Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Transportation Research Record






Very high traffic volumes may lead to extensive congestion during hurricane evacuations. Evacuation planners reduce this congestion by careful planning for multiple hurricane scenarios and assignment of evacuation routes and timing. This planning may be for naught if obstructions block key roadways. An advanced traveler information system (ATIS) may be used to guide evacuees to alternate routes, but how effective will that guidance be? Should the use of alternate routes be encouraged? How are drivers likely to respond to delays and information? Will information shorten or improve the reliability of travel times in emergency conditions? Integration of a dynamic evacuation simulation and a decision-making model (representative of the decisions made by potential hurricane evacuees when provided with information on downstream traffic congestion and alternate routes) can help emergency planners prepare for the unexpected. Advance modeling of likely accident locations and the severity can forecast the effects of alternate route use, help determine the best locations and timing of alternate route information, and support decision making. This study integrated an evacuee route choice decision model and a mesoscopic evacuation transportation simulation for southeastern Virginia. Study results show how the effects of ATIS can be tested in advance, thus allowing more comprehensive planning by emergency management and transportation professionals. Simulations of ATIS' effectiveness in evacuation scenarios have been largely unexplored. Methods presented can be applied in a variety of evacuation scenarios and may be of particular value to emergency planners.

Original Publication Citation

Robinson, R. M., & Khattak, A. (2012). Evacuee route choice decisions in a dynamic hurricane evacuation context. Transportation Research Record, 2312, 141-149. doi:10.3141/2312-15


0000-0001-5295-930X (Robinson)