APPENDIX D
Case Studies

Case Study Questionnaires

As discussed in Chapter 1, the committee’s information-gathering efforts included a series of five case studies. For each of these studies, questionnaires were provided in advance of the site visits and used as the basis for interviews with emergency managers and representatives of transit agencies and departments of transportation. These questionnaires are reproduced below, followed by a summary of the results of each case study.

Questions for Interviews with Emergency Managers

Background Questions
  1. Please provide basic information on the responsibility of your agency in the region in the event of an emergency. Who has the major responsibility for emergency planning, response, and evacuation? Where do transit agencies fit?

  2. Have you completed a hazard analysis for the region, and can you describe the most important hazards facing the region?

Emergency Planning
  1. Is there a detailed metropolitanwide emergency plan for the evacuation of citizens in an emergency? Please provide a brief overview of the plan and its major elements. For how long has the plan been in operation?

  2. Does the plan differentiate between planned (expected) versus unplanned (unexpected) incidents (e.g., hurricanes versus terrorist attacks or earthquakes)?

  3. Is transit integrated into the plan? Please explain.

  4. Are there formal arrangements with transit providers in other jurisdictions should emergency evacuation needs overwhelm the local transit provider? Please describe, including agreements about financing and liability.



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Appendix d Case Studies Case Study Questionnaires As discussed in Chapter 1, the committee’s information-gathering efforts included a series of five case studies. For each of these studies, question- naires were provided in advance of the site visits and used as the basis for interviews with emergency managers and representatives of transit agencies and departments of transportation. These questionnaires are reproduced below, followed by a summary of the results of each case study. Questions for Interviews with Emergency Managers Background Questions 1. Please provide basic information on the responsibility of your agency in the region in the event of an emergency. Who has the major responsibility for emergency planning, response, and evacuation? Where do transit agencies fit? 2. Have you completed a hazard analysis for the region, and can you describe the most important hazards facing the region? Emergency Planning 1. Is there a detailed metropolitanwide emergency plan for the evacuation of citizens in an emergency? Please provide a brief overview of the plan and its major elements. For how long has the plan been in operation? 2. Does the plan differentiate between planned (expected) versus unplanned (unexpected) incidents (e.g., hurricanes versus terrorist attacks or earthquakes)? 3. Is transit integrated into the plan? Please explain. 4. Are there formal arrangements with transit providers in other juris- dictions should emergency evacuation needs overwhelm the local tran- sit provider? Please describe, including agreements about financing and liability. 174 37274mvp186_288 174 11/24/08 12:21:01 PM

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175 Case Studies 5. Are there formal arrangements with other transportation provid- ers, such as commuter rail systems, Amtrak, school bus companies, and intercity bus lines to assist in an emergency evacuation, if needed? Please describe, including agreements about financing and liability. 6. Are arrangements in place to coordinate evacuation by bus with other vehicular traffic in case of an emergency evacuation? Who will manage this? 7. What arrangements are in place with the state or other jurisdictions outside the region should an emergency require evacuation of a large por- tion of the metropolitan area? 8. What arrangements have been made, if any, for the evacuation of the following special needs populations: a. Carless residents? b. The elderly? c. The disabled? d. Those of the above who are non-English speaking? e. People with pets? 9. Do you have any estimate of the size of these various populations, recognizing that there may be some overlap among them? 10. For those special needs populations that require assistance, what provisions have been made for them to access transit (e.g., special needs registries? use of 311/911 systems?). 11. Is paratransit included as part of the plan for emergency evacuation, and if so, how will these vehicles be deployed? 12. Are school buses part of the plan, and, if so, how will they be deployed? 13. Does the plan consider other institutions that may need to be evacu- ated in an emergency? Do you know if these institutions and those provid- ing access to special needs populations will be using the same providers, whose staff and equipment would be stretched in an emergency? a. Corrections b. Hospitals/health care c. Housing for the elderly d. Schools e. Police/fire/medical personnel 14. Has the plan been publicized? For example, have pickup points been designated where riders can access transit? Have maps or other informa- tion been made available? Please provide details. 37274mvp186_288 175 11/24/08 12:21:01 PM

