Family gathering in evacuations: a case-study of the 2007 Angora fire

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Publication Type thesis
School or College College of Social & Behavioral Science
Department Geography
Author Van Drimmelen, Marquessa Nixon
Title Family gathering in evacuations: a case-study of the 2007 Angora fire
Date 2010-08
Description For many years, modelers have simulated the characteristics of human behavior during evacuations in an effort to improve evacuation management. These simulations, however, rely on assumptions regarding individual and family spatial behavior patterns. This thesis examines spatial behavior in an emergency with a specific focus on gathering behaviors and patterns of groups after receiving an evacuation notice. The 2007 Angora Fire in South Lake Tahoe, California was used as the case study. Mail-out surveys were sent to 500 households residing in the evacuation zone. Information was collected regarding the timing and type of evacuation notification, gathering group demographics, time and travel distances, as well as the final gathering location. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the survey results and provide a better understanding of what people do at the household level. The results show that, other than the small population of single respondents, 100% of households gathered or were already together at the time of the evacuation notice. Furthermore, in addition to the immediate (nuclear) and extended families that gathered, there were cases of gatherings among friends and neighbors. Close to 80% of the groups gathered within 30 minutes after receiving the evacuation notice, and 60% traveled less than 20 miles in total to reach this meeting location. The most common gathering location was the home (39%), family and friends homes (24%), and work (13%) with school and motel locations less common. The findings of this thesis will improve our ability to better simulate spatial behavior in evacuations, as well as improve our management of emergency evacuations.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Evacuation; Family gathering; Fire
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name MS
Language eng
Rights Management ©Marquessa Nixon Van Drimmelen
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 2,303,888 bytes
Source original in Marriott Library Special Collections ; G59.5 2010 .V36
ARK ark:/87278/s6m04kw9
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2012-04-23
Date Modified 2018-04-10
ID 192235
Reference URL
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