APPENDIX C
Assessment of Transit’s Role in Emergency Response and Evacuation Plans of 33 Urbanized Areas and Related States

JOSEPH M. MALTBY AND AARON D. GREEN

George Mason University School of Law


The purpose of the committee’s plan assessment was to evaluate 33 urbanized areas (UAs)1 to determine whether they had emergency response or evacuation plans and whether and to what extent those plans considered the use of transit resources. The project was divided into two stages—a pilot and the main component. During the pilot, each author reviewed three plans, one of which was also reviewed by the other author. The results were sent to Transportation Research Board staff to ensure that the methodology was appropriate and that the authors were consistent in their assessments. The plans of the remaining UAs were then analyzed by the same method.

The authors divided the plans into two groups, with each author analyzing the plans of about half the UAs and related states. Internet searches were used to locate the publicly available emergency planning documents for each UA and state. The documents were then reviewed to answer 14 questions, the responses to which were summarized in a matrix. When no publicly available emergency planning documents could be found, the authors contacted the relevant emergency or planning departments by telephone to ascertain whether the documents could be located. Some of those contacted did not respond. In other cases, plans were not available to the public for security reasons or because of technical problems.

Of the 33 UAs reviewed, 16 had made publicly available at least parts of an emergency response or evacuation plan, while 17 either did not have publicly available plans or were in the process of drafting or revising them.

1

 The remaining five urbanized areas were handled as case studies, with detailed assessments of the role of transit. The results of these case studies are presented in Appendix D.



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Appendix C Assessment of Transit’s Role in Emergency Response and Evacuation Plans of 33 Urbanized Areas and Related States Joseph M. Maltby and Aaron D. Green George Mason University School of Law The purpose of the committee’s plan assessment was to evaluate 33 urban- ized areas (UAs) to determine whether they had emergency response or evacuation plans and whether and to what extent those plans considered the use of transit resources. The project was divided into two stages—a pilot and the main component. During the pilot, each author reviewed three plans, one of which was also reviewed by the other author. The results were sent to Transportation Research Board staff to ensure that the methodology was appropriate and that the authors were consistent in their assessments. The plans of the remaining UAs were then analyzed by the same method. The authors divided the plans into two groups, with each author analyz- ing the plans of about half the UAs and related states. Internet searches were used to locate the publicly available emergency planning documents for each UA and state. The documents were then reviewed to answer 4 questions, the responses to which were summarized in a matrix. When no publicly available emergency planning documents could be found, the authors contacted the relevant emergency or planning departments by telephone to ascertain whether the documents could be located. Some of those contacted did not respond. In other cases, plans were not available to the public for security reasons or because of technical problems. Of the 33 UAs reviewed, 6 had made publicly available at least parts of an emergency response or evacuation plan, while 7 either did not have publicly available plans or were in the process of drafting or revising them. The remaining five urbanized areas were handled as case studies, with detailed assessments of the  role of transit. The results of these case studies are presented in Appendix D. 171 37274mvp183_185.indd 171 11/24/08 12:00:56 PM

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172 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Of the 6 UAs with available plans, 3 had plans that, for at least one ques- tion, mentioned a relevant transit agency, while three did not. The results for Questions  through 2 are summarized in Table C- (Questions 3 and 4 asked for the location of the plan online and the plan’s date, respectively). Full details of the results are available online (onlinepubs.trb.org/Onlinepubs/sr/sr294appendixC.pdf). TABLe C-1 Summary Results of Plan Assessments Number of Responses Yes Question Yes No and Noa N/Ab 1. is the area transit agency included in the Trans- 10 10 6 7 portation Annex of the emergency Response plan? 2. is transit part of the area’s emergency evacua- 11 4 4 14 tion plan, if one exists? 3. Are sufficient details provided to make transit’s 7 6 3 17 role credible? 4a. Are transit officials part of the decision-making 6 11 0 16 team in the event of an emergency? 4b. is their place in the chain of command clearly 7 6 3 17 indicated? 5. Are methods described for communications 3 11 2 17 among key transit personnel and between transit personnel and other key agency staff (e.g., department of Transportation, emergency Management Agencies) in the event of an emergency? 6. is transit equipment (e.g., buses, railcars, para- 7 4 5 17 transit vehicles) identified that could be made available in an emergency evacuation? 7. Are provisions made for ensuring that transit 0 15 1 17 staff will be available in the event of an emer- gency (e.g., identification of critical personnel, provision for evacuation of families of transit operating personnel)? 8. in the event of an emergency that overwhelms 1 14 1 17 local transit capacity, are memoranda of under- standing and standby contracts with neighbor- ing providers and the private sector mentioned? (continued) 37274mvp183_185.indd 172 11/24/08 12:00:56 PM

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173 Assessment of Transit’s Role in Emergency Response and Evacuation Plans Number of Responses Yes Question Yes No and Noa N/Ab 9a. is transit’s role in evacuating special-needs popu- 6 9 1 17 lations described? 9b. Are methods for identifying these populations 1 15 0 17 described (e.g., special registries)? 9c. Are pickup locations for those who are ambula- 1 12 3 17 tory identified? 9d. is provision made for communicating this infor- 3 9 4 17 mation, along with emergency numbers and instructions of what to do in an emergency, to potential transit users? 9e. Are methods for evacuating those who need 1 13 2 17 special assistance (e.g., the disabled, the elderly) by transit described? 9f. Were representatives of special-needs popula- 3 10 3 17 tions or those who work with them (e.g., social service agencies) involved in development of emergency response and evacuation plans? 10. Have destinations (e.g., shelters) been identified 1 10 5 17 for those who will be evacuated by transit? 11. does transit play a role in bringing emergency 1 11 4 17 responders and equipment to the emergency site or in recovery operations (e.g., bringing transit-dependent people back to the area once the emergency has passed)? 12. is provision made for practicing the plan (e.g., 8 5 4 16 tabletop exercises)? Mixed response. More than one plan was reviewed. a not applicable, available, or ascertainable. b 37274mvp183_185.indd 173 11/24/08 12:00:56 PM