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The National Academies

NCHRP 20-59(23) [Completed]

A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies

  Project Data
Funds: $325,000
Research Agency: Telvent Farradyne Inc.
Principal Investigator: Charles E. Wallace
Effective Date: 12/4/2006
Completion Date: 9/30/2009

In May 2002, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent anthrax attacks, NCHRP produced A Guide to Updating Highway Emergency Response Plans for Terrorist Incidents (available on the AASHTO website at http://security.transportation.org/sites/security/docs/guide-ResponsePlans.pdf). Since then, a lot of research has been completed, and state transportation agencies have gained experience and recognized the need to revise and expand the 2002 Guide. For example, while the 2002 Guide recommended an all-hazards approach, the guidance needs to be expanded to apply to all transportation modes that are under state control or influence. This expansion will complement the scope of NCHRP Project 20-59(17), Guide to Risk Management of Multimodal Transportation Infrastructure, which is in progress.

National policy also has changed since development of the 2002 Guide. Of particular relevance is the Department of Homeland Security's 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." The National Response Plan (NRP) implements NIMS and calls for states to develop "target capabilities" in order to ensure that all items in the "universal task list" (derived from Homeland Security Council planning scenarios) can be performed to the standards set by the NIMS Integration Center.

NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 6: Guide to Emergency Transportation Operations (ETO) outlines a coordinated, performance-oriented, all-hazards approach for improved management of traffic incidents, natural disasters, security events, and other emergencies on the highway system. There is a need to reflect changes in national response planning requirements, build on completed research such as ETO, and replace the 2002 Guide. The new Guide should be operationally oriented and practical guidance for state transportation agencies to use as they plan, organize, staff, train, exercise, manage, implement, and fund preparations to carry out their emergency responsibilities. These responsibilities include all transportation modes that are under state control or influence and functions performed by state transportation agencies in support of state and local emergencies (i.e., Emergency Support Functions under NIMS as reflected in state plans).

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this research is to develop a recommended Guide for use by state transportation agencies in planning and developing their organizational functions, roles, and responsibilities for emergency response within the all-hazards context of NIMS.

Accomplishment of the project objective will require the following tasks.

TASKS

PHASE 1

Task 1. Meet with the project panel to discuss the working plan.

Task 2. Review pertinent domestic and international research, on the basis of applicability, conclusiveness of findings, and usefulness for the analytical needs of emergency response planning at state transportation agencies. Include completed research and research currently underway. See Special Note E.

Task 3. Identify and analyze requirements for state transportation agency planning and response functions, roles, and responsibilities required over the continuum of emergencies (i.e., planned activities, minor incident, major incident, hazmat incident, natural disaster, and terrorist incident). Specify responsibilities required under NIMS/NRP for all of the planning scenarios under Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-8 National Preparedness. This analysis should encompass all transportation modes that are under state control or influence. See Special Note E. Task 4. Review the current practices of state transportation agencies in meeting the responsibilities identified in Task 3 and assess the usefulness of available guidance. Describe the range of state transportation agency emergency-response planning and implementation practices and evaluate them relative to the requirements identified in Task 3. Include selected case studies illustrative of the range of state practices. See Special Note F.

Task 5. Develop a detailed outline of the Guide and a revised work plan for Phase 2. Recommend research activities for Phase 2 to achieve the project objective.

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

PHASE 2

Task 7. Carry out the approved Phase 2 work plan in accordance with panel direction at the interim meeting.

Task 8. Develop and submit a draft Guide in accordance with panel direction at the interim meeting.

Task 9. Pilot test the draft Guide in four agencies representative of the range of state transportation practices.

Task 10. Submit a final report documenting the entire research effort. Include, as separate deliverables, an updated PowerPoint presentation, an executive summary of the project, and the Guide for use by state transportation agencies in planning and developing their organizational functions, roles, and responsibilities for emergency response within the all-hazards context of NIMS.

