A Dosage Based Methodology to Simulate Crowd Evacuations in Toxic Environments
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For evaluating the consequences and planning for emergencies associated with toxic gas releases, the role of evacuation times is indispensable. In such a release scenario, evacuees may be subjected to varying doses of toxic gas which may result in various toxic effects and symptoms that may affect the ability to escape or take actions. Understandably, it is imperative to develop a methodology that accounts for the dosage-based effects of toxic substances on evacuees during the evacuation. In this work, the previously proposed social force model for crowd evacuation is modified by introducing a dynamic dosage-dependent force term, Toxic Force, to account for the effects of various symptoms associated with toxic exposures. This force term is defined as a function of Toxic Load, which is an exposure-response based, level of injury estimation variable. The Toxic Load algorithm is put into effect to indicate the levels of injury due to multiple symptoms. The existing Panic Simulator tool was modified in line with this novel methodology. A case study was conducted in which an evacuation of 51 people from a realistic geometry of an administrative building was simulated while subjecting them to different concentrations of hydrogen sulfide. The results of this study lent insights into the evacuation process. For instance, exit times of people who are farther from the exit exhibit significantly greater sensitivity to exposure concentrations than those of people closer to the exit. Such insights into the evacuation process can help implement more effective mitigation methods, and help plan better emergency responses.
Nawayd, Shaikh Mohammed (2018). A Dosage Based Methodology to Simulate Crowd Evacuations in Toxic Environments. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from