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Agency for Healthcare Research Quality


A new model estimates emergency evacuation needs for health care facilities

A model to help Federal, State, and local emergency planners estimate the vehicles, drivers, road capacity, and other resources they will need to evacuate patients and others from health care facilities in disaster areas was released today by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Web-based Mass Evacuation Transportation Planning Model is designed to be used prior to an emergency to help answer such questions as:

  • How long will it take to move patients from one facility to another?
  • How many transport vehicles, such as ambulances, wheelchair vans, and buses, are required to complete the evacuation within a certain time period?
  • How might the location and other attributes of the evacuating and receiving facilities affect evacuation plans?

Emergency planners can enter into the model any number of evacuating and receiving facilities and specific conditions that could affect transportation plans. The model will estimate the resources and hours needed to move patients from evacuating facilities to receiving facilities, based on assumptions that the planner specifies. The model was pilot tested in New York City and Los Angeles and is available for use at

Development of the model was led by AHRQ and the Department of Defense with funding from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The model helps communities move one step closer to an integrated emergency response system that can track, move, and regulate patients and evacuees during a mass casualty or evacuation.

More than 60 Public Health Emergency Preparedness tools and resources are available on the AHRQ Web site at:

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