As the threat of a significant earthquake increases with time, there is a need for the population at risk to be prepared and informed of efficient evacuation routes from the danger zone to designated safety points. Using GIS to develop an emergency evacuation plan for the GVRD is vital for the spatial presentation and informed decision-making needed for emergency management planners. This study determined areas of low to high risk within the GVRD based on an MCE that combined both the societal vulnerability and physical geographic risk to secondary earthquake effects. From the areas characterized as having the highest risk to such effects, optimal evacuation routes out of these areas were determined based on road capacity and proximity costs through LCPA.
Overall, this study was successful in identifying optimal evacuation routes from defined high-risk zones out of the GVRD in the event of a major earthquake off the coast of BC. The defined evacuation routes include a network of expressways and freeways from the high-risk areas within the GVRD and out towards the interior BC cities of Mission and Abbotsford to ensure the safe evacuation of as many people as possible. However, these optimal routes unavoidably travel on bridges that are susceptible to damage in the event of an earthquake. As this study was limited by the knowledge of specific infrastructure stability, the outlined evacuation route model should be used together with information on bridge stability and engineering in order to optimize emergency evacuation route plans. As such, if and when new spatail data is available, this model can be modfied to make use of that information and improve its identification of evacuation routes on a finer scale to further optmize BC's emergency management preparedness.