Cat 2 Hurricane Sally Packs a Powerful Punch

Hurricane Sally demonstrates that a Category 2 storm can pack a powerful punch, said Dr. John L. Renne in an interview with the Arab news Alhurra TV based out of Washington DC and broadcast to the Arab speaking world globally. While the federal government responds to disasters, planning for disasters has been left to local government. Watch the interview. 

Hurricane Evacuation in the Time of COVID-19 

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With two storms threatening the U.S. Gulf Coast, emergency managers weigh options for evacuation and sheltering-in-place during the pandemic. John Renne, Ph.D., a professor and Director of the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions, talks about the challenges, especially for the carless, the elderly, and vulnerable populations. The U.S. Agency for Global Media arranged the conversation with "From the Capitol," a news program on Alhurra TV-Washington D.C. MBN that airs in 22 Arab-speaking countries in the Middle East. Click here to watch the English-language version of the interview. 

Hardest Hit by Hurricane Michael and Least Prepared to Evacuate


A study released by  Florida Atlantic University’s  Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions (CUES) found that the vast majority of counties in the Florida Panhandle were  less prepared for emergency evacuation  compared to the rest of the state.  Of the 67 counties in Florida, 10 were rated as having weak levels of evacuation preparedness, and all of these counties were located in the Panhandle/North Florida. Eleven of 16 counties with moderately rated plans also were in this region. Only seven of the counties in the Panhandle had strong plans.

View  ANIMATED MAP  |  MAP | See media coverage and related research below.


Multiple television, radio, and online news outlets featured the research:  WIRED.COM   CBS Miami   WTSP Channel 10   CBS12.com |. Listen to a report by National Public Radio (NPR)’s Science Desk reporter  Rebecca Hersher

Evacuating Carless and Vulnerable Populations: How prepared are Florida Counties?

On October 24-27, 2019, Dr. John Renne, AICP, presented  a research poster   Evacuating Carless and Vulnerable Populations: How prepared are Florida Counties?  at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning (ACSP) Conference in Greenville, SC. The interactive poster highlighted  Dr. Renne’s research  with doctoral student Andrea Ramos, which examined levels of preparedness for evacuating, for example, people with special needs and people with pets.


Evacuation Preparedness Rating System

In 2017, Estefania Mayorga, a CUES graduate researcher, presented a poster at the APA Florida Conference highlighting an Evacuation Preparedness Rating System. The research rated 33 city evacuation plans along five criteria: special needs registries, specialized transportation for individuals with specific needs, pick-up location plan, multimodal plan, and pedestrian plan. Of the cities assessed, seven have strong plans exhibiting best practices in detail, rating “green.” Twenty others have moderately good plans; however, several focused only on downtown areas. Cities with strong plans had experienced strong hurricanes in the past or another event leading to greater preparedness.