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Institutional Context for Emergency Response 19 · Similarly, are the respective roles and responsibilities of the state/territorial/ tribal transportation agency vis-ŕ-vis local agencies clearly defined and The importance of Unified Com- accounted for in state and agency EOCs? mand is not to have a single Inci- · Is a transportation agency's public information program adequate for dent Commander, but rather to appropriate response? operate under a single Incident · Is the state and transportation agency level of communications interoper- Action Plan (IAP). ability adequate? · How does the response program relate to a broader emergency transporta- (Paraphrased from NIMS) tion operations program or a traffic incident management program? · Is evacuation/shelter-in-place/quarantine planning adequate? · Is the response program properly correlated with the need to protect the agency's critical assets? How can a solid response program be part of the protection of critical assets? · Where is the funding for emergency response? Is the funding adequate? · Is the state agency internally aware, and are other agencies aware, of how transportation agen- cies can contribute to emergency response? Are assets inventoried? · How can ITS, transportation management centers, and other functional equivalents be used for response? · How can Traffic Incident Management Teams be effectively used for ER? Key Definitions The various documents identified in Section 1, Introduction, generally contain glossaries. As these are mostly DHS or FEMA emergency management documents, they define terminology used in the Homeland Security (HS)/EM community. The terminology is not always consistent among the documents. See Appendix D for an annotated glossary of general HS/EM terminol- ogy. Key emergency management terms included in the Appendix D glossary follow: · Catastrophic incident · Incident, traffic · Emergency · First responder · Emergency management · Fusion Center · Emergency Management Assistance Compact · Incident Command System (ICS) (EMAC) · Major disaster · Emergency management/response personnel · Security countermeasures · Emergency response · Traffic incident · Emergency Transportation Operations (ETO) · Traffic incident management · Incident (see below) · Unified Command (UC) Additionally, Appendix E contains a discussion of traffic incident terminology, including MUTCD definitions of minor, moderate, and major incidents. Emergency Incident Characteristics and Terminology The more severe categories of incidents are those more commonly associated with emergen- cies caused by nature or persons acting as terrorists. As the degree of complexity of an incident increases, so does the typical response. Figure 6 illustrates this point. Table 2 summarizes the characteristics of these incident levels. The final category, catastrophic, was not included in Figure 6, but is added Table 2 because in EM, it is considered the highest level of incident, generally garnering the greatest response. Examples are 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Asian tsunami.
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20 A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies Source: Adapted from NCHRP Report 525, Volume 6, 2005. Figure 6. The complexity of emergencies and response. Section 5, Nature and Degree of Hazards/Threats, details these incidents and the responses to them. The comments above also point out the scalability of the NIMS ICS. At a minor traf- fic incident, the Incident Commander could be a single police officer working the scene alone, but the principles of NIMS should be followed as appropriate. As the severity of incidents increases, the response in terms of ICS grows, including application of Unified Command and ultimately Multiagency Coordination (MAC). The key point is to use the ICS structure for all incidents. This is why all responders--including transportation personnel--are trained in NIMS/ICS.
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Institutional Context for Emergency Response 21 Table 2. General incident characteristics. Level Definition Typical Cause Typical Comment Duration Planned Planned special Entertainment, Hours to Generally a controlled Activities events, recurring or sports, social, weeks event, serious nonrecurring political incidents may be a by- product becoming one of the next levels Minor An incident generally Minor-moderate Minutes to ICS should be Incident resolved by local traffic, minor several followed, albeit in agencies flooding or fires hours these cases generally on a small-scale basis. This would include traffic incidents at the 12 levels. Major An incident requiring Major traffic, Hours to This would likely Incident multiple jurisdictions/ suicide attempt, days warrant a scaled-up agencies major non- response, including HAZMAT spill the formal creation of a command post and strict ICS/UC. This would include traffic incidents at levels 23 HAZMAT Any incident involving a HAZMAT spill Hours to This is a special Incident HAZMAT-qualified days category and may response have long-term effects if contamination is involved Natural Any naturally occurring Weather, Days to These will generally Disaster major emergency agricultural, months require the full earthquake, implementation of ICS pandemic, with activation of wildfires EOC(s), perhaps even State EOC(s) Terrorist A human-perpetrated CBRNE Days to Same as above. Incident major emergency months Catastrophic Extraordinary levels of Any of the Months to These may have any mass casualties, foregoing on a years of the previous levels damage, or disruption massively as the genesis. severely affecting the destructive or Multiple state EOC population, threatening activations are infrastructure, scale probable as well as a environment, economy, highly populated ICS national morale, and/or government functions