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Develop an Emergency Preparedness Program 67 programs such as EMAC also require that such costs be fully accounted for in order for the state transportation agency to be reimbursed. Ensuring cost tracking and accountability involves the final phase of the preparation process, as described below. PREPARE Phase 13: Prepare for Cost Accounting and Tracking of Expenditures Purpose. Ensure processes have been developed to track resources, making certain of appli- cable reimbursement and accountability for compliance with mutual-aid provisions. Actions. Costs should include all response, scene-management, debris-removal, and other incident-related costs. These costs should also include compensation claims for all forms of workers' compensation, tort claims against responders, and daily wage reimbursement claims; procurement costs associated with vendor contracts and equipment purchases or rental; and equipment and infrastructure damage costs claims. It is important to stress conformance to FEMA/FHWA record-keeping requirements because this is the only substantial source for reim- bursement. Federal audits can and have resulted in reclaiming funds when exact adherence to their guidance is not achieved. Focus. Recoup monies expended during the response effort. Supporting Resources. FEMA Resource Management (Mutual Aid), http://www.fema.gov/emergency/nims/FAQ.shtm# item2 Step Observations In the ICS structure, the Incident Commander or Unified Command post/center will likely establish accounting processes for monitoring costs, personnel hours, and reimbursement. This is done not only for reimbursement purposes, but also to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of emer- gency response activities. Through financial analysis of the cost data, emergency planners may find that greater funding is needed to improve certain response capabilities or equipment. Alter- natively, they may find ways to reduce emergency response costs. In either case, the state trans- portation agency should maintain its own cost-accounting policies and records to ensure it receives reimbursement in a timely manner. Step Checklist To evaluate the state transportation agency's cost-tracking and accounting processes and pro- cedures, the agency should Prepare for cost accounting and tracking of expenditures to ensure applicable reimbursement and accountability for compliance with EMAC and other mutual-aid provisions. Ensure the agency's cost accounting and tracking methods are consistent with the ICS struc- ture, capturing all cost data necessary for reimbursement. Develop processes for performing cost analysis of emergency response efforts to determine if additional funding is necessary to improve response capabilities and/or to improve the cost- effectiveness of emergency response efforts. Respond to the Emergency Achieving NIMS compliance requires state transportation agencies to become familiar with and understand the NIMS/ICS and NRF structure and their roles and responsibilities in that structure. During the PLAN step, state transportation agencies seek to identify the possible haz- ards and risks to which their regions may be exposed; they work to form collaborative relation- ships with other emergency response agencies and personnel; they begin developing plans and

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68 A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies procedures that will guide emergency response activities and minimize risks; and they begin to identify the resources needed to adequately respond to different types of emergencies. During the PREPARE step, state transportation agencies also develop and begin to implement supporting plans and procedures; they begin testing response capabilities through emergency drills and simulations; and they establish processes for managing resources and tracking costs. Regard- less of the amount of planning and preparation that takes place, however, actual emergency response activities are the truest test of the state transportation agency's readiness and ability to respond to an emergency, as it places each of the preceding plans, procedures, and supporting activ- ities into action. To pass this test and to be successful in the emergency response effort, state transportation agencies must not only fulfill their roles and responsibilities within the National Incident Management System/Incident Command System structure, but they must also do so safely. Indeed, successful emergency response emphasizes safety at all levels. Thus, the goal of emer- gency response is not only to protect the affected region and its citizens from harm, but also to do so without injury or loss of life to emergency response personnel. All too often, the serv- ices that emergency responders provide are taken for granted as response activities focus on saving the lives of those affected by the emergency event. And, all too often the risks that emergency responders face, placing themselves in harm's way, to perform their duties and maintain public safety, are neglected. It is the responsibility of every emergency response participant--from responders to managers and executives--to remain cognizant of these risks and to perform their duties in a manner that maximizes the safety of response person- nel throughout all response activities. The NIMS/ICS structure is designed to provide a systematic, shared tool with which to com- mand, control, and coordinate emergency response activities that are consistent across all response agencies. It is therefore the most useful and effective means of minimizing response risks and of maintaining safety during all emergency response activities, at all levels of the emer- gency response effort. It is recognized that the size and location of the emergency event will greatly affect the number and types of agencies involved in the response effort. A crash involving an overturned tractor- trailer that blocks traffic on one of the state's main interstates, for example, will obviously require different response actions than in response to a large-scale terrorist attack or the threat of an impending hurricane. It is also recognized that the state transportation agency's role in the response effort will also vary greatly depending on the size and type of emergency event. Given these uncertainties, a generalized approach is taken within this section of the 2010 Guide to dis- cuss a state transportation agency's emergency response roles and responsibilities. It has also been assumed that the agency will always fulfill a support role in the emergency response effort-- not serving as the lead emergency response agency, but instead receiving direction from the state or some higher government authority. These assumptions are made for two reasons: (1) state transportation agencies already have a high degree of familiarity with small-scale emergency response activities such as those required by the tractor-trailer example cited above, and (2) these assumptions present the scenario most likely to be faced by a transportation agency. The following has been developed to provide state transportation agencies with the tools nec- essary to evaluate the effectiveness of their own emergency response processes against the stan- dards and metrics required by the National Incident Management System and to provide additional detail on how to best implement and work within the Incident Command System structure. Again, the following discussions are presented in a format that encourages the state transportation agencies to conduct self-assessments.