Evacuation is the most widespread and effective measure to protect the public against sudden-impact disasters. However, it is not always appropriate, feasible, or advisable, especially if there is insufficient lead time in which to warn people and organize their journeys.

Four Categories of Evacuation

Evacuation can be classified into four categories: emergency protection for short-term, pre-impact response; preventative under long-term, pre-impact conditions; rescue during the short term, immediately after impact; and for reconstruction during the long-term, post-impact phase. Principles and processes of evacuation may be applied on a wide variety of scales, ranging from the egress of people from a burning building to the withdrawal of entire populations from coastal areas threatened by hurricanes. Evacuation can be optional (although it rarely is) or mandatory, and backed ...

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