The National Academies

NCHRP 20-116 [Final]

An Emergency Management Playbook for State Transportation Agencies

  Project Data
Funds: $800,000
Research Agency: The Louis Berger Group, Inc., a WSP Company
Principal Investigator: Deborah Matherly
Effective Date: 1/28/2020
Completion Date: 7/27/2022

NCHRP Research Report 1093: An Emergency Management Playbook for State Transportation Agencies presents a state-of-the-art emergency management playbook to support state transportation agencies with improving, developing, and maintaining effective emergency management programs. The Playbook provides a systematic, coordinated approach for the full emergency management cycle along with a capability maturity model and self-assessment tool. The Playbook was developed based on an extensive literature review, research, and interviews with state transportation agencies. It is accompanied by complementary training materials and tools designed for immediate use by new and experienced practitioners in their effort to implement or improve emergency management programs.

Several emergency management courses and generic planning templates are currently available to transportation emergency managers at airports, transit agencies, and state departments of transportation, including NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 16: A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies (2010). Such resources, together with federal guidance promulgated through the Incident Command System/National Incident Management System/Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (ICS/NIMS/HSEEP) doctrines, are necessary but insufficient for ready implementation. 

There was a need for a strategy-driven, actionable guide—a playbook—that, with incidental implementation support, would help emergent and part-time transportation emergency managers understand, plan, and implement an emergency preparedness program that fits their agency’s needs, capabilities, and challenges. Such a playbook can serve as a simple, practical, and comprehensive emergency preparedness program development guide for
transportation emergency managers; be generally applicable to all transportation emergency operations centers; and be consistent with ICS/NIMS/HSEEP doctrines. A transportation specific playbook helps close the gap in transportation emergency preparedness and enables quicker and more effective uptake of valuable, scenario-based training and exercise tools
that help organizations apply prerequisite planning and program development.

Translating strategy from a playbook to the real world (how to do it) is complex, as states vary in how they organize their activities. There was a need to develop and execute a strategy to effectively bridge the gap between all-hazards emergency management research and state
transportation agency practice to improve an agency’s response over a broad continuum of emergencies affecting the nation’s travelers, economy, and infrastructure.

Under NCHRP Project 20-116, WSP USA was asked to (1) develop a playbook to support emergency management program review and development for state transportation agencies
and (2) develop and execute a deployment strategy to familiarize the affected transportation agencies of every state with the playbook and supporting emergency management materials. This Playbook and related products encompass state DOTs, public transportation systems, and other transportation agencies under state control or influence (i.e., state transportation agencies).

In addition to NCHRP Research Report 1093: An Emergency Management Playbook for State Transportation Agencies, documentation of the overall research effort is available as
NCHRP Web-Only Document 384: Developing an Emergency Response Playbook for State Transportation Agencies. Several other deliverables can be found on the National Academies
Press webpage (https://doi.org/10.17226/27379) for NCHRP Research Report 1093 under Resources. These additional deliverables include

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