Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Document Type



Significant efforts are currently being made by transportation officials to improve the planning and preparation of mass evacuations. The idea of adaptive evacuation plans is an avenue of research that could help improve future evacuation processes. Adaptive evacuation plans stem from the observation that different disaster threat scenarios require different evacuation responses. While adaptive evacuation planning can be generalized to any form of evacuation planning, this project focused on adaptive planning in the context of a hurricane evacuation.

This project was the first to adapt the demand models of Fu, et al, and Cheng, et al, into a regional-scale traffic simulation model. The conclusion of this component of research was that the use of household-level evacuation decision models to generate traffic demand in a simulation model can accurately produce cumulative evacuation volumes. The results showed R2 correlations to observed cumulative evacuation volumes with values of at least 0.7. A qualitative and quantitative assessment of the traffic impacts of using adaptive evacuation plans was also performed in the study. Overall, the results showed that the average travel time across the entire simulated region was reduced by 14.8 percent when adaptive evacuation plans were employed.

The significance of these results lies in their applicability in effectively moving more people out of danger when faced with a threat. The main argument behind this study was that to effectively transport evacuees, something must be known about how they will react to any given threat. A single, static evacuation plan does not tailor to the broad range of response that could come from evacuees. Evacuation plans that have been adapted to suit a range of likely evacuation responses have been shown in this study to better serve evacuees by reducing travel time and other costs associated with evacuation. The general results should be enormously important to all researchers in the evacuation field as well as emergency managers.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Wolshon, Brian