"Deciding whether to evacuate or to shelter-in-place is one of the most important questions facing local emergency planners responding to a toxic chemical release. That such a complex decision with such important potential consequences must be made with such urgency places tremendous responsibility on the planners and officials involved. Researchers have devoted considerable attention to the evacuation/shelter-in-place protection decision. While several decision aids have been developed, no single approach has achieved widespread acceptance based on validity, utility, and effectiveness (Ujihara 1989, Mannan and Kilpatrick 2000). In the absence of an agreed-upon methodology for making this decision, the best strategy for local emergency planners and officials is a thorough understanding of all the components affecting the decision. This paper summarizes what is currently known about the evacuation/shelter-in-place protection decision and points to available literature that more thoroughly explores the individual components of the decision. The next section summarizes the major issues in protective action decision process. This is followed by a discussion of all the factors that may bear on the protective action decision process. The final section address how to make a protective action decision."
Oak Ridge National Laboratory: ORNL/TM-2002/144
Oak Ridge National Laboratory: http://www.emc.ornl.gov/