View the event recording.

The slide presentations are available at the bottom of this page.


This decade's disasters—natural and man-made, with and without advance notice—have left us with numerous complex, and sometimes tragic, examples from which we may yet better comprehend how transportation is affected and utilized in an emergency.

The 9/11 attacks and Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, in particular, have provoked large-scale studies of evacuation procedures for major cities, in order to identify any significant weaknesses and disseminate best practices.

A successful evacuation demands that various resources—professional, financial, technological, informational, and so on—are sufficient and available at the right time and place. To this end, effective evacuation planning requires a partnership among all stakeholders: personnel at all levels of government (particularly transportation agencies), private sector partners, and importantly, evacuees. Planning must also ensure that the economically disadvantaged, ethnic minorities, older adults and people with disabilities are not excluded from this vital service.

This event assembled a panel of the nation's leading emergency managers to explore the lessons they have learned in the field and how these should be applied to enhance evacuation planning and preparedness.


Excerpt 1, Excerpt 2 - Read excerpts of the event published in the Crisis Response Journal.

Government Reports

American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA). (2006). Emergency Evacuation Report Card. Washington, DC.

Federal Transit Administration (FTA). (2007). Transportation Equity in Emergencies: A Review of the Practices of State Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and Transit Agencies in 20 Metropolitan Areas: Final Report. Repot Number FTA-PA-26-8001-2007.

Houston-Galveston Area Evacuation and Response Task Force. (2006). Recommendations Report.

Governor’s Task Force on Evacuation, Transportation and Logistics. (2006). Final Report to the Governor.  US Department of Homeland Security (US DHS). (2006). Nationwide Plan Review: Phase 2 Report.

US Department of Transportation (DOT). (2003). Effects of Catastrophic Events on Transportation System Management and Operations: Cross Cutting Study. Cambridge, MA.

US Department of Transportation (US DOT). (2006). Using Highways during Evacuation Operations for Events with Advance Notice: Routes to Effective Evacuation Planning Primer Series. Report Number FHWA-HOP-06-109.

US Department of Transportation (DOT) & US Department of Homeland Security (US DHS). (2006). Catastrophic Hurricane Evacuation Plan Evaluation: A Report to Congress.

Journal Articles & Nongovernmental Studies

Ballard AJ & Borchardt DW. (2006). Recommended Practices for Hurricane Evacuation Traffic Operations. College Station, TX: Texas Transportation Institute.

Litman T. (2006). “Lessons from Katrina and Rita: what major disasters can teach transportation planners.Journal of Transportation Engineering 132 (1).

Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). (2005). “Public transportation emergency mobilization and emergency operations guide.Public Transportation Security, Volume 7. [READ SECTION FIVE]


City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management & Communications (OEMC)
     - Alert Chicago, OEMC
     - Evacuations, Alert Chicago, OEMC
     - City of Chicago. 2007. Central Business District Evacuation Plan.

City of Los Angeles Emergency Preparedness Department (EPD)
     - LA EPD (2006) Emergency Operations Master Plan & Procedures

Harris County Homeland Security & Emergency Management 
     - Evacuation section

Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA)
      - Mass Evacuation Incident Annex, National Response Framework

Federal Transit Administration. (2006). Disaster Response & Recovery Resource for Transit Agencies