The National Academies

NCHRP 20-59(22) [Completed]

A Guide to Emergency Quarantine and Isolation Controls of Roads in Rural Areas

  Project Data
Funds: $200,000
Research Agency: Midwest Research Institute
Principal Investigator: Jerry Graham
Effective Date: 8/30/2006
Completion Date: 5/31/2008


There are new concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. agriculture to the deliberate introduction of animal and plant diseases (referred to as agro-terrorism), detailed by the Homeland Security Council-led interagency working group in several of the national planning scenarios laid out in Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-8 National Preparedness. Transportation agencies are being called on to prepare for their roles in the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which provides "a consistent nationwide approach for federal, state, tribal, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity."

Response to agro-terrorism or other biological outbreaks of food contamination or animal disease often requires immediate (within hours) isolation and/or quarantine of potentially infected areas. Researchers indicate that the economic impact of the outbreak is a function of the time it takes to enforce a quarantine and eradicate or control the infection. It is essential that emergency quarantine and isolation controls be available that can be implemented immediately at the local level. Traditional methods of containment (i.e., posting law enforcement officers to control travel) are not feasible in many potentially affected areas; thus, more innovative methods are needed that can be implemented in partnership with law enforcement, military (Active, Reserve, and Guard), the private sector, transportation agencies, and others at the local and state levels.

Quarantine or isolation of even a limited area could involve many roads and could need to be in place for weeks to months. While federal support for the longer duration may arrive in a few days, vector control (i.e., containment of damages) requires an effective locally implemented response within hours.

There is a need to develop or identify emergency quarantine and isolation controls for road networks (e.g., all roads in a 3- to 6-mile radius of a feed lot) in a short time frame (e.g., 6 to 12 hours). Although a typical state DOT usually has on hand enough signs and barricades to close and detour one route in a county, it would be hard pressed to close two or three roads in the same county. It is doubtful that any county has enough signs and barricades to quarantine and isolate all the county roads in a 3- to 6-mile radius.


The objective of this research is to establish recommended practices and procedures for emergency quarantine and isolation controls for local and state roads. The research will focus on quarantine and isolation controls that are related to identified containment areas and need to be established within a suitable time frame. There is a need to be able to implement recommendations with minimal resources typical for a rural region.

This project is primarily concerned with agricultural outbreaks (e.g., foot-and-mouth disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza, plant rusts) where a rural county does not have the law-enforcement resources to respond quickly. The panel recognizes the research product may be adaptable for application to other disasters and non-rural areas.

Accomplishment of the project objective will require the following tasks.



Task 1. Prepare an annotated bibliography of pertinent domestic and international research, on the basis of applicability, conclusiveness of findings, and usefulness for the development of emergency quarantine closures of local and state roads. Include completed research and research currently under way. See Special Note E and Special Note F.

Task 2. Evaluate and summarize lessons learned from available case studies and after-action reports. See Special Note E and Special Note F.

Task 3. Develop a taxonomy of policies, procedures, mutual aid agreements, memoranda of understanding, sample court orders, portions of existing plans, and templates potentially applicable to the transportation aspects of emergency management of isolation and quarantine areas. Identify the migration of authority, during the typical sequence of events, from incident discovery to closure.

Task 4. Develop a revised work plan for Phase 2 and a detailed outline of the final report.

Task 5. Submit an interim report, within 6 months, to document Tasks 1 through 4 for review by the NCHRP.


Task 6. Using the revised work plan, develop an initial draft Guide with a sample response plan with checklists, general orders, standard operating procedures, and emergency operating procedures. Include draft setups for traffic-flow management in and out of affected areas. The setups should include suggested staffing of checkpoints and roadblocks, support equipment, communications needs/equipment, and authorities for closure or restrictions.

Task 7. Review the initial draft Guide with local, state, and federal representatives who have responsibility for the various aspects of emergency management of isolation and quarantine in at least five rural areas. The local representatives (including law enforcement) should be from areas with populations under 50,000 per county.

Task 8. Submit a final report useful for law enforcement, emergency managers, and transportation managers. The report should suggest future areas of research, follow-on actions, and necessary changes to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD). Include, as separate deliverables, an executive summary of the project; an updated PowerPoint presentation; and a Guide for use by local and state agencies in planning and developing their organizational functions, roles, and responsibilities for emergency quarantine and isolation of local and state roads within the all-hazards context of the National Incident Management System. The Guide should address the need for multijurisdictional agency conduct, cooperation, and collaboration and include matrices of events for which procedures will be applicable; suggested treatments to consider in closing streets; basic cost estimates for treatments; expected degree of voluntary compliance; and agencies typically involved.


