Dynamic Simulation and Optimization Model for Evacuation Planning from Hazardous Areas

Project: Research

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The regions of East and South Asia are amongst the most-hazard prone areas in the world. In the recent decades, most of the human casualties of “natural-triggered” disasters, such as floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and hurricanes, have taken place in these regions. The recent South Asian's tsunami strike causing over 150,000 fatalities has indicated that it is not sufficient to assess whether natural disasters will happen, but rather to assess when they will happen and how the ill-effect can be mitigated. Besides, human populations are at risk from many other man-made hazards, such as technological accidents and terrorist attacks – the 1986 Kiev’s Chernobyl nuclear plant and the New York’s WTC 9/11 incident. It is understood that absolute prevention of disasters and restricting their spread may be impossible. Evacuation of people from the hazardous region(s) is per se a way to reduce the ill effects of disasters and evacuation planning is prima facie a critical component in emergency management.Large-scale evacuation is called when a natural (such as tsunami) or man-made (such as nuclear plant accident) extreme event strikes a populated area so that the population is exposed to immediate or foreseeable life-threatening danger. The need for emergency management and evacuation planning is paramount. However, many countries including China are lagging behind in understanding and recognizing the broader scope of disaster mitigation and emergency management which should be supported by scientific decision-making approaches. As many urban areas in Asia are densely populated, it is important for government authorities to gain an overview of the crowd and vehicle movement pattern so as to establish an effective evacuation management strategy.The aim of this project is to develop an evacuation planning tool, a simulation evacuation model, to assist government authorities to identify the evacuation strategy for an area in a city. It includes:a dynamic network flow model for optimizing evacuation plans; andevacuation simulation models that can test and evaluate the optimized plans.The goal of evacuation planning is to maximize the performance of the migrating system by improving evacuation route/ road network and to determine appropriate evacuation management strategies including the identification of optimal departure time, the best evacuation routes and designation of shelter locations.


Project number9041370
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/12/0820/08/12