Disasters may require evacuation of residents and visitors, sometimes from large areas and across multiple jurisdictions. From a traffic perspective, any evacuation is going to severely threaten the capacity of the transportation system to handle it. Most of the actions agencies can take to mitigate the negative impact of an evacuation and help keep traffic flowing require changes in the physical infrastructure or the use of mass-passenger modes. Here are some examples:
One challenge to emergency managers is unnecessary evacuations. Advanced Traveler Information System (ATIS) is another tool for discouraging people from unnecessarily evacuating. ATIS is a system that acquires, analyzes, and presents information to assist surface transportation travelers in moving from a starting location to their desired destination. An ATIS may operate through information supplied entirely within the vehicle (autonomous system) or it can use data supplied by the traffic management centers. Relevant information may include locations of incidents, weather and road conditions, optimal routes, recommended speeds, and lane restrictions, all part of the ITS. 1
The opposite of evacuations is the confinement of people within an area, for example to contain a potential pandemic. In this case, CCTV can show where vehicles are traveling when they should not be, and ATIS can augment public safety notices.