Keywords: hurricanes, severe storm evacuation, evacuation planning, hurricane sheltering, USA, United States, hurricane Katrina, emergency management, disaster management, pre-planning, advanced warning
Effective evacuation planning: an assessment of evacuation planning efforts implemented during the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons in the USA
In 2004 and 2005 the south-eastern USA experienced a record number of severe storms initiated by hurricanes, including hurricane Katrina which caused catastrophic damage in August 2005. Some communities in the south-eastern USA have devised effective evacuation plans that can, and have, saved lives and properties. Other communities have minimal pre-planning and poor evacuation or sheltering plans. Communities with poor evacuation plans and minimal pre-planning can experience major loss of life as well as increased health risk to those surviving a disaster. This paper discusses the specific elements needed to create a successful evacuation plan. Specific examples of successful and problematic evacuation attempts will be outlined from the state of Florida and the city of New Orleans. Communities can benefit from modern technology to achieve advanced warning and effective evaluation. Hurricanes are one of those disasters that can be predicted far enough in advance to generate effective warning and evacuation if pre-planning is adequate.