ISO publishes standard for planning mass evacuation

ISO has published the first International Standard addressing mass evacuation. ISO 22315:2014, Societal security – Mass evacuation – Guidelines for planning, establishes a framework for each activity in mass evacuation planning for all identified hazards. It will help organizations to develop plans that are evidence-based and that can be evaluated for effectiveness.

An evacuation in response to a risk or threat is the movement of people from a designated area. In this context, a mass evacuation is characterized by the need for multi-agency collaboration and resources. Typically, this involves a larger number of people or wider area at risk. It is difficult to define mass evacuation in terms of numbers or scale because disasters, communities, and responder capabilities differ. However, it can be considered in terms of the number of evacuees exceeding an everyday scale of response such as the evacuation of a city, region, or large populated area.

ISO 22315 provides guidelines for mass evacuation planning in terms of establishing, implementing, monitoring, evaluating, reviewing, and improving preparedness. It is intended for use by organizations with responsibility for, or involvement in, part or all of the planning for mass evacuation. It is applicable to all types and sizes of organizations that are involved in the planning for mass evacuation, such as local, regional, and national governments; statutory bodies; international and non-governmental organizations; businesses; and public and social groups

Duncan Shaw, the project leader responsible for writing ISO 22315, explains:

“This standard covers planning for mass evacuation in order to gain a more effective response during the actual evacuation. It will assist organizations to meet their obligation of saving human life and reducing suffering.“

ISO 22315:2014, Societal security – Mass evacuation – Guidelines for planning, is available from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). It may also be obtained directly from the ISO Central Secretariat, price 58 Swiss francs respectively through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department.

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