SPECIAL NOTES

Useful resources for this project include:

1. A Guide to Updating Highway Emergency Response Plans for Terrorist Incidents (May 2002, 1.2 Mb) http://security.transportation.org/sites/security/docs/guide-ResponsePlans.pdf

2. NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 6: Guide to Emergency Transportation Operations (also known as the ETO Guide) http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=5345

3. National Incident Management System Training available at http://www.fema.gov/nims/nims_training.shtm, including "IS700 NIMS: An Introduction;" Incident Command System training "ICS 100-Introduction to ICS;" and "ICS 200-Basic ICS"

4. NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security publication series http://trb.org/news/search_news.asp?q_aw=Report%20525&q_ep=&q_sw=&q_nw=&allsubjects=on&subjectradio=0&allblurbtypes=on&day=0&Lower_Date=&Upper_Date=&s=1&st=1&Submit1=Find+Blurbs

5. Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-5 Management of Domestic Incidents http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030228-9.html

6. Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-8 National Preparedness http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031217-6.html. Context for the National Preparedness Goal and numerous additional links are available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/assessments/hspd8.htm

7. The National Strategy For Homeland Security http://www.whitehouse.gov/homeland/book/index.html

8. ODP Weapons of Mass Destruction Training Program Course Catalog http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/odp/training_catalog.htm

9. National Response Plan http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/interapp/editorial/editorial_0566.xml

10. FHWA Traffic Incident Management Handbook, November 2000, EDL# 13286 (PDF, 2MB) http://www.itsdocs.fhwa.dot.gov/jpodocs/rept_mis/@9201!.pdf

11. Regional Traffic Incident Management Programs: Implementation Guide, May 2001, FHWA-OP-01-002, FTA-TRI-11-00-03, EDL# 13149 http://www.itsdocs.fhwa.dot.gov/jpodocs/repts_te/@5901!.pdf

12. The National Traffic Incident Management Coalition (NTIMC) http://timcoalition.org/ "9 Keys to Success" (brochure) J5224-Tri_keyS(1).pdf

13. I-95 Corridor Coalition Quick Clearance and 'Move-It' Best Practices Final Report (available at http://144.202.240.28/pman/ViewProject.asp?pid=128)

14. Virginia DOT Organization for Emergency Response PowerPoint (available to prospective proposers by contacting CRP Senior Program Officer S.A. Parker at saparker@nas.edu or 202/334-2554)

The following initiatives, sponsored by the NCHRP, are related to this proposed effort and are currently underway or in the publication process:

15. NCHRP Project 20-59(17), "Guide to Risk Management of Multimodal Transportation Infrastructure." http://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=637

16. NCHRP Project 20-59(9), "Methods for Determining Transportation and Economic Consequences of Terrorist Attacks." http://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=644

17. NCHRP Project 20-59(18), "Guidelines for Transportation Emergency Training Drills and Exercises." http://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=638

18. 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."http://www.trb.org/TRBNet/ProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=639

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The Guide should include a comprehensive self-assessment tool that is complementary to that in NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 6: Guide for Emergency Transportation Operations (http://trb.org/news/blurb_detail.asp?id=5345). The Guide should also provide implementation strategies, including
  • Sample organizational structures and position descriptions that can be used to align DOT programs with emergency management structures in the states, building toward state-of-the-art practices that meet or exceed requirements;
  • Sample staffing requirements that identify the range in numbers of personnel needed at each position in order to meet defined response goals; and
  • Sample exercise plans, training plans, and decision-making sequences.

A useful example of a self-assessment tool is the FHWA Traffic Incident Management (TIM) Self Assessment Guide (http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/incidentmgmt/inst_coordination/timsa.htm)

Status: Completed.  An interim report was received in May 2008. The panel met with the research team in June 2008 to assess progress and discuss the Phase 2 work plan.   The revised final report was received in June 2009. Published as NCHRP Report 525, Surface Transportation Security, Volume 16: A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies

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