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Evacuation from a Nuclear Technological Disaster

Donald J. Zeigler, Stanley D. Brunn and James H. Johnson, Jr.
Geographical Review
Vol. 71, No. 1 (Jan., 1981), pp. 1-16
DOI: 10.2307/214548
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/214548
Page Count: 16
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Evacuation from a Nuclear Technological Disaster
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Abstract

The accident at Three Mile Island on March 28, 1979, provided social scientists with their first opportunity to study the voluntary evacuation process in response to a nuclear technological disaster. A survey of area residents revealed that 53 percent of all households within twleve miles of the plant evacuated. Evacuees fled a median distance of 85 miles with individuals who lived farther from the plant evacuating to more distant locations. Maps of actual and potential evacuation fields suggest that preferred evacuation destinations were north and west of TMI. The typical evacuee left two days after the accident, stayed with family or friends, and returned home two to four days later. Both a personalized stress-response model and a search-space model were developed as a working foundation for further research on evacuation from technological disasters.

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