Options for improving evacuation: Investigating an unconventional strategy and expanding route options using TRansportation ANalysis and SIMulation System


  • Carol Abel Lewis, PhD
  • Sandra Onyejekwe, MS
  • Garlin Wynn, MS
  • Brandon Mosley, MS




emergency evacuation, evacuation strategies, hurricane evacuation


Various agencies including state departments of transportation, emergency management offices, a municipal works agency, or a highway patrol agency may prepare evacuation plans. Storm strength and landfall predictions determine procedures and strategies. Studies have been conducted that examined various methods considering evacuees’ behaviors, traffic control, safety, and preferential routing. The occasions when a hurricane is imminent require residents to make a choice between sheltering-in-place or evacuating. Tremendous growth is anticipated in many US coastal communities and that will place greater pressure on evacuation strategies in future years. Given the inevitability of future hurricane evacuations and the intensive growth projections for US coastal areas, this research examines evacuation options with a focus on the Houston-Galveston region. The research examines two scenarios using the TRansportation ANalysis and SIMulation System simulation model which relies on a GIS base. Study results showed that both scenarios perform well as alternative options for inclusion in regional planning. It is recommended that these two scenarios be included in the array of responses available for decision makers depending on the myriad of variables—citizen response, congestion levels on the roadways and location, and prediction of an impending storm. The options may be applied independently or in concert with other strategies.

Author Biographies

Carol Abel Lewis, PhD

Professor and Director, Center for Transportation Training and Research, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas.

Sandra Onyejekwe, MS

Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Transportation Training and Research, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas

Garlin Wynn, MS

Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Transportation Training and Research, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas

Brandon Mosley, MS

Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Transportation Training and Research, Texas Southern University, Houston, Texas.



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How to Cite

Lewis, PhD, C. A., S. Onyejekwe, MS, G. Wynn, MS, and B. Mosley, MS. “Options for Improving Evacuation: Investigating an Unconventional Strategy and Expanding Route Options Using TRansportation ANalysis and SIMulation System”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 13, no. 2, Mar. 2015, pp. 173-81, doi:10.5055/jem.2015.0229.