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Project Profile Details

Emergency Planning

Emergency Response and Evacuation in Washington, D.C., for the District Department of Transportation


Conduct an evacuation study for the area surrounding our nation's seat of government.

Estimate the time and transportation resources required to evacuate a densely populated area incorporating downtown DC, in response to a no-notice hazard such as a terrorist attack.

The Challenge

To develop this evacuation time estimate study, KLD had to consider the range of population groups within the evacuation area.

KLD considered time of day, day of week and seasonal factors, the various modes of transportation available to each group and the reliability of those modes.

The study addressed the uncertainties associated with a no-notice emergency. These uncertainties included

• Weather conditions
• Evacuation population composition
• Public and private transportation resources
• Mobilization issues

Evacuation travel modes considered included

• Privately owned vehicles
• Rail transit
• Bus transit
• Pedestrian “walk-out”

KLD's Approach

After considering these variables, KLD applied its suite of evacuation software to simulate the evacuation of up to 650,000 vehicles and 200,000 pedestrians. KLD developed evacuation computer models to simulate different mixes of transportation modes and population groups for 7 weather scenarios.

The models factored in the evacuation needs of school children and home-bound or hospitalized individuals.

KLD took the analysis one step further and considered the secondary transportation requirements (transportation to a shelter facility) of those who would evacuate on foot or by metro rail.

The KLD Team included James Lee Witt Associates, VRisk, and Grice Associates.

Project Results

KLD provided critical facts and figures planners needed to develop effective evacuation procedures, such as:

• A wide range of evacuation time estimates
• Computer animation displays showing the dynamic roadway evacuation traffic environment
• Estimates of transit resources for different scenarios
• Studies of the sensitivity of the ETE to changes in the use and availability of different travel modes: private auto, bus and rail transit, and pedestrian walk-out

 Key Words: washington,emergency planning,disaster,evacuation,evacuation time estimate, NCR


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