The incident that we are modeling is that of a gas leak in the Northeast end of campus affecting a radius of a quarter mile. Gas leaks are exceedingly hazardous due to the flammable nature of natural gas, it's natural odorless aroma, and the health effects associated with extended exposure to this substance. Due to the range in area that this leak would affect, an evacuation of this portion of campus is suggested. The time that the leak starts is estimated to be 4 PM on a weekday, where some of the student population are in class, catching an early dinner, and studying in their dormitories. Currently there are no protocols in place for incidents of this nature aside from a general alert to evacuate the affected area at personal risk.
The objectives of our proposed evacuation plan are to move vehicles and pedestrians safely, create an evacuation routing system that is easy to implement under short notice and operates efficiently.
Please click through the below links to gain a further look at the University Office of Emergency Management website to look at current procedures, our microsimulation model and existing conditions, our proposed improvements, and literature review.
The conclusions drawn from our research show that in order to evacuate this portion of campus would take roughly 44 minutes to complete; including building evacuation, pedestrian evacuation to shelter/bus locations, and busing from the shelter locations to Amherst-Pelham Regional High School. This quick response time is ideal, but we realize that in actuality there are factors that we would be unable to account for. While the pedestrian evacuation time may be conservative for some aspects of the plan, like building evacuation time, it also happens to be an under-representation in other aspects, such as bus loading time. Due to the nature of fluctuating conservative-ness, this ultimately levels out to being a rough estimate that is reflective of an actual realistic time. Through the use of the VISSIM model and accessory calculations this evacuation plan was created with ease of implementation, safety, and efficiency in mind. As seen at the conclusion of the VISSIM Model Manual the statistical analysis of the model runs imply that the proposed plan does not prove to be a burden on the current traffic pattern but does show that the Lot 44 to ARHS route deviates from the standard slightly more than the other route. In conclusion, our evacuation plan model proved relevant to aiding in an emergency; yet going forward there are many factors that would still need to be accounted for in order to accurately execute this plan with minor complications to evacuate the northeast sector of campus in the case of a gas leak or hazardous situation.