Wednesday, December 09, 2020
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) conducted the Florida Hurricane Evacuation Survey to better understand hurricane evacuation behavior of residents in Florida’s coastal counties. Specifically, the survey asked about residents’ responses to evacuation orders for Hurricanes Matthew, Irma, and Michael.
Understanding hurricane evacuation behavior is critically important to Florida and other coastal states to keep populations safe. Households without access to a vehicle or with limited means to pay for travel and accommodation have historically been the most vulnerable in evacuation situations and continue to be a focus in the development of state evacuation plans. Substantial technological and cultural shifts in recent years, including the ubiquity of smartphones, increased acceptance of sharing rides or homes with strangers, and increased market share of electric vehicles (which may be difficult to recharge in evacuation situations) are all shifting the options and changing the choices that residents may make when evacuation orders are made. This study was conducted to improve the understanding of decisions being made in this new context, to support development of the Florida Statewide Hurricane Evacuation Model, and to help Florida to be better prepared for future storms.