116 Using Network and Near Analyses to Examine Mobile Home Resident Evacuation Potential and Emergency Medical Service Response during Tornado Events in the Southeast U.S.

Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Stowe & Atrium rooms (Stoweflake Mountain Resort )
Stephen M. Strader, Villanova Univ., Villanova, PA; and E. Wagner and C. Sherrod

Tornado mortality is greatest in the Southeast U.S. due to an elevated tornado risk, larger total developed land area, and greater number of mobile and manufactured homes (MHs). Previous research has indicated that MH residents are more likely to flee or evacuate their homes for perceived sturdier and safer structures during tornado events compared to residents living in permanent homes (PHs). The most likely places of shelter for MH residents are nearby PHs, places of worship, schools, and designated community shelters. This study employs geospatial network and near analysis techniques to examine differences in vehicular travel times and distances from MHs and PHs to nearby sheltering locations and from emergency medical service (EMS) locations to MHs and PHs. Results indicated that the travel times and distances from MHs to sheltering locations are significantly greater than PH travel times and distances. The travel times and distances from EMS locations to MHs are also far greater compared to PHs. Overall, findings from this research illustrate that in addition to MH residents in the Southeast U.S. being more physically and socioeconomically vulnerable to tornadoes compared to PH residents, they are also disproportionally less served by potential sheltering locations and EMS. Findings from this study may be utilized by members of the National Weather Service (NWS) and Integrated Warning Team (IWT) to better prepare for future tornado events. Specifically, conducting site suitability assessments aimed at improving sheltering options for MH residents and EMS response times will increase tornado survivability and mitigate future losses.
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