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12 A Guide to Traffic Control of Rural Roads in an Agricultural Emergency During emergency planning and before a specific incident ever occurs, there are tasks that should be considered by representatives of the Operations Section. While the specific nature and location of a disease outbreak cannot be known in advance, gathering and maintaining infor- mation on routes can increase the efficiency of detour planning when it is needed. Types of infor- mation that may be useful in detour planning include the following: · Approximate Average Daily Traffic (ADT) volumes on country roads; · Percentage of heavy trucks on roads in the county, which may help in determining the abil- ity of local roads being considered for use as detour routes to handle excessive heavy truck traffic; · Allowable loads for bridges and for bridge height and width restrictions; · Identification of agricultural routes [to and from the county's big producers, where livestock or livestock products (e.g., milk) are frequently delivered or picked up]; · Location of hospitals, schools, community centers, grocery stores, and other places that require open routes; · Roadway characteristics that help determine the types of vehicles that can safely use the route as a detour are width, presence of shoulders, and pavement quality; · Proximity to agricultural producers (routes close to potentially infected animals or animals susceptible to disease are less desirable for use as detours); and · Locations of all producers in the county (from hobby farmers/ranchers to major producers). Planning detours, identifying animal and vehicle holding areas, and prioritizing road blocks, disinfection stations, and traffic checkpoints can all be done in the planning stages with coordi- nation of law enforcement officers, DOT and county public works officials, and animal and human health specialists. While certain elements of the plan may need to be changed to accom- modate the circumstances of a specific emergency, general plans can be made ahead of time so that they can be put into action right away. 3.2 Resource Management One of the challenges of emergency response in rural areas is limited resources and work- ers. Although these areas often have a great deal of human capital, they tend to lack material and financial resources. In small, close-knit communities, local responders are likely to have personal relationships with their community members, making borrowing private resources for the response effort easier. Local farmers/ranchers and shops may have a variety of useful items on hand, including hay bales, gates, fencing, earth-moving equipment, tarps, basins, tubs, disinfectants, and appropriate safety equipment such as rubber gloves. Smaller commu- nities are also more likely to provide emergency volunteers with meals, accommodations, and clothing. As part of the planning process for incidents, a list of potential local resources to use for traffic control should be compiled. Standard resources, such as detour signs, cones, barricades, barrels, and changeable message signs are important. Table 3-1 shows an example of a resource list cre- ated in the planning process. In addition to identifying local resources, the county may need to consider other ways to fill resource gaps, such as through emergency assistance compacts with other counties or cities, grants for equipment or supplies, or other means. A plan should be established for locating resources needed to establish safe and effective traffic control around a 3- to 6-mi (5- to 10-km) quarantine radius. Information on the availability of the resources should also be assembled and maintained. The information compiled should include the location and quantity of supplies, equipment,
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Components of Agricultural Emergency Response 13 Table 3-1. Typical resources list created in planning process for agricultural emergency response. Signs Vehicles Communications Equipment road closed signs police cruisers radios detour signs contractor trucks with lights spare batteries congestion ahead signs utility trucks with lights stop/slow paddles DOT/public works trucks with electronic message signs lights storefront marquee signs dump trucks biohazard signs front loaders arrow boards vans or buses Barricades Safety Equipment standard barricade signs reflective vests cones/barrels flares hay bales flashlights, batteries orange construction fencing reflective paint portable gates reflective tape personal protective equipment (as required by OSHA standards) signs, vehicles, and other resources, as well as contact information and instructions for obtaining the resources. Table 3-2 demonstrates a method for tracking available resources. A separate sheet may be developed and maintained for each resource agency or owner. Resource agencies or owners might include state DOT maintenance facilities, county main- tenance facilities, utility companies, highway contractors, and any other local business or agency with signs, vehicles with flashing lights, sign installation equipment, variable message boards, or barricades. Table 3-2. Example of a traffic control resource list. County: Johnson Date: 7/1/2006 Owner: Springfield State DOT Item Quantity Maintenance Building Signs Contact Stop 20 Name: Jim Jones, Stop ahead 5 Maintenance Supervisor Road closed 10 Phone Detour 20 Numbers: Office: 123-456-7890 Arrows 20 Cell: 123-456-0987 US / State route number signs various After 4 pm: 123-456-7089 Road name signs various Radio Call No.: Main 1 Sign posts 50 Address: 111 County Road R. Biohazard signs Variable message signs 2 ITS message boards Additional If building doors are locked Flashers Information: and maintenance staff is Barricades unavailable, extra key is Portable barricades located inside door of Gates 10 west shed. Hay bales Vehicles Maintenance supervisor Police cruisers keeps all vehicle keys Trucks with sign capacity, installation equipment 2 locked after hours. If Trucks with towing/hauling capacity 2 needed, call cell or after Other vehicles with flashers/rotating 2 hours number. lights Maps State road maps 1 box County road maps Property maps Land-use maps