Evacuation versus shelter in place

Edited book (chapter)


McLennan, Jim, Bearman, Chris and Ryan, Barbara. 2022. "Evacuation versus shelter in place." McGee, Tara K. and Penning-Rowsell, Edmund (ed.) Routledge Handbook of Environmental Hazards and Society. Routledge. pp. 335-350
Chapter Title

Evacuation versus shelter in place

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3137
Book TitleRoutledge Handbook of Environmental Hazards and Society
AuthorsMcLennan, Jim (Author), Bearman, Chris (Author) and Ryan, Barbara (Author)
EditorsMcGee, Tara K. and Penning-Rowsell, Edmund
Page Range335-350
SeriesRoutledge Handbooks Online
Chapter Number22
Number of Pages16
Year2022
PublisherRoutledge
ISBN9780367854584
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9780367854584
Web Address (URL)https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9780367854584-31/evacuation-versus-shelter-place-jim-mclennan-chris-bearman-barbara-ryan
Abstract

Evacuation has long been the protective action urged by authorities upon residents threatened by an environmental hazard event. More recently, sheltering in place has been proposed to be more appropriate for particular hazards under some circumstances. In this chapter, we examine evacuation versus shelter-in-place issues in relation to each of eight major weather-related and geophysical hazards. Our starting point is a frequently cited rule of thumb that, in relation to a specific hazard threat, the appropriate protective action response by threatened residents depends on shelter option viability compared with the likely success of evacuation. We clarify use of the terms ‘evacuation’ and ‘shelter’, describe major determinants of the appropriateness of the two protective action options, and summarise the processes involved in effective threat warnings. We discuss evacuation versus shelter-in-place issues in relation to surviving floods, tornadoes, tropical cyclones, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. We conclude that, in principle, authorities should emphasise the importance of timely evacuation. However, because safe evacuation under imminent threat will not always be possible, authorities should inform residents of the issues involved in sheltering in place safely through consultative engagement with at-risk communities.

KeywordsNatural disaster; environmental hazard; shelter; shelter-in-place; evacuation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470101. Communication studies
529999. Other psychology not elsewhere classified
Byline AffiliationsLa Trobe University
Central Queensland University
University of Southern Queensland
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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