Evacuation Behavior: Case Study of the Taft, Lousiana Chemical Tank Explosion Incident

Quarantelli, E. L.
Hutchinson, David C.
Phillips, Brenda D.
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Disaster Research Center
The study was initiated because early reports and comments from the scene suggested that elements of a nuclear plant disaster plan might have been used in the evacuation. As our on-the-scene field work found, this was not the case in any meanginful sense, and only very indirectly did prior planning for the nuclear plant influence the response pattern of the local emergency organizations. However, our study did find, as other researchers have consistently found, that disaster planning of any kind--and there was much disaster planning in the threatened area--makes a difference during a community threat emergency. Furthermore, it seemed particularly worthwhile to document this particular case because of the high disaster risk nature of the community involved, its extensive experience with small and large scale emergencies, and the complexity of its disaster planning.
evacuation behavior , Taft, Lousiana , chemical tank explosion