Public Safety Building RM 2107
115 W Doty St
Madison, WI 53703-3202
Phone: (608) 266-4330
Fax: (608) 266-4500
TTY: Wisconsin Relay 711

Dane County / Madison Metropolitan Area Evacuation Plan

Dane County Emergency Management and partner agencies have developed an evacuation plan to provide for the orderly and coordinated evacuation of all or any part of Dane County.

People are forced to evacuate homes, businesses, offices, and other buildings on a regular basis. Most often, these evacuations are small-scale incidents resulting from a structural fire, bomb threat, or other localized hazard. Management of an evacuation on this small scale is almost a routine response. The plan posted here builds on the concepts applied in a small, localized evacuation, but is mainly intended to provide guidance for responding to more complex incidents involving large-scale or mass evacuations.

The plan was developed as a multi-jurisdictional, multi-agency plan describing general concepts of operations, agency responsibilities, and operational considerations for incidents involving evacuation in Dane County. The is a broad plan document, not a procedure document. Agencies having responsibilities identified in this plan have the added duty of establishing the standard operating procedures and protocols needed to carry out their role in an evacuation.

Plan Scope

The evacuation plan is focused on the jurisdictions in the area defined by the Madison Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) planning area, although the concepts contained herein could be applied anywhere in Dane County.

Approved Metropolitan Planning Area Boundary Map 1: Madison Area Metropolitan Planning Organization planning area boundary

This evacuation plan is based on the hazard analysis and vulnerability assessment for Dane County. The plan, therefore, is general in nature recognizing that there are too many variables and possible scenarios to recommend specific emergency actions. Rather, the plan identifies evacuation tools and resources that could be utilized in an emergency evacuation situation. It is likely that some, but not all, of these tools would be used in an emergency evacuation situation.

The plan also provides guidance for situations where Dane County is a host to evacuees from other areas of the region, state, or country.

Planning Subdivisions and Vulnerability Assessment

For planning purposes, the Madison metropolitan area was divided into 16 subdivisions for a more detailed analysis of the evacuation considerations. These subdivisions were based on a combination of factors including:

  • Roads
  • Census Block Group boundaries
  • Political jurisdictions
  • Geographical features
  • Other commonly recognized features

A vulnerability assessment was prepared for each of the planning subdivisions, compiling and mapping the following data:

  • Demographics – 2000 census data was analyzed, on the block group level, and GIS layers created in the County’s land information system. Data mapped and analyzed includes non-institutionalized persons with:
    • Population
    • Number of households
    • Adults and Juveniles with a disability
    • Madison Metro Para-transit riders
    • Number of households without a ca
    • Households where adults in the household don’t speak English
    • Low income
    • Age, including number of children under age 5 and adults over age 65.
  • Special needs facilities – Special needs facilities are those facilities that require unique attention because they house or serve people that cannot independently take care of themselves in an emergency and/or they require unique support services. Special needs facility data including facility name and description, location, contact information, and enrollment or bed capacity was collected and mapped in the County’s GIS.
  • Land use – Land use maps were also compiled, using zoning data to map areas zoned for:
    • Single and two family dwellings
    • Multi-Family dwellings
    • Institutional/Governmental
    • Commercial-Retail Sales and Service
    • Commercial – Industrial
    • Open Space
Madison Metropolitan Area Planning Subdivisions Map 2: Madison Metropolitan Area Planning Subdivisions

Plan Downloads