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  • Compound risks of hurricane evacuation amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States
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Compound risks of hurricane evacuation amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States

Source(s):  Columbia University
Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

This research article models how a hypothetical hurricane evacuation from four counties in southeast Florida would affect COVID‐19 case levels. The authors find that hurricane evacuation increases the total number of COVID‐19 cases in both origin and destination locations; however, if transmission rates in destination counties can be kept from rising during evacuation, excess evacuation‐induced case numbers can be minimized by directing evacuees to counties experiencing lower COVID‐19 transmission rates.Ultimately, the number of excess COVID‐19 cases produced by the evacuation depends on the ability of destination counties to meet evacuee needs while minimizing virus exposure through public health directives. These results are relevant to disease transmission during evacuations stemming from additional climate‐related hazards such as wildfires and floods.

Faced with the prospect of tens of thousands of additional cases arising from a hurricane evacuation, states and counties at both ends of evacuation routes must be allocated the necessary financial and human resources required to meet evacuees' needs while also ensuring community safety and health through measures intended to reduce COVID‐19 transmission rates. Further, resource distribution must prioritize the nation's most vulnerable groups.



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  • Compound risks of hurricane evacuation amid the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) Pei, Sen; Dahl, Kristina A.; Yamana, Teresa K. et al.
  • Number of pages 14 p.
  • ISBN/ISSN 10.1029/2020GH000319 (DOI)

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