New tool assists in mass evacuation planning

Emergency Management Alert, December 23, 2008

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released an online tool that will assist emergency managers in mass evacuation procedures.

This new tool takes into consideration the transportation requirements for different kinds of patients; various vehicles including ambulances, wheelchair vans, and buses; the location of evacuating facilities; and surge capacity of receiving facilities.

By inputting these factors into the model, emergency managers can calculate the number of hours it would take to evacuate, as well as the number of trips made by each vehicle. The tool will also account for traffic congestion, loading and unloading times, and designating an “overflow facility.”

The tool has already been tested in New York and Los Angeles, and was funded by the departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services.

To access the tool, click here.


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