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176 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation 15. Do you have, or could you provide, an estimate of the maximum amount of people/hour that could be moved by transit in the event of an emergency evacuation? How long would it take to evacuate the majority of the population by transit and personal vehicle in the event of a major incident? 16. Has the emergency evacuation plan ever been tested, either in a drill or in a real emergency? What lessons were learned in this exercise? 17. What constraints (e.g., financial resources, staff, lack of authority, lack of influence over key players in the emergency response system) limit your agency’s ability to plan for evacuations? 18. Has your agency or others in the region applied for federal funds (e.g., from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Transit Administration) for emergency evacuation? If so, how much was received, and what were the funds used for? 19. In your judgment, what are the most important factors for a success- ful evacuation in general, and, in particular, regarding the use of transit? 20. What do you see as the major strengths of the emergency evacua- tion plan? 21. What are the key weaknesses that need to be addressed? Emergency Response 1. Please describe the chain of command for decision-making in the event of an emergency evacuation, including where transit officials fit in the process. What is the decision process to determine if an evacuation is war- ranted? When would those discussions start? Who would be involved? What are the key factors to be considered? What are the thresholds or triggers that drive the process? Are transit officials included in these discussions? 2. Please describe the process for communicating with transit provid- ers and other local or state agencies involved in organizing an evacuation in the event of an emergency. Does the emergency management agency have the ability to communicate via voice (radio) and data (e-mail, critical incident management software) with the other agencies that are crucial to a successful response (i.e., law enforcement, public works, traffic opera- tions, transit)? 3. Is the transit agency represented at the City/County Emergency Man- agement Agency Emergency Operations Center or Transportation Manage- ment Center during an emergency? 37274mvp186_288 176 11/24/08 12:21:01 PM

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177 Case Studies 4. What arrangements have been made, if any, for evacuation of the families of operating personnel whom you would expect to work during an emergency evacuation? 5. Do you have designated evacuation routes, or will normal service routes be used in an evacuation? 6. Have you inspected evacuation routes for potential problems, such as a. Flooding b. Streets that the police may close down due to proximity to critical locations c. Other 7. Will people be stationed along the routes to communicate changes to routes if necessary? 8. Have shelters and reception centers been identified that will accept evacuees traveling by transit? How will the evacuees know where they are going? 9. Has any provision been made for using transit to bring equipment and personnel to the emergency site(s)? Recovery Operations 1. Does the plan look at how people will reenter the area after an evac- uation and what the role of transit might be in recovery operations? 2. What role does law enforcement play in providing security, traffic control, and coordination with transit and other relevant agencies? Questions for Interviews with Transit Agencies Background Questions 1. Please provide basic information on the size and geographic charac- teristics of the urbanized area (e.g., population, density, other factors that could affect evacuation capability). 2. Provide basic information on the size and responsibilities of your transit system [e.g., ridership, modes (rail, bus, etc.), hours of operation, number of employees, annual budget]. 3. Provide information on the main hazards facing the region and who has the major responsibility for emergency planning and response. Where does transit fit? 37274mvp186_288 177 11/24/08 12:21:01 PM

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178 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Emergency Planning 1. Is there a detailed plan for using the transit system to evacuate peo- ple from critical locations in the region in the event of an emergency? Please provide a brief overview of the plan and its major elements. How long has the plan been in operation? 2. Is the plan part of a larger metropolitanwide emergency evacuation plan? If so, for how long has this been the case? What agency or official is responsible for this metropolitan plan, and what input did your agency have in developing/maintaining it? 3. Does the plan differentiate between planned (expected) versus unplanned (unexpected) incidents (e.g., hurricanes versus terrorist attacks or earthquakes)? 4. Do you have formal arrangements with transit providers in other jurisdictions should emergency evacuation needs overwhelm your agency’s resources? Please describe, including agreements about financ- ing and liability. 5. Do you have formal arrangements with other transportation provid- ers, such as commuter rail systems, Amtrak, school bus companies, and intercity bus lines to coordinate with them in case of an emergency evacua- tion? Please describe, including agreements about financing and liability. 6. Do you have arrangements with the Department of Transportation to coordinate evacuation by bus with other vehicular traffic in case of an emergency evacuation? 7. What arrangements are in place with the state or other jurisdictions outside the region should an emergency require evacuation of a large por- tion of the metropolitan area? 8. What arrangements have been made, if any, for the evacuation of the following special needs populations: a. Carless residents? b. The elderly? c. The disabled? d. Those of the above who are non-English speaking? e. People with pets? 9. Do you have any estimate of the size of these various populations, recognizing that there may be some overlap among them? 37274mvp186_288 178 11/24/08 12:21:01 PM

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179 Case Studies 10. For those special needs populations that require assistance, what provisions have been made for them to access transit (e.g., special needs registries? use of 311/911 systems?). 11. Is paratransit included as part of the plan for emergency evacuation, and if so, how will these vehicles be deployed? 12. Are school buses part of the plan, and, if so, how will they be deployed? 13. Does the plan consider other institutions that may expect to use your services? Do you know if these institutions and those providing access to special needs populations will be using the same providers, whose staff and equipment would be stretched in an emergency? a. Corrections b. Hospitals/health care c. Housing for the elderly d. Schools e. Police/fire/medical personnel 14. Has the plan been publicized? For example, have pickup points been designated where riders can access transit? Have maps or other informa- tion been made available? Please provide details. 15. Do you have, or could you provide, an estimate of the maximum amount of people/hour that could be moved by transit in the event of an emergency evacuation? Could this number exceed the afternoon peak rush? How long would it take to evacuate the majority of the population in the event of a major incident? 16. Has the emergency evacuation plan (just the transit agency) or that of the larger metropolitan area (involving all the relevant agencies) ever been tested, either in a drill or in a real emergency? What lessons were learned in this exercise? 17. What constraints (e.g., financial resources, staff, lack of authority, lack of influence over key players in the emergency response system) limit your agency’s ability to plan for evacuations? 18. Has your agency or others in the region applied for federal funds (e.g., from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Transit Administration) for evacuation planning? If so, how much was received, and what were the funds used for? 37274mvp186_288 179 11/24/08 12:21:02 PM

