Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersEvaluation of Multi-Modal Transportation Strategies for Emergency Evacuations

Evaluation of Multi-Modal Transportation Strategies for Emergency Evacuations


Understanding transportation systems and travel needs is an important consideration in planning for mass evacuations during natural disasters or terrorist attacks. However, current transportation planning processes rarely consider hazards and associated requirements to respond in emergency situations. The objective of this study is to examine the role of transportation planning in evacuations, understand current practices and transportation needs through a case study evaluation, and formulate a list of transportation strategies. The Halifax peninsula, Nova Scotia is selected as the case study. The paper reviews evacuation plans and policy documents to understand the current practices and guidelines. In addition, it investigates demographic profile, travel characteristics and transportation network of the region. During the working hours of the weekday, the population doubles in the Halifax peninsula. Preliminary estimation suggests that it will take approximately twelve hours to evacuate the entire population through five major exit routes of the peninsula. Several strategies may be applied to improve efficiency during evacuation, including promoting multi-modal alternatives, transportation network alterations and public outreach. Particularly, transit should play an important role in mass evacuation during extreme events.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Christina C. Clarke
Muhammad A. Habib
Transportation planning