Transit evacuation planning : two case studies.
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Transit evacuation planning : two case studies.

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      Final Report; $b Jan 1, 2008-May 2010.
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      This project addresses the emergency transit evacuation of individuals without personal vehicles or the means to acquire them during extreme coastal events. It is a joint effort of the University Transportation Center for Alabama (UTCA) and the Center for Transportation Policy Studies (CTPS) at the University of North Carolina Charlotte, and uses Mobile, AL, and Wilmington, NC, as simultaneous case studies. The research provided insight into the population most at risk (vulnerable population) and key factors in planning for transit evacuation of that group. Some of the primary contributions of this research were: (1) identification of characteristics of members of the vulnerable population, (2) use of current guidance to estimate the potential size of the transit-dependent population during a major hurricane event, (3) documentation of the large gap between the estimated number of evacuees and the much smaller number that actually evacuated in recent Alabama and North Carolina hurricanes, and (4) providing information on how to effectively communicate with these individuals before, during, and after an emergency evacuation. In addition to conducting these case studies, the authors identified multiple topics that should be resolved to improve transit evacuation of the vulnerable population. These include the need for a research framework to identify and prioritize major issues that hinder transit evacuation, the lack of involvement by emergency communication experts, the lack of evaluation of the effectiveness of evacuation communication plans, and the need for a national clearinghouse of information on communication with and evacuation of the vulnerable population.
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