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180 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation 19. In your judgment, what are the most important factors for a suc- cessful evacuation using transit? 20. What do you see as the major strengths of the emergency evacua- tion plan? 21. What are the key weaknesses that need to be addressed? Emergency Response 1. Please describe the chain of command for decision making in the event of an emergency evacuation (a) within your own agency and (b) with respect to the metropolitanwide plan. Are transit personnel trained in NIMS (National Incident Management System)/ICS (Incident Command System)? 2. Please describe the process for communicating with other transpor- tation providers and other local or state agencies involved in organizing an evacuation in the event of an emergency. Does the transit agency have the ability to communicate via voice (radio) and data (e-mail, critical incident management software) with the other agencies that are crucial to a suc- cessful response (i.e., law enforcement, public works, traffic operations, emergency management)? 3. Does your agency send a representative to the City/County Emer- gency Management Agency Emergency Operations Center or Transporta- tion Management Center during an emergency? 4. What arrangements have been made, if any, for evacuating the fami- lies of transit operating personnel whom you would expect to work during an emergency evacuation? 5. Have you factored into your plan the amount of time necessary to move all your assets to safe ground prior to damaging conditions setting in (planned/expected incidents), and do the city planners know about this time? 6. Do you have designated evacuation routes, or will normal service routes be used in an evacuation? 7. Have you inspected evacuation routes for potential problems, such as a. Flooding b. Streets that the police may close down due to proximity to critical locations c. Other 37274mvp186_288 180 11/24/08 12:21:02 PM

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181 Case Studies 8. Will people be stationed along the routes to communicate changes to routes if necessary? 9. Have shelters and reception centers been identified that will accept the evacuees traveling by transit? How will the evacuees know where they are going? 10. Has any provision been made for using transit to bring equipment and personnel to the emergency site(s)? Recovery Operations 1. Does the plan look at how people will reenter the area after an evac- uation and transit’s role in that? Questions for Interviews with Departments of Transportation Background Questions 1. Please provide basic information on the size and geographic charac- teristics of the urbanized area (e.g., population, density, factors about the highway system and congestion that could affect evacuation capability). 2. Provide basic information on the size and responsibilities of your department (e.g., number of employees, annual budget, major responsi- bilities for area road system). 3. Provide information on the main hazards facing the region and who has the major responsibility for emergency planning and response. Where does DOT fit? Emergency Planning 1. Is there a detailed plan for using the highway system to evacuate people from critical locations in the region in the event of an emergency? Please provide a brief overview of the plan and its major elements. How long has the plan been in operation? 2. Is the plan part of a larger metropolitanwide emergency evacuation plan? If so, for how long has this been the case? What agency or official is responsible for this metropolitan plan, and what input did the DOT have in developing/maintaining it? 3. Does the plan differentiate between planned (expected) versus unplanned (unexpected) incidents (e.g., hurricanes versus terrorist attacks or earthquakes)? 37274mvp186_288 181 11/24/08 12:21:02 PM

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182 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation 4. Does the DOT have arrangements with other transportation provid- ers (e.g., transit agencies, schools) to coordinate evacuation by bus with other vehicular traffic in case of an emergency evacuation? 5. What arrangements are in place with the state or other jurisdictions outside the region should an emergency require evacuation of a large por- tion of the metropolitan area? 6. What arrangements have been made, if any, for the evacuation of the following special needs populations: a. Carless residents? b. The elderly? c. The disabled? d. Those of the above who are non-English speaking? e. People with pets? 7. Do you have, or could you provide, an estimate of the maximum amount of people/hour that could be moved in the event of an emergency evacuation? Could this number exceed the afternoon peak rush? How long would it take to evacuate the majority of the population in the event of a major incident? 8. Has the emergency evacuation plan ever been tested, either in a drill or in a real emergency? What lessons were learned in this exercise? 9. What constraints (e.g., financial resources, staff, lack of authority, lack of influence over key players in the emergency response system) limit your agency’s ability to plan for evacuations? 10. Has your agency or others in the region applied for federal funds (e.g., from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Highway Administration) for evacuation planning? If so, how much was received, and what were the funds used for? 11. In your judgment, what are the most important factors for a suc- cessful evacuation? 12. What do you see as the major strengths of the emergency evacua- tion plan? 13. What are the key weaknesses that need to be addressed? Emergency Response 1. Please describe the chain of command for decision making in the event of an emergency evacuation (a) within your own agency and (b) with respect 37274mvp186_288 182 11/24/08 12:21:02 PM

