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102 A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies Creates an EM Executive Committee or group that makes decisions regarding allocation of resources for emergency response policy and planning, staffing, resources, and interagency agreements and understandings. Thoroughly commits to the general concept of Emergency Transportation Operations (ETO) throughout the agency--headquarters and regional/district levels (NCHRP Report 525, Volume 6, 2005). Relies on a core emergency management team that has domain expertise in EM/ER. This might be one person (called the state transportation agency Emergency Planning Coordina- tor [EPC] herein) or a small group, depending on the level of activity in both State EOP devel- opment and agency EOP development. The leader of this team should report to an individual (position) as high in the organization as possible, given the culture of the organization. This person/group should work closely with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) State National Incident Management System (NIMS) Coordinator to ensure NIMS compliance within the agency. At a minimum, the broader EM Team should include representatives from the following divisions: Planning--to ensure that infrastructure planning considers EM (and TIM) operations in the high-level investment process. Design--to ensure that infrastructure and operations support designs, such as intelligent transportation systems (ITS), fully account for the needs of EM/ER and TIM. Construction and Maintenance--to ensure that appropriate attention is given to ER/TIM requirements during construction and major maintenance activities, including the use of ITS to support TIM and ER in work zones. Operations--to ensure that TIM and ER are high-priority functions in all aspects of high- way and transit operations. The Traffic/Transportation Incident Management Organization (also called TIM Team)-- whether separate or an integral part of Operations (or other), to form a seamless process that transitions from managing routine traffic incidents into the appropriate response level for major incidents, disasters, and catastrophes. Administration--particularly emergency procurement personnel, to be able to issue emergency contracts or other instruments to facilitate restoring infrastructure and other transportation services. Liaisons to/from major stakeholder partners--to ensure full exercise of the 4-Cs (com- munication, cooperation, coordination, and consensus) among agencies. If the region has multi-agency TIM Teams, then expand these to include EM. PREPARE for Emergencies The foregoing organizational principles apply here as well, but in addition, the agency should ensure that a full complement of training and exercises is developed and undertaken. It is particularly important to test notification channels, including back-ups, if the primary channel becomes inoperative. The following are examples of areas of the country that have regional incident alert networks in place: GCM (Gary-Chicago-Milwaukee) ITS Corridor encompasses Interstates 55, 57, 90, 94, 290, and 355 in this tri-city corridor; STIX (Southern Traffic Incident eXchange) covers Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas; and TRANSCOM primarily covers the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut metropolitan region, but notifications extend as far south as Northern North Carolina. EOPs should include such networks if available in the region.