Evacuation as a climate adaptation strategy for environmental justice communities

Laura Kuhl*, Paul H. Kirshen, Matthias Ruth, Ellen M. Douglas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


With rising sea levels and possible storm intensification due to climate change, current United States urban coastal flood management strategies will be challenged. Due to limitations of current flood management strategies, evacuation is likely to become increasingly prominent in many coastal areas. Thus it is important to think critically about challenges for successful evacuation planning, particularly for vulnerable communities. This paper brings together the evacuation planning, climate change and environmental justice literatures. We describe the unique challenges that environmental justice communities face with evacuation, and identify best practice guidelines to improve the quality of evacuation planning for these communities. The guidelines presented, while not comprehensive, provide a framework for planners and policymakers to consider when developing evacuation plans, both for current and future climate conditions, and could improve the quality of evacuation planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-504
Number of pages12
JournalClimatic change
Issue number3-4
Early online date16 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

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