Major City Evacuation Planning

Disaster, whether manmade or natural, can have a catastrophic impact on a populated area. Sometimes, the disaster is so devastating that it requires a large-scale evacuation. As a result, evacuation plans have become a necessity. The Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin Regional Catastrophic Planning Team looked to improve their plan and employed A, Kirby, J.E. Dietz, E. Matson, J. Pekny, and C. Wojtalewicz from the Department of Computer and Information Technology, Purdue University, and J. Pekny from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University to do so.

This project's goal was to provide data on the optimal staff, materials, space and time resources required to operate a regional hub reception center, a “short-term facility with the goal to process and transport displaced survivors (evacuees) to temporary or permanent shelters following a catastrophic incident” (Bonabeau, 2002).

AnyLogic allowed simulations to be performed on each of the three criteria: minimizing the space needed to run the hub, minimizing individual throughput time and minimizing total operation time. The results of the study demonstrated that the goals set forth by the Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin Regional Catastrophic Planning Team could be improved upon and that the largest contributing factor to optimizing the Regional Hub Reception Center (RHRC) is finding the optimal number of total staff members to operate the facility.

The value of the study lies in creating a life-saving environment for evacuees who could otherwise not evacuate themselves. The assistance provided by the RHRC gives displaced survivors a safe and organized method for evacuating a large city after a disaster. Learn more about this project via the papers section of