The National Academies

NCHRP 20-59(08) [Completed]

Emergency Transportation Operations Preparedness and Response Workshop: Adaptations for Rural and International Border Crossing Situations

  Project Data
Funds: $195,000
Research Agency: Science Applications International Corporation
Principal Investigator: Stephen Lockwood
Effective Date: 9/10/2002
Completion Date: 3/31/2004


AASHTO, through NCHRP as the contracting agency, is supporting workshops to help states determine the readiness of their state emergency management plans and preparation to address terrorist incidents with statewide consequence, with a particular emphasis on introducing and clarifying the role of the state DOTs within the state (versus regional or local) emergency management context. Four states have been selected for the workshops, those being Minnesota, New Mexico, New York and Washington.


  • To test the efficacy of statewide planning for responding to terrorist events
  • To bring different players within the emergency management community together, with a particular focus on integrating the transportation community within the larger emergency management community
  • To help the larger emergency management community understand the role of the state DOT and transportation in responding to terrorist incidents
  • To help the state DOT personnel broaden their understanding of their role within the larger context of state emergency management

Workshop Participants

Participants will include up to 50 people drawn from the state DOT from headquarters and possibly key districts, state emergency management agency, state law enforcement agency (ies), state fire agency, state health agency, state homeland security office and/or other agencies involved in emergency response. Federal agencies that should participate include FHWA, the FBI, FEMA and/or other agencies involved in emergency response.

The focus of this workshop is on state-level planning. As the tabletop scenarios are developed, to the extent scenario designers believe the involvement of local agencies will be beneficial, they may be included. For example, local officials might participate to the extent they would be involved in statewide (versus regional and local) emergency planning and response. (Note: These workshops differ from the emergency response workshops developed and provided by FHWA which focus on metropolitan planning. As there will be additional such workshops provided, states will have the opportunity to offer a metropolitan-focused workshop in their respective states.)


Task 1. Produce Concept & Plan for Workshops. In this task, the concept and plan for the four workshops will be developed. A technical memorandum will be prepared, in consultation with the four states. This document will be submitted to the NCHRP panel and then revised based on comments received. A final document will then be submitted.

Deliverable: Technical memorandum outlining the proposed workshop program including:
  • Key concepts underlying the workshops
  • Preliminary agendas
  • Likely case study or other presentations (if desired by states)
  • Conceptual definition of tabletop exercises
  • Description of presentation and read-ahead materials
  • Outline of participants' notebooks
  • Schedule of workshops
  • State and contractor responsibilities

Task 2. Develop General Materials for Workshops. In this task, the consultant team will identify, collect and/or develop general materials for workshop participants' notebooks that can be used for each of the four workshops. This material will, among other things, provide background on the terrorist threat, available anti-terrorism resources, and other matters of interest to the workshop participants. The team will prepare reproduction-ready copy of these general materials for the workshop notebook for reproduction by the state DOT. The consultant team will also provide a CD with reference materials for reproduction by the state DOTs.

  • Reproduction-ready general materials provided to state DOTs to be included in workshop participant notebooks
  • Reproduction-ready CDs with reference materials provided to state DOTs

Task 3. Develop Specific Materials for Each Workshop. In this task, the consultant team will develop materials specific to each workshop. The main component will be the tabletop exercise and any necessary background or supporting materials. Development of the exercise will require extensive communications with the state DOTs and other potential workshop participant agencies to ensure a relevant exercise is developed for each workshop. Issues unique to each state must clearly be identified as well as cross-cutting issues between states that should be addressed in every workshop. The consultant team will prepare the several materials necessary for the workshops and place them in reproduction-ready copy for reproduction for the participant notebooks by the state DOTs. The team will also tailor agendas to each of the states for each workshop. Decisions with regard to other workshop activities, e.g., case studies, expert or peer presentations, will be made in consultation with the states.

  • Tabletop exercises for each workshop with appropriate supporting and background materials
  • Reproduction-ready copy of the specific materials, e.g., agenda, for each of the four workshops for the participant notebooks to be provided to the state DOTs

Task 4. Assist in Pre-workshop Logistics. In this task, the consultant team will assist the state DOTs with the logistics of the workshops. Regular coordination meetings or other contacts will be necessary. Lead times must be established to ensure proper preparation and attendance at the workshops. Given the project budget, state DOTs will need to handle and fund many of the pre-workshop logistics with the consultant team providing advice as necessary. Areas where the state DOTs will play lead roles include:

Arranging for:
  • Workshop venue and meeting space
  • Overnight accommodations for participants
  • Audio/visual and any related equipment
  • Food and refreshments
  • Staff for registration and other purposes during workshops
  • Notetaking at the workshop and breakout sessions

Preparing and/or (re)producing:
  • Agendas (reproduction-ready agendas provided by consultant)
  • Participant notebooks (reproduction-ready materials provided by consultant)
  • Participant CDs (reproduction-ready CD provided by consultant)
  • Invitation list
  • Registration form
  • Invitation mailing
  • Attendee lists
  • Nametags

  • RSVPs and registration list
  • Following up w potential attendees
  • Related publicity

The consultant team will provide advice and input on the above, e.g., reproduction-ready materials for participant notebooks, as needed. Key areas where the consultant team will contribute include:
  • Helping to identify the appropriate types of invitees to the workshop
  • Developing a Gantt chart (or similar device) to assist in maintaining the schedule and clear assignment of responsibilities
  • Participating in planning meetings, typically via conference call
  • Identifying needed meeting space and A/V equipment
  • Coordinating closely with the state DOTs on materials to be provided by the consultant for reproduction

  • Assist state DOTs through providing continuous coordination and advice on pre-workshop logistics
  • Developing and maintaining a Gantt chart

Task 5. Deliver Workshops. In this task, the consultant team will deliver the workshops. Typically, members of the consultant team will arrive the day before and work with the state DOTs on any last-minute adjustments or preparations required. The consultant team – in conjunction with the state DOT lead – will coordinate on the mornings of both the first and second days of the workshop to ensure all is in order. The consultant team, with whatever other participation and assistance is to be provided by the state DOT or other entity, will conduct both days of the workshop. After the first day, adjustments will be made as necessary. At the conclusion of the second day, the consultant team will coordinate with the state DOT lead, et.al. about lessons learned or other matters.

The state DOTs will provide recorders for the workshops and breakout sessions. The consultant team use the notes from these recorders and combine them with their own notes to draft workshop notes or proceedings sufficient to convey the content of the workshop, with particular emphasis on lessons learned and possible areas of improvement in state response. The consultant team will coordinate on any workshop follow-up with the state DOT project lead.

  • Delivery of four workshops plus workshop proceedings (See Task 6)

Task 6. Provide Follow-up Report. The consultant team will prepare notes or proceedings for each of the workshops, dealing with both substance and process and the extent to which they meet the workshops' objectives. These meeting notes will be provided to the NCHRP panel for comments. After the last workshop, the consultant team will draft a preliminary draft final report for review by the NCHRP panel. After that review, the consultant will prepare a final report.

  • Workshop notes
  • Final report based on workshop notes providing substantive and procedural lessons learned and any additional recommendations – by the state DOTs, workshop participants, the consultant, et.al. -- for consideration by AASHTO, NCHRP, FHWA, and others

Status: Statewide workshops in Washington, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Idaho were followed by a report, which was delivered to AASHTO in February 2004.

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