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Emergency evacuation orders: Considerations and lessons from Hurricane Sandy

Patrick D. O’Neil, PhD, Capt. USN (ret)


This article analyzes the problems surrounding the execution of emergency evacuation orders by evaluating Hurricane Sandy and the emergency actions taken by the State of New Jersey and the City of Atlantic City New Jersey. The analysis provides an overview of the legal authority granting emergency powers to governors and mayors to issue evacuation proclamations in addition to an evaluation of the New Jersey’s emergency evacuation mandate and subsequent compliance. The article concludes with provision of planning and preparedness recommendations for public managers facing similar hazards, including a recommendation for provision of emergency shelter contingencies within the threat zone in anticipation of citizen noncompliance evacuation orders.


decision making, policy, evacuation, preparedness

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