In this research, we use dynamic programming to model the evacuation and information-gathering decision of an official responsible for public safety. We assume that at each stage, an evacuation can be ordered that will take several stages to complete, or a decision can be made to wait and gather additional information regarding the approaching storm. Early evacuation mitigates loss, but may ultimately not have been necessary. On the other hand, waiting too long to evacuate could produce tragic consequences.
By integrating the emergency management and forecasting systems into a single dynamic model we are able to determine the interplay and benefit of investments in these systems, thereby allowing the selection of an optimal investment mix.