Research on evacuation behavior in natural disasters provides a valuable contribution in the development of effective short- and long-term strategies in disaster risk management (DRM). Many studies address evacuation simulation utilizing mathematical modeling approaches or GIS-based simulation. In this contribution, we perform a detailed analysis of an entire evacuation process from the decision to evacuate right up to the arrival at a safe zone. We apply a progressive research design in the community of Talcahuano, Chile by means of linking a social science approach, deploying standardized questionnaires for the tsunami affected population, and a GIS-based simulation. The questionnaire analyzes evacuation behavior in both an event-based historical scenario and a hypothetical future scenario. Results reveal three critical issues: evacuation time, distance to the evacuation zone, and method of transportation. In particular, the excessive use of cars has resulted in congestion of street sections in past evacuations, and will most probably also pose a problem in a future evacuation event. As evacuation by foot is generally recommended by DRM, the results are extended by a GIS-based modeling simulating evacuation by foot. ... mehrCombining the findings of both approaches allows for added value, providing more comprehensive insights into evacuation planning. Future research may take advantage of this multi-perspective research design, and integrate social science findings in a more detailed manner. Making use of invaluable local knowledge and past experience of the affected population in evacuation planning is likely to help decrease the magnitude of a disaster, and, ultimately, save lives.