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Social distance integrated gravity model for evacuation destination choice

International Journal of Digital Earth pp 1-15; doi:10.1080/17538947.2021.1915396

Abstract: Evacuation is an effective and commonly taken strategy to minimize death and injuries from an incoming hurricane. For decades, interdisciplinary research has contributed to a better understanding of evacuation behavior. Evacuation destination choice modeling is an essential step for hurricane evacuation transportation planning. Multiple factors are identified associated with evacuation destination choices, in which long-term social factors have been found essential, yet neglected, in most studies due to difficulty in data collection. This study utilized long-term human movement records retrieved from Twitter to (1) reinforce the importance of social factors in evacuation destination choices, (2) quantify individual-level familiarity measurement and its relationship with an individual’s destination choice, (3) develop a big data approach for aggregated county-level social distance measurement, and (4) demonstrate how gravity models can be improved by including both social distance and physical distance for evacuation destination choice modeling.
Keywords: Big data / disaster management / evacuation / social media / social distance

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