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4 fatality occurred on a non-Part 121 operator. The rate of Valley in North Dakota and Minnesota was estimated at general aviation accidents rose from 1,518 in 2006 to 1,631 in $2 billion, and in 1999, 66 tornadoes ripped through Okla- 2007; however the number of fatalities was down by 30 percent, homa, Kansas, Texas, and Tennessee costing nearly $1.5 bil- the lowest in the last 30 years (NTSB, 2008). lion in recovery. In 2004 and 2005, Hurricane(s) Ivan, Frances, The NTSB also reported no fatalities among Part 135 com- Charley, Katrina, and Rita claimed 2,139 lives, and the cost of muter operators, with on-demand Part 135 operations at recovery for the areas that were adversely affected will not be 43 fatalities, which are up from 16 reported in 2006. The known for some time. The damage of these Hurricanes was NTSB reports, "The U.S. aviation industry has produced an felt from the east coast to Texas. admirable safety record in recent years, however we must not The aviation industry is not immune to the effects of a become complacent, we must continue to take the lessons natural disaster as the organizations involved may become learned from our investigations and use them to create even instantly crippled, with effects felt throughout their local areas. safer skies for all operators and passengers" (NTSB, 2008, p. 1). However, airports and air transportation become a vital link The aviation industry has inherent risk associated with it, to receiving needed supplies and restoring order by allow- which means that accidents will occur, but presently at a very ing disaster relief workers to begin their work. In the case low rate. The nation's airlines transport nearly two million of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans-Louis Armstrong passengers per day and employ nearly half a million workers International Airport was the staging point for all egress and (Air Transport Association, 2007). ingress of the afflicted areas. The airport became the virtual According to the Air Transport Association's (ATA) tes- lifeline to the people of southern Louisiana (Blanchard, 2008). timony to Congress, "In 2006, Part 121 carriers transported 750 million passengers more than eight billion miles and logged 19 million flight hours on 11.4 million flights. There Disaster Readiness were two fatal accidents in 2006 which claimed 50 lives. This Incident Command System is an accident yield rate of 0.18 per 1,000,000 departures which is down by 30 percent from 2005" (2007). This down- The Incident Command System (ICS) is a nationally con- ward trend from the early 1990s appears to be continuing trolled set of procedures, constructs and operating practices and it is hoped that air travel becomes an even safer mode of which dictate synergistic principles between responding emer- transportation. gency agencies. The system was first established in the 1970s in various formats and has since become the de facto standard amongst all federal agencies. At the core of the system is the Natural Disasters principle of command and control, wherein the first respond- Natural disasters disrupt thousands of lives each year and ing agency maintains oversight and enacts other stabilizing pro- can do unimaginable damage in mere moments. Whether the tocol until resolutions or transference to a more appropriate disaster is fire, flood, hurricane, earthquake, or tornado, the entity (National Response Team, n.d.) threat is immediate to human life, but the recovery process is The key concepts included in the ICS are: Unity of Com- long term. Recently, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita bore down mand, Clear Text (common terminology), and Manage- on the southern United States engulfing the states of Louisiana ment by Objective, Flexible/Modular Organization, and and Mississippi, forest fires have greatly impacted the west- Span-of-Control. In the United States, ICS has been used for ern United States, and tornadoes and floods have ravaged the more than 30 years in both emergency and non-emergency Midwest. situations. Presently, all levels of government and some private The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration sector agencies are required to maintain differing levels of ICS (NOAA) has a process of forecasting such events and has training. ICS is used widely in law enforcement activities as it installed warning systems throughout the United States. The is perceived to elicit clear communication, accountability, and NOAA attempts to utilize these systems and technologies to an efficient use of community resources. As part of the Fed- mitigate loss, such as the significant loss of life associated with eral Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA's) National the Great Hurricane of Galveston, Texas, that killed an esti- Response Plan (NRP), ICS has been expanded and integrated mated 8,000 people in 1900; or, the Johnstown flood of 1889, into the National Incident Management System (NIMS). in which an estimated 2,000 people were killed. However, natural disasters still pose a threat to all communities, and the National Incident Management Systems long term recovery associated with a natural disaster can be debilitating. In 2004, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Sec- In 1994, the Northridge earthquake in California is esti- retary, Tom Ridge, as directed by President George W. Bush, mated to have cost over $23 billion, a flood in New Orleans required all Federal departments and agencies to adopt NIMS in 1995 cost over $1.36 billion, the 1997 flood of the Red River and use it in their individual domestic event and incident man-