Wired quotes Dr. John Renne

An article that was published on September 14, 2018 in Wired, “WHEN IT’S TIME TO EVACUATE, CITIES STRUGGLE TO HELP THOSE WHO CAN’T DRIVE,” features Dr. John L. Renne’s research on evacuating vulnerable populations and provides a link to a recent paper he published.

This work, which compares evacuation planning for vulnerable populations in the UK and US was made possible through support and affiliation from the Transport Studies Unit (TSU) in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Last spring we had TSU Director and Professor Tim Schwanen speak at FAU and I visited Oxford again in May to conduct interviews for a book I’m writing. Tim and I are also working on an MOU between Oxford and FAU to continue our collaborations.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“When you’re trying to plan for vulnerable populations, it’s really a local sort of activity,” says John Renne, who studies urban planning and disaster management at Florida Atlantic University. “It’s really hard to do that from a federal or state level. It’s not something you can do on a moment’s notice. These sorts of things take time.”

The issue, he says, is that many local governments feel ill-equipped to do that work. In one recent paper, published in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Renne interviewed emergency managers in the UK and in five major American cities, and found even those in big metros like Miami, New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans were “realistic about the shortcomings of their plans.”

While national agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency provide technical assistance and funding, and state governments often invest resources into robust emergency planning, Renne has found that many local governments don’t know to take advantage. Meanwhile, scientists project that storms are only getting worse, with climate change creating slower-moving monstrosities that will dump more rain. And the carless population is only set to grow in the coming years, as more than 70 million baby boomers age out of driving.”

Read the full article