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183 Case Studies to the metropolitanwide plan. Are DOT personnel trained in NIMS (National Incident Management System)/ICS (Incident Command System)? 2. Please describe the process for communicating with other trans- portation providers and other local or state agencies involved in organiz- ing an evacuation in the event of an emergency. Does the DOT have the ability to communicate via voice (radio) and data (e-mail, critical incident management software) with the other agencies that are crucial to a suc- cessful response (i.e., law enforcement, public works, traffic operations, emergency management)? 3. Does your agency send a representative to the City/County Emer- gency Management Agency Emergency Operations Center or Transporta- tion Management Center during an emergency? 4. What arrangements have been made, if any, for evacuating the fami- lies of DOT operating personnel whom you would expect to work during an emergency evacuation? 5. Have you factored into your plan the amount of time necessary to move all your assets to safe ground prior to damaging conditions setting in (planned/expected incidents), and do the city planners know about this time? 6. Do you have designated evacuation routes, or will normal service routes be used in an evacuation? 7. Have you inspected evacuation routes for potential problems, such as a. Flooding b. Streets that the police may close down due to proximity to critical locations c. Other 8. Will people be stationed along the routes to communicate changes to routes if necessary? 9. Does the DOT have plans for using contraflow operations, if needed, in an evacuation? If so, who will make the decision to begin contraflow operations, and how will this be communicated to other emergency responders, transportation providers, and the public? What provisions have been made for expediting bus travel and providing access for emer- gency responders in a contraflow situation? 10. Have arrangements been made to provide gas and other supplies along evacuation routes? 37274mvp186_288 183 11/24/08 12:21:02 PM

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184 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation 11. Have arrangements been made to clear evacuation routes of broken- down vehicles (e.g., contracts with towing companies)? 12. Have shelters and reception centers been identified that will accept evacuees traveling by transit? How will the evacuees know where they are going? 13. Has any provision been made for using transit or other transportation providers to bring equipment and personnel to the emergency site(s)? Recovery Operations 1. Does the plan look at how people will reenter the area after an evac- uation? What is DOT’s role in that? Houston Case Study In addition to responses to the questionnaires presented above, this case study is based on information gathered during a site visit made on Feb- ruary 13–14, 2007. Overview Houston Demographics and Geography According to the U.S. Census, the population of the Houston urbanized area (UA) was approximately 3.8 million in 2000, making it the 10th-largest of the 38 UAs with populations of greater than 1 million.1 The two primary political jurisdictions that overlap the UA are the City of Houston, with a 2000 population of 1.9 million, and Harris County, with a 2000 population of 3.6 million, the third-most-populous county in the United States. The Houston region is growing rapidly. The population of Harris County alone is projected to double by 2015. The Houston UA is notable for its low density. Of the 38 largest UAs, it ranks eighth in land area (square miles) and 19th in population density. According to the 2000 Census, 11 percent of occupied housing units lacked access to a vehicle, a fact that, combined with the area’s low density, poses a challenge for the effective use of public transportation in an emergency evacuation. Data on UA population, land area, and population density were drawn from the U.S. Bureau of the 1 Census’s 2000 Decennial Census of Population and Housing and the Federal Transit Administration’s 2003 National Transit Database. 37274mvp186_288 184 11/24/08 12:21:02 PM

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266 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation groups who call in, identifying what services are needed and providing that information to the appropriate responders. In Hillsborough County, center staff complete application forms and fax them directly to the appro- priate department of health and transportation agency staff in the EOC for action. In Pinellas County, last-minute calls are handled as 911 calls and dispatched to the appropriate fire department for response. Support for Incident Response and Recovery Those interviewed during the site visit provided no information about transit or school bus support for incident response. During subsequent follow-up, Pinellas County emergency management staff indicated that PSTA buses are regularly used to support incident response. For example, air-conditioned PSTA buses have been used to house residents of an assisted living facility temporarily during a fire or to transport the residents to another facility. Hospitals and nursing homes are asked annually to update their need for outside transport in the event of an evacuation. Hillsborough County emer- gency management staff indicated that transit equipment is sufficient to respond to incidents even during an evacuation. Transit and school buses also have a role in recovery from a mandated evacuation. Once it is safe for residents to return home, every effort is made to use the same transit vehicles to return residents from area shelters or friends and family to their point of departure. Exercises and Drills Hillsborough County has a very aggressive program involving eight to 10 exercises and drills each year, including an annual hurricane exer- cise, most of which involve activating the EOC and after-action reviews. Hartline and the county school district participate in all major exercises, and all three transportation agencies participate in the annual hurri- cane exercises. Pinellas County conducts at least two major exercises annually—an annual hurricane exercise and another with a scenario that varies each year so that all major elements of the emergency plan and participating organizations, including transit, are tested within a 5-year period. Regional exercises are much less frequent, with the excep- tion of those for terrorism incidents. Law enforcement agencies are involved in these exercises, but not transportation agencies. Finally, the 37274mvp186_288 266 11/24/08 12:21:17 PM

