economic ties, facilitated by transportation linkages that connect the movement of people and freight. Another characteristic that megaregions also often share are threats from naturally-occurring and manmade disasters. This paper describes a project to better understand, prepare for, and respond to catastrophic disasters in megaregions In the research, a mass evacuation of the United States Gulf Coast megaregion was modeled based on past hurricane scenarios in the area. The results of the analyses revealed how operational characteristics of the megaregion road network vary and how strategies such as temporally-phased evacuations and regional contraflow operations are able increase overall system effectiveness. The results of the simulations also showed numerous limitations of the network as well as existing modeling and computational processing capabilities to create such simulations.

Keywords: Megaregion, Evacuation, Simulation, Modeling, Regional Planning

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