A rescue boat evacuates people from the rising waters of Buffalo Bayou following Hurricane Harvey in a neighborhood west of Houston, Texas, August 30, 2017

commentary

(Domestic Preparedness Journal)

September 11, 2017

Rethinking Disaster Evacuation

A rescue boat evacuates people from the rising waters of Buffalo Bayou following Hurricane Harvey in a neighborhood west of Houston, Texas, August 30, 2017

Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

by Daniel M. Gerstein and Andrew Lauland

No two disasters are the same. Yet it is not unusual for officials to be confronted with a common critical public safety decision: whether to evacuate the public or advise them to shelter in place. This crucial decision, which is normally time-sensitive, can set the tone for the remainder of the response and recovery phases...

The remainder of this commentary is available on domesticpreparedness.com.


Daniel M. Gerstein works at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation and is an adjunct professor at American University. He was the undersecretary (acting) and deputy undersecretary in the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security from 2011 to 2014.

Andrew Lauland is a senior researcher at RAND Corporation. He was the state homeland security advisor for the state of Maryland from 2007 to 2015, and homeland security director for the City of Baltimore from 2002 to 2007. In 2006, Lauland and 150 Baltimore City firefighters, police officers, and public works personnel deployed to Gretna and St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana in response to Hurricane Katrina.

This commentary originally appeared on Domestic Preparedness Journal on September 11, 2017.