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267 Case Studies state EOC conducts a statewide exercise, with each agency deciding on its level of participation. Funding The State of Florida is notable for the funding it provides for emergency response, particularly for special-needs populations. The state collects $2.00 from homeowners insurance policies and $4.00 from business insurance pol- icies annually, which is placed in an Emergency Management and Prepared- ness Assistance Trust Fund. The funds are distributed annually in the form of competitive grants for emergency management, no larger than $200,000 per grant, to state or regional agencies, local governments, and private non- profit organizations.85 Funding priorities currently include public education on disaster preparedness and recovery, coordination of relief efforts of state- wide private-sector organizations, and improved training and operations capabilities of agencies with lead or support responsibilities in the Florida Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan. In addition, as previously mentioned, a $1.50 fee for each passenger vehicle funds transportation for the disadvantaged, although not directly targeted to emergency evacuation. Services provided by health care practitioners and vendors at special-needs shelters in an emergency are reimbursed by the state department of health. Remaining Challenges Traffic Congestion County officials indicated that traffic congestion is a major obstacle to a successful emergency evacuation. The area has a limited number of major highways, and these roads could be clogged not only with evacuat- ing county residents but also with other evacuees from southwest Florida in the event of a major hurricane. Congestion could likewise hamper an evacuation in response to other hazards, as indicated by the analysis of a major chlorine release near the Port of Tampa. Transportation officials are attempting to alleviate some of the problems through use of intelligent transportation system (ITS) technologies and contraflow operations (in Hillsborough County only) on area highways. A competitive grant program is also available to municipalities that have an emergency manage- 85 ment program and are signatories to the statewide mutual-aid agreement. Eligible grantees may apply annually for one grant, not to exceed $50,000. 37274mvp186_288 267 11/24/08 12:21:17 PM

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268 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Both counties have the capability of changing signal timing, if necessary, to keep traffic moving on evacuation routes, but newer, more reliable systems are being phased in. Currently, law enforcement officials are assigned to control traffic at critical intersections. Cameras and variable message signs are also being placed on major evacuation routes (see below), which should help with incident control and traffic monitoring in general. However, little can be done to control congestion on local streets, which would be used by buses and vans along with passenger vehicles during an in-county emergency evacuation. State DOT District 7 (see below) is also purchasing generators to assist in recovery of signal operation after a storm, and solar- powered signals are being installed. The goal is to return 100 traffic signals a day to service following a storm. District 7 of the state DOT, which has responsibility for Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, has developed contraflow plans for I-4, eastward from the I-4/I275 junction in Hillsborough County, but those plans have not been tested yet in a real evacuation.86 I-4 is a particular choke- point because in a hurricane, many travelers attempt to evacuate east to Orlando. The state DOT has several other programs that should help facilitate traffic flow in an evacuation. First, a 10-year ITS program will provide for the installation of cameras and variable message signs on evacuation routes. Second, the DOT has standby contracts with local companies to provide towing services during an evacuation.87 Third, the DOT has a large program to provide solar-powered backup generators for traffic signals at major intersections. Finally, capital improvement projects on evacuation routes, such as upgrading of major interchanges, are given priority, although they are funded from the same federal and state sources as other capital improvement projects. The governor has also prestaged resources in a 200,000-square-foot logistics facility out- side Orlando that could be deployed rapidly in an emergency. Finally, the 2004–2005 state legislature passed legislation requiring gas stations along the Interstates to have backup power so that vehicles would not A contraflow plan also exists for SR-618 and is maintained by the Hillsborough County Express- 86 way Authority. SR-618, which originates near the Air Force base, heads north from the peninsula south of the City of Tampa and then east to join I-75. Companies from outside the immediate area were selected in hopes that they would not be 87 affected by a storm. 37274mvp186_288 268 11/24/08 12:21:17 PM

