In 2009, KLD completed an evacuation study for the District Department of Transportation. The study estimated the evacuation 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.
In developing the Evacuation Time Estimate (ETE), KLD had to consider the range of population groups within the evacuation area and the various modes of travel available, taking into account the uncertainties associated with a no-notice emergency. These uncertainties include weather conditions, population type being evacuated, and the availability and performance of transit assets. The evacuation travel modes considered included privately owned vehicles, rail transit, bus transit and pedestrian walk-out. Pedestrian and transit evacuation models were developed in-house that could simulate a range of transportation modal mixes. KLD’s suite of evacuation models were used to simulate the evacuation of up to 650,000 vehicles and up to 200,000 pedestrians. 7 weather scenarios were considered and 3 hazard scenarios; two hazard scenarios involved a dirty bomb (with various plume sizes, reflecting different wind strengths) and one involved a chemical spill.
The evacuation needs of school children and the home-bound or hospitalized were also estimated. 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 quantifying of ETE and transit resources provided numbers for discussion and shed light on the challenges facing policy makers and emergency managers within the Capital Region.