Evacuations are often needed in response to human- or natural-caused disasters. This research incorporates social sciences concepts into a mathematical model to understand how users respond to evacuation alerts. Opinion Dynamics (OD) concepts have been modeled to analyze the response to evacuation due to wildfire threats. This research will evaluate the opinion dynamics of the California Central Valley population with regard to evacuating a threatened area. Three sources of information will be considered to evaluate a person's opinion. The first source relates to a global warning. The second source includes the interaction of the person and their social media contacts. Finally, the third source refers to the interaction of the person with their neighbors. The study will show how different weights affect people's opinions about evacuating and provide key information to organizations and managers to model different scenarios and responses.
California State University, Fresno
Wildfires threaten the health and security of California residents, and Fresno County ranks in the top ten of California counties with the most properties with wildfire risk. Even though the agencies at the state level have developed comprehensive evacuation plans and real-time monitoring programs, modeling different scenarios based on the sources of information and the interaction of and response from the residents may be used by control agencies and researchers to evaluate management strategies that could save people's lives.