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269 Case Studies run out of fuel; thus far, only about eight stations along the I-275 cor- ridor are in compliance. In the event that congestion should overwhelm evacuees in a severe hurricane, shelters of last resort have been identified. They are located at major Interstate interchanges in Hillsborough County and along evacua- tion routes in Pinellas County. Law enforcement—the Florida Highway Patrol, the Hillsborough County Sheriff, and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office—would be involved in opening and policing the shelters. Reducing Demand for Evacuation Given area traffic problems and the questionable need for many residents to evacuate, at least in a hurricane, county emergency managers are work- ing to encourage residents to shelter in place.88 The annual hurricane guide, for example, provides information for those who are not located in vulnerable storm surge areas or in mobile homes about riding out the storm at home, as well as measures they can take to protect their homes. County officials are also working with the private sector so that stores can reopen quickly to sell water and other supplies after a storm has subsided. Pinellas County, for example, is working with the Chamber of Commerce to put in place memoranda of understanding with small businesses that encourage them to acquire backup generators so they can stay open or reopen quickly after a storm has passed to supply local residents. More- over, both counties and DOT District 7 have numerous contracts for debris removal so that the roads can be cleared quickly.89 In the longer run, the best way to mitigate the risks of the area’s most recurrent emergency, hurricanes, is to control development in highly vulnerable areas, such as the barrier island along the western portion of Pinellas County. However, there is little if any contact between land use planners and emergency managers. Moreover, the economic benefits to the counties of continued growth in desirable coastal locations are dif- ficult to resist. Private insurers put a damper on development when they recently stopped writing homeowners insurance policies in vulnerable The Safe Florida Homes program provides free inspections and matching funds to homeowners 88 for hurricane-proofing their homes. Hillsborough County has eight contracts for debris removal. Florida DOT has four state teams of 89 50 persons each for debris removal in Hillsborough and four other counties. 37274mvp186_288 269 11/24/08 12:21:17 PM

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270 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation coastal locations, but the state has now stepped in as the insurer of last resort for coastal homes and businesses. In lieu of land use controls, county emergency managers are attempt- ing to work with local tourist businesses in vulnerable areas to ensure early evacuation in the event of an advance-notice emergency, such as a hurricane. For example, when a property is purchased, the deed requires the property owner to develop an evacuation plan, which the emergency managers must review. New hotels located in vulnerable storm surge areas in Pinellas County must close down during a hurricane watch, which goes into effect 36 hours in advance of predicted hurricane landfall, and assist in relocating their guests who need transport. This requirement appears to be unique to Pinellas County. Of course, both Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties evacuate special-needs populations in evacuation zones well in advance of hurricane landfall, as soon as the shelters open. Workforce and Fuel Availability in an Emergency Evacuation Hillsborough County and some municipalities in Pinellas County have special shelters for the families of first responders, primarily fire and police personnel. Transit agencies typically do not have formal plans for sheltering the families of their employees. Instead, in advance of hurri- cane season, they ask for volunteer drivers, who sign up to work during a hurricane. About half the drivers for PSTA signed up for this hurricane season. Currently, 290 school bus drivers out of about 750 are signed up for emergency duty, with about 50 other school district staff available as backup. The same process applies in Hillsborough County, where about half the Hartline drivers and about 220 volunteer school bus drivers have signed up to be available during a hurricane. In addition, PSTA noted that it pays its drivers well, and Hartline drivers are paid time and a half during an emergency. Hillsborough County has instituted a countywide policy that all employees must have a disaster plan. The Know Your Role Pro- gram involves filling out a form indicating job criticality,90 primary and There are four categories of job criticality: A—critical employees (e.g., fire, police, emergency 90 managers) who would shelter at the job site; B—employees who should be available immedi- ately after a storm to help restore services; C—employees who would not be needed for several days after a storm; and D—employees who are granted an exemption from participating (e.g., caretaker for a family member who is elderly or has a disability). 37274mvp186_288 270 11/24/08 12:21:17 PM

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271 Case Studies alternative job locations, individual employee evacuation plans, childcare needs, and skills (e.g., commercial driver’s license) that can be used in an emergency. These data are entered into a database to help match employee availability and skills with potential needs in an emergency. Pinellas County has a similar program for its employees. Fuel availability does not appear to be a major issue for transit service providers assisting in an evacuation. PSTA has aboveground fuel storage tanks with a considerable reserve of diesel fuel.91 It also has arrangements with the school board for fueling. Sunshine Lines has a 4- to 5-day supply of diesel fuel, and Hartline has agreements with three off-site locations for fuel. A fuel problem could occur during recovery, however, and it would affect far more than transit service providers. The Tampa UA has no pipelines and depends on tanker distribution from the Port of Tampa for fuel supplies. If the port were closed with major damage or if the port channel were to silt up in a severe hurricane, the area would have only a 3- to 4-day supply. County emergency managers are working on this issue, which includes determination of who would have priority in the event of a fuel shortage. Interjurisdictional Issues and Feasibility of Regional Evacuation Both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties and their respective municipali- ties are signatories to the State of Florida mutual-aid agreement, which provides the basis for mutual assistance in the event of an emergency that exceeds local capabilities. The primary focus of county emergency managers, however, has been on emergency response and evacuation in their own counties. TBRPC, which represents four area counties, has a broader perspective and a long history of involvement in hurricane evacu- ation planning (since 1979). The council is currently working with the state to develop an all-hazards, statewide emergency evacuation plan that would link all county emergency evacuation plans. As a first step, LIDAR mapping92 is being used to determine population data and the locations of critical facilities, with overlays for special-needs populations and facili- The facility, however, is located in an area that floods, and if the area flooded in a severe hur- 91 ricane, there would be no access to the fuel until the water receded. LIDAR (or light detection and radar) is a technology that involves use of an airborne scanning 92 laser to provide high-resolution digital data for large-scale mapping applications. 37274mvp186_288 271 11/24/08 12:21:18 PM

