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Old 10-30-2013, 12:45 PM   #1
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Evacuation Report Card

http://www.highways.org/wp-content/u...tudy-FINAL.pdf

This group scored the largest 37 U.S. cities in their ability to evacuate the population, within 12 hours, in an emergency. They based this on the percentage of the population with access to an automobile, internal traffic flow (getting to the highway), and exit capacity (highway capacity).

The closest major city to me scored a big fat F. How well did your local city fare?
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:09 PM   #2
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That was quite interesting, and a good find as well. I live near to Orlando, and I would not give it a grade that high. I've been caught in their spaghetti trap of a road network on more than one occasion and It's a nightmare. From the east coast going north, there are several less traveled routes we used when evacuating for hurricanes, and rest assured that the next time, I'll simply call in some vacation time and leave well before required to do so, because when evacuation was ordered last time, it took me 8 hours to get from SR 528, which runs west in to the center of Orlando, north on I-95 to Jacksonville. That's a ride that should take no more than three hours if traffic is heavy.

Miami is by far and away one of the worst driving experiences a person can have. Between the half literate refugee drivers and the retirees, it's almost like participating in a contact sport every time you get on the freeway. 836 is nearly always a parking lot, but it's the only way to get between certain points in the city so you're either leaving two hours early in the morning, or you're starting at 10:00 a.m. because you simply cannot get from A to B in a reasonable amount of time. When I lived down there, I would not take jobs if they required me to traverse certain highways because it just wasn't worth the wear and tear on my nerves.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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The nearest one to me is about a 6 hour drive w/o traffic...and it gets an F too. No worries about zombies from there making it here - no roads go straight here due to the mountains. I suspect some closer "cities" of smaller size might have issues, though.

Evacuation as a plan tends not to work well no matter what, if history is any guide. Some won't, some can't, and sometimes it just makes a traffic snarl up so bad no one can. And no one thinks like ancona and gets out early. Too much risk in their minds that what you have to leave behind will be looted if the main reason for evac doesn't wreck it anyway.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ancona View Post:
That was quite interesting, and a good find as well. I live near to Orlando, and I would not give it a grade that high. I've been caught in their spaghetti trap of a road network on more than one occasion and It's a nightmare. Form the east coast going north, there are several less traveled routes we used when evacuating for hurricanes, and rest assured that the next time, I'll simply call in some vacation time and leave well before required to do so, because when evacuation was ordered last time, it took me 8 hours to get from SR 528, which runs west in to the center of Orlando, north on I-95 to Jacksonville. That's a ride that should take no more than three hours if traffic is heavy.

Miami is by faar and away one of the worst driving experiences a person can have. Between the half literate refugee drivers and the retirees, it's almost like participating in a contact sport every time you get on the freeway. 836 is nearly always a parking lot, but ti's the only way to get between certain points in the city so you're either leaving two hours early in the morning, or you're starting at 10:00 a.m. because you simply cannot get from A to B in a reasonable amount of time. When I lived down there, I would not take jobs if they required me to traverse certain highways because it just wasn't worth the wear and tear on my nerves.
I took their evalation of the cities to be more along the lines of what percentage of the population of a given city could get out of dodge in 12 hours? If it takes you 8 hours to get out Orlando, then you made it out with 4 hours to spare!

If Miami had a 12 hour warning that a major hurricane was about to crush the city, what percentage of the population could get out of town in time?
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:54 PM   #5
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lol. Houston got an F.

I will say that they improved emergency preps quite a bit after Hurricane Rita (and tested during Ike). They now open up inbound freeways for outbound traffic during hurricane evacuations.

Still, I don't think their model really captures the essense of what happens in a real evacuation scenario. For example, with Houston, it's not just Houston's population that is evacuating north - it's also the entire population of Galveston Island, Texas City, Dickinson, Clear Lake, etc. - basically everything along the I-45 corridor south of Houston will travel up and through the city to evacuate.

I'm sure, depending upon circumstances, similar dynamics might apply to other big cities. One advantage Houston and other coastal cities might have is actual experience managing evacuations. I'm betting the city planners thought they had everything planned out before Hurricane Rita and that was a cluster F of the highest order.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:13 PM   #6
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PMBug,
I was working on a project at building 29 on Johnson Space Center when we were required to evacuate for Ike. We left about 24 hours before landfall and it took us about 16 hours to get from Houston to a little hotel in Gautier Mississippi. That should have taken about 6 hours, but the sheer number of people trying to outrun the storm overwhelmed the system completely. I was smart enough to fill up four fuel cans two days before in anticipation of the evacuation order, and indeed wanted to bail earlier, but I had to batten down the hatches and couldn't leave until the last of my dumpsters had been hauled out.

What a freaking nightmare.

There were hours at a time where we were doing 10 - 15mph on I-10 east, it was that crazy. We actually got off at one exit and picked up a case of Heineken to relieve the boredom. Yeah, yeah......I know, it's a bad example to set for the kids, but we did it.....so there.

As a person who has ridden out three hurricanes of some force, including Andrew quite a while ago, evacuation is highly recommended. Remember, all that crap in your house is insured so look at it this way, if it blows away in the storm, you get to go out and buy all new shit. To this day, I maintain a hurricane policy with a strong insurer for just that reason. Mrs. Ancona and I lost everything in Andrew.......everything. Our homeowners insurance paid nothing because they went bankrupt immediately, so make sure your policy is a strong one and the insurer is rated Triple A.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by PMBug View Post:
I'm sure, depending upon circumstances, similar dynamics might apply to other big cities. One advantage Houston and other coastal cities might have is actual experience managing evacuations. I'm betting the city planners thought they had everything planned out before Hurricane Rita and that was a cluster F of the highest order.
Practice, as much of a pain, was something I'm glad to have gained for the long run.

Having remembered a family member who spent 15hrs making a 4 hour drive a few years prior, I left a day before landfall and took a round about way on the small roads. My destination was about 370 mi and 6-7hrs by the normal way; I went a little over 500mi and about 10hrs, but avereged about 53 mph, didn't really get stuck anywhere.

It was also an interesting and useful exercise to choose what to take and what to leave behind. Some things were definately needed, like passports, insurance papers, birth certificates and the like. Some sentimentals things that can't be replaced, some vintage stuff that would be a pain to replace with similar vintage, some things that would be needed in the immediate (like clothes), some in the near future before any insurance payment could be expected, and whatever else I could cram in the truck.

And an ammo trailer.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:40 PM   #8
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Here's the obvious problem if you live near an "F" ing city. Certain kinds of emergencies are going to cause a few million people to head to your small town for safety, looking for a place to eat, sleep, and crap. That's not going to be a pretty picture. I wouldn't want people to eat, sleep and crap on my lawn. My lawn prefers Scotts. So you better have a plan if you live near one of those mega-cities because you are going to turn into a refugee camp if the wrong things happen. My county has a really great plan. They have a bunch of volunteers with walkie talkies that will be wearing colored vests and directing traffic. That's about it.

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