Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



The events of recent hurricane seasons have made evacuation one of the leading emergency management issues. In 1998 and 1999, Hurricanes Georges and Floyd precipitated the two largest evacuations in U.S. history and perhaps, its two largest traffic jams. In response to the problems experienced during these events, many State Department’s of Transportation (DOT) have begun to take a more active role in the planning, management, and operation of hurricane evacuations. Since the involvement of transportation professionals in the evacuation field has been a fairly recent development; many of the newest practices and policies have only been used once, if ever. They also vary widely from state-to-state. To determine what the latest policies and strategies are and how they differ from one location to another, a national review of evacuation plans and practices was recently undertaken in coastal states threatened by hurricanes. The study was carried out from a transportation perspective and included both a review of traditional transportation literature and a survey of DOT, emergency management and transportation officials in all Atlantic and Gulf coast states threatened by hurricanes. This thesis presents the findings of both parts of the study. It provides a background on the development of evacuation practices and evacuation research in the Continental US. It focuses mainly on current state practices, including the use of reverse flow operations and intelligent transportation systems. It also discusses current evacuation management policies, methods of information exchange, and decision-making criteria. This thesis also presents the general similarities and differences in practices and gives particular attention to unique, innovative, and potentially useful practices used in individual states.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Brian Wolshon