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272 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation ties (e.g., nursing homes, assisted living facilities). The information will be GIS based, and an effort is being made to move to a common GIS platform. Summary The Tampa UA is the smallest of the committee’s five case study sites. The area is threatened by a recurring natural hazard—hurricanes and tropical storms—and has a significant at-risk population, many of whom would need transportation assistance in an emergency evacuation. The two major counties in the Tampa UA—Hillsborough and Pinellas—are well organized to handle in-county mandatory evacuations and have had recent experience during the hurricane seasons of the last several years. Transit in the Tampa UA is not extensive. The area is served by two bus systems and demand-responsive service for those with disabilities. Never- theless, transit service operators have been an integral part of emergency response and evacuation plans for many years and are represented at the county EOCs when they are activated. In an emergency evacuation, transit services are augmented by school buses, and the schools serve as area shelters. Transit providers, as well as school bus operators, have targeted their resources to transporting special-needs populations in an evacuation, and Florida in general and the Tampa UA in particular are notable for their attention to these vulnerable residents. Since the 1980s, county emergency managers across the state have been required by state law to establish voluntary special registries to help identify the medi- cally impaired who are not in institutions but have special medical needs; special-needs shelters are to be made available, and their staffing and med- ical management are the responsibility of county health departments.93 The role of transit and school bus operators is to transport ambulatory and wheelchair-bound special-needs populations to these shelters. When a mandatory evacuation is declared, Hillsborough and Pinellas County transit operators also play a role in transporting the disadvantaged and the homeless, as well as those in the general population who lack access Since Hurricane Katrina, more attention has been focused on meeting the needs of those with 93 disabilities. In Hillsborough County, for example, the EOC and the County Americans with Dis- abilities Act Liaison jointly chair a Disabilities Subcommittee of the Special Needs Committee, whose purpose is to ensure that the needs of those with disabilities are being addressed. 37274mvp186_288 272 11/24/08 12:21:18 PM

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273 Case Studies to a private vehicle, either to a shelter or to other in-county destinations along evacuation routes. The Tampa UA and its transit service providers are well organized to handle an in-county evacuation in an advance-notice event, such as a hur- ricane. But the area would be hard pressed to evacuate a sizable fraction of its population in a very severe hurricane or major hazardous materials incident, and the relatively small size of area transit systems would limit their role. The major obstacle is the highway network, which is limited to a few Interstates serving the area, and the congestion that would likely occur as a result of other areas evacuating through the region, at least in the event of a severe hurricane. Strong storm surge accompanying a severe hurricane would compound the problem, flooding local roads and bridge approaches and further hindering bus and vehicular traffic. For example, Pinellas County would have only one land-based evacuation route should the four bridges out of the county be shut down because of winds or high water. The state has recognized the problem and, working with TBRPC in the Tampa UA, is beginning to develop an all-hazards, statewide emer- gency evacuation plan that would link individual county emergency evac- uation plans. This case study raises several general policy issues that may be relevant for other UAs. It shows that an area such as Tampa, which lacks an exten- sive transit network, can still organize and target resources effectively to assist special-needs and other vulnerable populations in an emergency evacuation. State regulations have played an important role, but so have county emergency managers, health officials, and transit managers, who have worked together both to identify these populations and to ensure that adequate drivers and equipment will be available to transport them to appropriate shelters. Hillsborough County’s Know Your Role program is an innovative effort to help ensure that county personnel will be available and know where to go in an emergency, and to match individual skills with likely potential needs. That being said, the relatively small size of the Tampa UA relative to the other case study sites (e.g., New York, Los Angeles) does not appear to make it any easier to evacuate a significant proportion of the population from the area, much less use transit for this purpose. A limited network of major high- ways makes out-of-county evacuation difficult within any reasonable time 37274mvp186_288 273 11/24/08 12:21:18 PM

