In 2004 and 2005, Florida experienced an unprecedented level of tropical storm activity.  In 2004, Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne impacted our State.  Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma came ashore in Florida in 2005.  In the short span of 24 months, millions of Florida residents were impacted, and property damages ran into the billions of dollars.

In response to these devastating hurricane seasons, state legislators passed House Bill 1721 and House Bill 1359, which identified enhanced statewide hurricane evacuation planning and a redefinition of the coastal high hazard area as state priorities.  In accordance with this legislative direction, the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management (DEM) obtained grant money through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to conduct regional evacuation studies across the State.

DEM contracted with Florida’s Regional Planning Councils to carry out the Statewide Regional Evacuation Study Program (SRESP), in close collaboration with county emergency management agencies.  The Regional Planning Councils facilitated consistent and integrated mapping and analysis of all-hazards evacuation across Florida.  In South Florida, this multi-year project resulted in a comprehensive regional evacuation study that encompasses Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties and is integrated with similar work completed by the Regional Planning Councils to the north (Treasure Coast) and west (Southwest Florida).  Inter-agency cooperation and data sharing was a vital part of ensuring the success of this regional and state initiative.  A regional Technical Advisory Team of county-level agencies was created, with each county’s Emergency Management Agency acting as the lead.

Although hurricanes are a prominent concern in the studies, the framework was established for an “all hazards” analysis in order to support planning efforts to prepare for other types of evacuations as well, such as inland flooding or wildfires.  These studies are not policy documents – instead, they are intended to provide support for future updates to local government emergency management plans.  The completed study consists of 88 volumes of material (8 for each of the 11 regions across the state).

As part of the statewide study, the DEM managed a separate contract for the production of updated Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) elevation data, which was completed for about 28,000 square miles across the State of Florida.  CH2M Hill was the contractor that collected data for South Florida.  Processing of the LiDAR data and preparation of the data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) was completed in May 2009.  New Sea, Lake and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH) modeling was then completed for two SLOSH basins involved in the update for South Florida: Biscayne Bay for Miami-Dade and Broward Counties, and Florida Bay for Monroe County.  Additional information about the LiDAR and SLOSH project is available on the Florida Division of Emergency Management website at

During the preparation of the Study, which began in December 2006, several of the Councils were designated as leads for development of the methodology for specific sections of the studies.  South Florida Regional Planning Council staff was the lead for the demographic analysis.  In that role, Council staff developed a set of guidelines for the collection of data for demographic profiles for each county and each region, as well as for the collection of small-area data to support the transportation analysis.  In addition, Council staff prepared demographic data for all 67 counties in the State of Florida, organized by RPCs, from the 2000 Census (block group data) and from the 2006 American Community Survey (ACS) (county data), to support the development of demographic profiles.  Council staff also provided data from the 2000 Census Transportation Planning Package for 31 counties, with over ten thousand traffic analysis zones (TAZs), for use in the transportation analysis.

On December 15, 2010, the South Florida Regional Planning Council convened State and county emergency management and growth management officials at its Hollywood office to deliver the South Florida component of the SRESP.  With the completion of the South Florida Regional Evacuation Study, county emergency management officials will have an opportunity to begin updating county emergency plans for operational purposes.

The completed study for South Florida consists of eight volumes, described below, with links for downloading the published documents.  Please note, some of the documents are very large, as they contain maps and other figures. The ninth volume (Depth Analysis Atlas) was completed in May 2012.

Volume 1-11 – Technical Data Report

·     Front Matter – Acknowledgements, Table of Contents and Executive Summary

·     Chapter I Regional Demographic and Land Use Analysis – A systematic enumeration and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping of the dwelling units, population, vehicles and socio-economic characteristics for the three counties and the region in 2000 and 2006, as well as the projected dwelling units, population and vehicles within those areas in the years 2010 and 2015.

Appendix IA – Broward County

Appendix IB – Miami-Dade County

Appendix IC – Monroe County

·     Chapter II Regional Hazards Analysis – A comprehensive analysis of the potential hazards to the South Florida region, including investigations of past hurricanes, storm surge, tornadoes, flooding, hazardous sites, terrorism and nuclear facilities, and a critical facilities inventory.

