Evacuation Research, Planning, and Lessons Learned from Hurricanes in the United States by Dr Brian Wolshon

rCITI hosted a seminar on the 8 April 2015, where one of the leading experts in America on evacuation planning, Brian Wolshon presented.

Dr Wolshon is the Edward A. and Karen Wax Schmitt Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Louisiana State University, USA and the Chair of the Transportation Research Board’s Emergency Evacuation Committee.  He has led numerous studies on evacuation and serves as the Director of the LSU-UNO Gulf Coast Research Center for Evacuation and Transportation Resiliency.  Dr. Wolshon is also one of the founding organizers of the National Evacuation Conference, held biennially in New Orleans in partnership with the LSU Stephenson Disaster Management Institute.

Professor Wolshon’s presentation included an overview and history of the general concepts and practices used for evacuation in the United States, the history and development of the Louisiana evacuation plan, particularly how research conducted at LSU was able to support and improve the development the New Orleans freeway contraflow plan.   He also highlighted a recent U.S. DOT supported project that applied the state-of-the-art traffic simulation modeling for future evacuation plan assessment and improvement.  As part of this work, a regional multimodal model for the southeast Louisiana highway network was developed to replicate the temporal and spatial travel movements of metropolitan New Orleans prior to Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  The goal of this presentation was to highlight the state of evacuation planning practice in America, lessons learned from Katrina and Gustav, and what professionals from other regions of the world can learn from practices in Louisiana and the United States.  

Professor Brian Wolshon and Dr Vinayak Dixit

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