Case study candidates include:

1. United Kingdom 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak https://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/diseases/fmd/default.htm

2. Taiwan 1997 foot-and-mouth outbreak https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=10972111&dopt=Citation

3. Netherlands 1998 swine influenza outbreak https://www.fass.org/fasscience/animalhealth.asp

4. Virginia 2002 low pathogenic avian influenza https://www.cdc.gov/flu/avian/gen-info/avian-flu-humans.htm

5. Pennsylvania 2005 live-bird markets low pathogenic avian influenza https://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/agriculture/cwp/view.asp?A=390&Q=137098

6. North Carolina 1971 Exotic Newcastle Disease outbreak https://www.ncagr.com/vet/Newcastle.htm

7. Canada 2004 high pathogenic avian influenza outbreak https://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/anima/heasan/disemala/avflu/avflufse.shtml

8. California 2003 Exotic Newcastle Disease outbreak https://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fsheet_faq_notice/fs_ahend.html

9. Florida 1985-1995 Citrus Canker https://www.apsnet.org/education/LessonsPlantPath/CitrusCanker/HISTORY.HTM

10. United States 2004 Soybean Rust outbreak
USDA: https://www.usda.gov/soybeanrust/
APHIS: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/ep/soybean_rust/
Great Plains Diagnostic Network: https://www.gpdn.org/DesktopDefault.aspx
Extension Disaster Education Network: https://www.eden.lsu.edu/soybeanrust

Useful resources for this project include:

1. Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/

2. Countering Agricultural Bioterrorism (The National Academies) https://www.nap.edu/catalog/10505.html?onpi_newsdoc09192002

3. NCHRP Project 20-59(19) "Transportation Response Options: Scenarios of Infectious Disease, Biological Agents, Chemical, Radiological or Nuclear Exposure: Transportation's Role in Public Health Emergencies." https://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=639

4. Lessons Learned Information Sharing (LLIS.gov) www.LLIS.gov is the national network of Lessons Learned and Best Practices for emergency response providers and homeland security officials.

5. National Agricultural Biosecurity Center (NABC) www.nabc.ksu.edu. Under 'Resources' you'll find the after action reports for the Crimson series of exercises, the exercises conducted under the KBI-NIJ project and others that NABC conducted. In the Lessons Learned tab you'll find lessons learned from these and other exercise documents. The database requires a login, so proposers will need to request access from NABC.

6. State Animal Disaster Response Programs:
Indiana: https://www.in.gov/boah/disaster/areThey.html
Florida: https://www.flsart.org/
North Carolina: https://nc.sartusa.org/
Pennsylvania: https://www.cas.psu.edu/docs/biosecurity/ANIMAL/Default.html
Kansas Animal Heath Department: www.kansas.gov/kahd. This site contains the Kansas Animal Disease Response Plan.

7. North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Emergency Programs Division site has been collecting response plans www.ncagr.com/oep/plans. It, too, requires a login.

8. GAO Report: HOMELAND SECURITY: Much Is Being Done to Protect Agriculture from a Terrorist Attack, but Important Challenges Remain https://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05214.pdf

9. Agricultural Bioterrorism: A Federal Strategy to Meet the Threat https://www.ndu.edu/inss/McNair/mcnair65/01_toc.htm

10. What Is the Economic Impact from Foot-and-Mouth Disease and What Should We Do About It? https://www.agecon.purdue.edu/extension/pubs/paer/2001/paer0501.pdf

11. Agroterrorism: A Purdue Extension backgrounder https://www.ces.purdue.edu/eden/disasters/agro/Agroterrorism.doc

12. ProMED-mail, the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases, a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases <https://www.isid.org>

Status: Complete.

Product Availability: NCHRP Report 525, Surface Transportation Security, Volume 13: A Guide to Traffic Control of Rural Roads in an Agricultural Emergency. An annotated bibliography, published as NCHRP Web-Only Document 130, was prepared that reviews several state emergency response plans. A PowerPoint presentation describing the project is also available online.

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