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  • New data highlights most disaster-prone U.S. communities

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New data highlights most disaster-prone U.S. communities

Source(s):  Government Technology

By Skip Descant


Following nearby fires in 2017, community leaders learned that “none of the four ‘emergency travel routes’ shown on the official evacuation map were available for use,” said Keith Rutledge, a member of the steering group for Sherwood Firewise Communities (SFC), an organization formed to improve fire-zone safety in the area.


Streetlight Data, a traffic analysis software firm, took a close look at 30,000 communities across the country with fewer than 40,000 residents — locations where there’s likely to be a limited number of highways into and out of town — to get an understanding of their risk to natural disasters and load volume of local roadways.


“The belief is that habitually, you’re used to taking certain roadways out of your city boundaries, and when disaster strikes and where evacuation happens, people are likely to follow the road that they know … unless there are procedures in place to route them in a particular direction,” said Martin Morzynski, vice president of marketing and product management at StreetLight Data.


The message for all involved in disaster planning, company officials said, is to ensure all routes are open and free of obstacles, particularly when secondary routes could serve as entry points for firefighters and other first responders.


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  • Publication date 12 Oct 2020

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