Evacuation game highlights concerns with mass evacuation - NEWS 95.7
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Evacuation game highlights concerns with mass evacuation

The MacKay bridge is one of the 5 major exit points from the peninsula. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Researchers at Dalhousie University have been running evacuation scenarios of Halifax in the event of a disaster, and what they’ve found isn’t good.

Two professors have been developing a type of video game to help with mass evacuation in the event of a disaster such as a flood.

Professor Ahsan Habib said testing with the current model suggests it would take 15 hours to evacuate the peninsula, assuming everyone has access to a vehicle.

“Let’s assume it is condensed rush hour because whenever we get an evacuation order it means we that have to get out all the traffic,” he said.

“Very limited time that we have and for Halifax one of the biggest problems is we have only five exit points.”

The pair hope to create a user-friendly game that emergency planners can use to change scenarios to help accelerate evacuation efforts.

“We got ADDRC federal government grant to expand it to make it much more user friendly.”

Currently there is enough funding to work on the project for the next two years but Habib said they would need more time and money to create a full-fledged Halifax emergency evacuation game.

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