Mass Evacuation Planning for Natural Disasters and Extreme Weather Events

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Free for TAC members and students

This webinar will present the challenges and opportunities of planning for mass evacuation, and address major issues related to natural disasters, vulnerable populations and ethics. It will highlight the use of flood risk and traffic microsimulation models to predict the evacuation-related impacts of different flood scenarios for the Halifax Peninsula. It will conclude with a discussion of model results, lessons learned, and potential countermeasures and strategies for mass evacuation.


  • Introduction
  • Issues in mass evacuation
  • Modelling framework
  • Discussion of results
  • Conclusions 
  • Questions and answers

Learning objectives

  • Understand the need for mass evacuation planning, and key challenges
  • Learn about major issues in evacuation identified by emergency managers and practitioners
  • Recognize modelling mechanisms of traffic microsimulation models for mass evacuation
  • Understand lessons learned from the Halifax study including network performance, impacts and counter-measures

Target audience

  • Transportation planners, engineers, system modellers and policy-makers
  • Emergency managers
  • Non-profit groups

Originally presented on November 6, 2018.


Dr. Ahsan Habib is an Associate Professor in transportation at Dalhousie University. He received a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of Toronto, and his research interests include mass evacuation modelling, microsimulation of urban systems and smarter mobility planning.

Dr. Habib is the founder of Dalhousie Transportation Collaboratory (DalTRAC), a CFI-sponsored lab under the Leaders Opportunity Grant program, and a founding fellow of the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance. He has served on the U.S. Transportation Research Board’s committees for Transportation and Sustainability (ADD40), Travel Behaviour and Values (ADB10), and Effects of ICT on Travel Choices (ADB20). He is the vice-president of the International Professional Association of Transport & Health, the vice-chair of TAC’s Integrated Committee on Climate Change, and a member of TAC’s Urban Transportation Council and Transportation Planning and Research Standing Committee.

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