U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Emergency Evacuation: Get a Road of This

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 36 Issue: 9 Dated: September 2009 Pages: 18,20,24
Douglas Page
Date Published
September 2009
6 pages
This article briefly describes the development of innovative cell-phone based traffic management technologies to assist law enforcement efforts in emergency evacuation situations.
Traffic management systems designed for use during mass evacuation are currently being developed. The Bluetooth wireless communication technology connects and exchanges information for cell phones, offering law enforcement and emergency managers a layer of visibility that they currently do not have. The Bluetooth device has its own distinct digital identification signal, called a media access control (MAC). The digital MAC allows law enforcement to use data to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources or adjust evacuation routes during emergency evacuation situations. Another cell-phone based traffic management idea is one based on GPS-enabled mobile phones, the Kyoto system. This system shifts the emergency management paradigm from one information push to all users to information individualized to each user. Neither the Bluetooth tracking nor the Japanese GPS scheme are panaceas for law enforcement charged with developing mass evacuation strategies, but each may play a role of some kind in future efforts.