Abstract for: Understanding the Role of Victims' Non-Discretionary Factors in Hurricane Evacuation Dynamics

Determining in advance emergency supplies and personnel required for a disaster relief operation is crucial for mitigating the societal impacts of such events. Prompt and effective response to either natural or man-made emergencies requires the analysis of key information where the role of disaster relief organizations is multiple. DROs approve the assistance requested by victims and coordinate supplies and personnel collected and transported to the disaster site. They provide mental health services and shelter while more long-term government aid is decided. The dynamic framework presented here was formulated to understand the complex multi-factor dynamic processes evolving over time during a hurricane emergency. It maps the process of interdependence between resource availability and satisfaction with human services and the influence of the media reacting to victims' complaints. It hypothesizes key mechanisms governing these relationships. Exogenous factors such as customer reactions to the category event; training level of response personnel; race, social stratum, home/pet ownership and education are all taken into account. The model was built with the analysis of data collected from victims of the 2005 Katrina Hurricane and paired with real operational data provided by the American Red Cross and then calibrated/validated by real data from the 2005 Rita Hurricane.