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Hospital Evacuation Decision Guide

Public Health Emergency Preparedness

This resource was part of AHRQ's Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, which was discontinued on June 30, 2011, in a realignment of Federal efforts.

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This guide is designed to provide hospital evacuation decision teams with organized and systematic guidance on how to consider the many factors that bear on the decision to order an evacuation, and assist decision teams in identifying some of the special situations, often overlooked, that may exist in their facility or geographic area that could affect the decision to evacuate.

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Prepared by:
Abt Associates

Richard Zane, M.D., Principal Investigator
Paul Biddinger, M.D., Principal Investigator
Andrea Hassol
Tom Rich
Jennifer Gerber
Jennifer DeAngelis


Executive Summary
Chapter 1. Introduction
   Types of Disasters vs. Reasons for Evacuation
   Guide Organization
Chapter 2. Pre-Disaster Self-Assessment
   Critical Infrastructure Self-Assessment Worksheet
   Estimating Evacuation Time
Chapter 3. Pre-Event Evacuation Decision Guide
   Wait and Reassess
   Pre-Event Evacuation or Shelter-in-Place?
   Evacuation Sequence in a Pre-Event Evacuation
Chapter 4. Post-Event Evacuation Decision Guide
   Wait and Reassess, or Evacuate?
   Evacuation Sequence in a Post-Event Evacuation
Appendix A: Technical Expert Panel Members
Appendix B: Project Staff


The Hospital Evacuation Decision Guide was produced under a contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS's) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) with Abt Associates (Contract No. 290-20-0600-011). HHS's Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) provided additional support.

Special thanks to CAPT Melissa Sanders, Deputy Team Leader, ASPR (formerly HRSA Branch Chief), for her ongoing support of the work through her role with the Bioterrorism Hospital Preparedness Program.

The authors of this report are responsible for its content. No statement in the report should be construed as an official position of HHS, HRSA, AHRQ, or ASPR.

This document is in the public domain and may be used and reprinted without permission except those copyrighted materials noted for which further reproduction is prohibited without specific permission of copyright holders.

AHRQ Publication No. 10-0009
Current as of May 2010


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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