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274 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation frame, a problem that would likely be compounded by evacuees from neigh- boring counties in the event of a severe hurricane. The role of transit in such a scenario would probably be limited to in-county evacuation, given avail- able resources. One response to this situation has been to reduce demand for evacuation, for example, by encouraging sheltering in place for populations not at risk in an advance-notice event such as a hurricane, and to plan for the evacuation of other populations (e.g., hotel guests) before that of the general population begins. Efforts to control development to keep residents and businesses out of harm’s way in vulnerable coastal locations have been less successful. A regional, and now a statewide, approach to emergency planning and evacuation is also receiving attention, but it remains to be seen whether the problems involved can be overcome. Finally, Florida is notable for having an Emergency Management and Preparedness Assistance Trust Fund that is not dependent on annual appropriations and enables county emergency managers, and to a lesser extent municipal emergency managers, to fund a range of activities. In addition, the state department of health reimburses for the services pro- vided by health care practitioners and vendors at special-needs shelters, which helps ensure that special-needs and other vulnerable populations receive the care they need in an emergency evacuation. Committee Members and Staff in Attendance Betty Hearn Morrow (lead) Ellis Stanley, Sr. Kenneth Brown Nancy Humphrey Briefings Pinellas County David MacNamee, Emergency Management Coordinator, and Gregory Lindgren, Pinellas County Emergency Management Robert Ballou, St. Petersburg Emergency Management Office William Vola, Clearwater Emergency Management Stephen Fravel, Pinellas County EMS and Fire Administration Richard Stiff, St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue Richard Walker, Chief, Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue 37274mvp186_288 274 11/24/08 12:21:18 PM

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275 Case Studies Christopher Taylor, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Denise Skinner, Director of Transportation, and Jeff Thompson and Walter Lenz, Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority Timothy McClindon, Wheelchair Transport Service Roger Eckert, Neighborly Care Network Carol Madura, Emergency Manager, and Joseph Palazzola, Pinellas County Schools Gayle Guidash and David Sobamiwa, Pinellas County Health Department David Walker, Pinellas County Planning Department Heather Sobush, Pinellas Metropolitan Planning Organization Kenneth Jacobs, Pinellas County Traffic Betti C. Johnson, Principal Planner, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council Hillsborough County Larry Gispert, Director, Peter Dabrowski, Holley Wade, Jeffrey Copeland, Daniel Fulcher, Steven Porter, Edward Murphy, and Paul Siddall, Hillsborough County Emergency Management Dennis LeMonde, Public Information Officer, Emergency Operations Center, Hillsbor- ough County Emergency Management Eugene Hensy, Hillborough County Planning and Growth Management Department David Travis and James Olsen, Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue Dennis Jones, Fire and Rescue, City of Tampa John Bennett, Veronica Hamilton, and George Magnon, Tampa Police Department Joseph Diaz and Ralph Lavado, Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority Scott Clark, Operations Manager, Sunshine Line John Saffold (Transportation) and Steven Ayers (Administration), Hillsborough County Schools Sandra Sroka, Hillsborough County ADA Liaison Brenda Martin, LifePath Hospice Joseph DiDomenico, Self Reliance Judi Knight, American Red Cross Samuel Harris, Tampa Housing Authority Ryan Pedigo, Hillsborough County Health Department Michael McCarthy, Hillsborough County Public Works Department/Traffic State of Florida Ronald Anderson, District Emergency Coordination Officer, Florida Department of Transportation, District 7 37274mvp186_288 275 11/24/08 12:21:18 PM

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276 The Role of Transit in Emergency Evacuation Christie L. Brown, Registered Nurse Consultant, Florida Department of Health Karen Somerset, Assistant Director, Commission for the Transportation Disadvantaged, State of Florida Major Documents Consulted Pinellas County 1. Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. Comprehensive Emergency Manage- ment Plan. October 2006. 2. Pinellas County Emergency Management. Special Needs Assistance Program, Standard Operating Guidelines. June 2007. 3. Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council. Tampa Bay Region Hurricane Evacuation Study. September 2006. a. Executive Summary. b. Transportation Analysis, August 2006. c. Model Support Document, August 2006. 4. Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council (in partnership with Pinellas County). 2007 Hurricane Guide (note that similar guides are available for Hillsborough, Manatee, and Pasco counties). Hillsborough County 1. Hillsborough County. Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). May 2006. 2. Hillsborough County Department of Health and Hillsborough County Emergency Management. The Hillsborough County Special Needs Shelter and Evacuation Plan. Undated. 3. Hillsborough County Emergency Management. Transportation Planning for a Category 4 or 5 Hurricane. 4. Hillsborough County. Emergency Operations Center Guide. March 2004. 5. Hillsborough County. Know Your Role. CD video presentation about the program and its requirements. State of Florida 1. Department of Health. 2007. Special Needs Shelter Rule. Florida Administrative Weekly, Vol. 33, No. 39, pp. 4524–4526. 37274mvp186_288 276 11/24/08 12:21:18 PM