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Evaluation of emergency evacuation strategies in case of a chemical disaster for an Ubran Area using a traffic simulation model

J.W., Schokkin (2007) Evaluation of emergency evacuation strategies in case of a chemical disaster for an Ubran Area using a traffic simulation model.

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Abstract:Due to the increase of both man made and natural disasters and the expansion of human activity to vulnerable areas, emergency evacuation seems to be more important than ever. It is still one of the few feasible strategies that can be undertaken in response to these type of disasters. This is also reflected into the large amount of research and knowledge already existing regarding this subject. However, the point of interest originally aimed at preventive or short-notice evacuations due to for example natural disasters. Recently, especially due to the higher risk for man made disasters, the point of interest is moving toward the no-notice evacuations. This research is part of the PACER Project from the Urban Chemical Disaster Simulation Federation. Goal of this project is to develop a fully integrated emergency evacuation model to develop solution for the protection of critical infrastructure in the USA. Points of interest of this research are the way in which traffic simulation software can contribute to a better understanding of emergency evacuation and the development of evacuation strategies. The microscopic traffic simulator AIMSUN was used to study the effect of different evacuation strategies for the evacuation of the Central Business District in Baltimore City (Maryland, USA) in case of a chemical disaster. Unfortunately it was not possible to calibrate the final dynamic simulation model used, because evacuation field date was not available. However, the results give a sufficient impression of the effects of the different strategies. This report discusses the results of the different evacuation strategy simulations, which showed that the Management strategy, in which traffic is distributed over the available exits regarding their capacity and the shortest route, is the most effective one. The Management strategy results in a total evacuation time for the area of 5.08 hours. The staged evacuation strategy, in which the area is evacuated in different phases, showed very promising results, however it was less effective than the management strategy. Measures of Effectiveness are total evacuation time, total travel time and lost vehicles. Subsequently the Management strategy without an implemented signal control plan for the entire area showed very promising results with a total evacuation time of only 3 hours. Finally, additional simulations showed the positive effect of a limited number of network zonal entrance points and available routes. These simulations showed the desired traffic pattern: no crossing but only converging and some diverging traffic flows. Although the total travel time and the number of lost vehicles are decreased tremendously, the total evacuation time increases. However, this increase is caused by a limited number of delayed/congested zones. It is recommended to implement more detail and calibrate the developed model to increase it’s validity. Also a sensitivity analyses regarding the behavior characteristics should be carried out. Furthermore, development of the PACER model should not only focus on the traditional uncertainties like human behavior, traffic demand, response, accidents, etc. Especially in an no-notice emergency evacuation recourses like personnel, equipment and communication facilities will be very limited and there will be no time to wait for them. Integrating these aspects into the model will finally lead to better and more useful evacuation strategies. Finally, an additional developed problem approach based on new insights gathered during this research is recommended. Regarding this approach we are not looking for a strategy resulting in the fastest route from A to B, but for the one resulting in a trip from A to B using the shortest travel time through threatened area.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:56 civil engineering
Programme:Civil Engineering BSc (56952)
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