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Method to Determine Locations of Tsunami Vertical Evacuation Shelters Public Deposited

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This is the author's peer-reviewed final manuscript, as accepted by the publisher. The published article is copyrighted by Springer and can be found at:  http://www.springer.com/earth+sciences+and+geography/natural+hazards/journal/11069.

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  • The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 Great Tohoku Japan earthquake and tsunami focused a great deal of the world’s attention on the effect of tsunamis on buildings and infrastructure. When a tsunami impacts structures in a coastal community, the structures are often not strong enough to withstand the forces and may collapse. Therefore, to maximize the survival probability, people evacuate to higher ground or move outside the inundation zone. However, this is not always possible because of short warning times for near-field tsunamis. Thus, sheltering-in-place or “sheltering-near-place” using vertical evacuation should be considered as an alternative approach to lateral evacuation from a tsunami inundation zone. This paper presents the method and results of a study to develop and demonstrate a methodology that applied genetic optimization to determine optimal tsunami shelter locations with the goal of reducing evacuation time thereby maximizing the probability of survival for the population in a coastal community. The City of Cannon Beach, Oregon, USA was used as an illustrative example. Several cases were investigated ranging from a single shelter to multiple shelters with locations of high elevation already in place near the city. The method can provide decision-support for determination of locations for tsunami vertical evacuation shelters. The optimum location of the shelter(s), which was found to vary depending on the number of shelters considered, can reduce the evacuation time significantly thereby reducing the number of fatalities and increasing the safety of a community.
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  • Park, S., van de Lindt, J. W., Gupta, R., & Cox, D. (2012). Method to determine the locations of tsunami vertical evacuation shelters. Natural Hazards, 63(2), 891-908. doi: 10.1007/s11069-012-0196-3
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  • The material presented in this paper is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMMI-0830378 (NEES Research) and CMMI-0402490 (NEES Operations).
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