·     Chapter III Regional Behavioral Analysis Summary – A summary of the probable tendencies of potential evacuees based on a detailed residential survey by evacuation zone (Volumes 2 and 3).

Appendix IIIA – Broward County

Appendix IIIB – Miami-Dade County

Appendix IIIC – Monroe County

·     Chapter IV Regional Vulnerability and Population Analysis – Delineation of the storm tide limits and the evacuation zones, identification of population-at-risk and evacuation populations, and a storm surge analysis of critical facilities.

Appendix IVA – Broward County

Appendix IVB – Miami-Dade County

Appendix IVC – Monroe County

·     Chapter V Regional Shelter Analysis – An inventory of existing public shelters and shelter capacity analysis, and geo-coding of the data to create a layer of shelter locations.

·     Chapter VI Regional Evacuation Transportation Analysis – Use of an evacuation transportation model specially developed for the study to calculate clearance times for five categories of storm, according to both a baseline set of assumptions and “operational” scenarios developed by the county emergency management staff.

·     Glossary – A list of terms as defined for use in the study.

Volume 2-11 – Regional Behavioral Analysis (Dr. Earl Jay Baker, Hazards Management Group) A set of planning assumptions developed by Dr. Baker based on the survey results in Volume 3.  These were used to establish the behavioral assumptions used in the transportation analysis.

Volume 3-11 – Regional Behavioral Survey Report (Kerr and Downs Research)A total of 18,800 telephone surveys were completed statewide by the contractor, Kerr & Downs, in late 2007 and early 2008.  The volume for South Florida includes extensive tabulations of the questions asked in 400 phone surveys conducted in each county (Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward).

Volume 4-11 – Evacuation Transportation Analysis (Wilbur Smith Associates) – A total of ten baseline scenarios and 21 operational scenarios were analyzed to generate four clearance times by county: clearance times to shelter, in-county clearance times, out-of-county clearance times and regional clearance times.  For each scenario, the total evacuating people and vehicles are calculated as well.

Volume 5-11 – Evacuation Transportation Supplemental Data Report (Wilbur Smith Associates)This Report contains the model run inputs and outputs and serves as the source data for Volume 4 – Evacuation Transportation Analysis.

Volume 6-11 – Emergency Management Evacuation Tool Kit – This document includes locally-selected data pertinent to each of the county emergency management agencies.  It is meant to be used as a quick reference guide for operations. 

Volume 7-11 – Storm Tide Atlas – The Atlas provides the storm tide boundaries based on the new SLOSH Analysis, including the boundaries of the Category 1 storm surge, which can be used by local governments to identify the Coastal High Hazard Area (CHHA).  Click here for shapefiles showing the Category 1 storm surge for each county.  The Storm Tide Atlas is made up of one book for each county in the region, with plates for each area that has a potential for storm tide flooding.

Book 1 – Broward County

Book 2 – Miami-Dade County

Book 3 – Monroe County

Volume 8 – Methodology and Support Documentation - This volume contains the detailed methodology used in developing various components of the Statewide Regional Evacuation Study Program (SRESP) not found elsewhere in the Study.  The development of the methodologies utilized in the Study required coordination and input from all eleven regional planning councils in Florida, along with the Division of Emergency Management, Department of Transportation, Department of Community Affairs, and local county emergency management teams.

This volume contains the detailed methodologies for the following SRESP components:

Evacuation Transportation Model Methodology (Chapter II)

Demographic and Land Use Analysis Methodology (Chapter III)

2007-2010 SRESP Surge Inundation Tool Methodology (Chapter IV)

Geodatabase Design and Methodology (Chapter V)

Volume 9-11 - Depth Analysis Atlas - The Atlas maps identify those areas subject to potential surge flooding, along with the depth of the water, for each of the five categories of hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, as determined by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) numerical storm surge model, Sea, Lake and Overland Surge from Hurricanes (SLOSH), updated in 2009.  Due to the size of the files, please contact Council staff if you are interested in obtaining a digital copy of one or more of the books for the three counties.

For additional information related to the Statewide Regional Evacuation Study Program please contact Richard Ogburn (, or Manny Cela (


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