« Back
  • Using roads for effective evacuation

    Emergency action plans and evacuation models
  • Emergency action plans and evacuation models
  • Emergency action plans and evacuation models
  • Emergency action plans and evacuation models
  • Emergency action plans and evacuation models

Emergency action plans and evacuation models

The east coast of England faces a particular hazard from storm surge in the North Sea, such as occurred in January 1953. The counties of Lincolnshire and Norfolk have some of the highest flood risk in the country. We developed a tiered modelling approach to investigated the effective use of roads for evacuation in the event of a major flood emergency.

Considering the impacts of evacuation

Evacuation is seen as an appropriate way to reduce loss of life and other impacts. Evacuation, however, would cause significant disruption to both business and family life, and would also require significant resources. Against this, are the consequences in delaying the evacuation, which could mean that it is then not possible to evacuate everyone and evacuation is more chaotic and unsafe.

These issues highlight the need to understand better the logistical effort required to evacuate the public and in particular, how well the road network will perform. With this aim, the Government Office of the East Midlands appointed HR Wallingford to investigate the effective use of roads for evacuation in Lincolnshire and Norfolk.

Optimised modelling scenarios

A tiered approach to the traffic modelling was adopted. A “macro” (large) scale model provided a representation of demand over the modelled time period providing the peak traffic hour and total time required for evacuation. It provided a first assessment and identification of possible congestion ‘hot-spots’ over the whole area. The “meso” (medium) scale model provided information on localised traffic problems and congestion points.

Two scenarios were modelled. The ‘most likely’ scenario described the situation where the evacuating population use the roads best known to them. This scenario was then ‘optimised’ by modelling the situation where alternative routes are used by managing and directing the evacuating population to take more efficient routes, which reduce congestion and improve the required evacuation time. The results from these traffic models are being used by emergency planners in the development of evacuation plans.

Since completion of this study we have been appointed to repeat the assessment for the Humberside Resilience Forum. This second study includes application of the Life Safety Model to investigate traffic build-up on the local road network.

Read more information at

The results from these traffic models are being used by emergency planners in the development of evacuation plans.

The results from these traffic models are being used by emergency planners in the development of evacuation plans.

Contact

Andy Tagg

Andy Tagg

Technical Director

+44 (0)1491 822332

Send an email View profile
Darren Lumbroso

Darren Lumbroso

Principal Engineer

+44 (0)1491 822383

Send an email View profile

Project information

Related projects