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OCR for page 69
Develop an Emergency Preparedness Program 69 Step 1--Initiate Emergency Response Initiating emergency response from the state transportation agency perspective involves three phases. RESPOND Phase 01: Detect and Verify Emergencies Purpose. Monitor the performance of the transportation network using surveillance systems, field personnel, manual or automated information sharing with local Emergency Communica- tions Centers (ECCs)/9-1-1 Centers (also called Public Safety Answering Points [PSAPs]), and regional transportation organizations. Actions. Use surveillance systems to detect indicators of a potential emergency, an emer- gency that is occurring, or an emergency that has occurred. Coordinate with and alert other agencies to recognize an emergency event in progress that may affect the regional transporta- tion system. Activate manual or automated information sharing with local ECCs/9-1-1 Centers. Coordinate with field personnel and equipment to verify that an emergency event is occurring or has occurred and communicate relevant information to all responding agencies. Where they exist, use regional networks, such as the I-95 Corridor Coalition's Incident Exchange Network, for such notifications. Focus. Once the state transportation agency has been notified of the emergency event, it must take the necessary response actions to support the Incident Command System structure. This means activating its Mobilization Plan by notifying transportation agency personnel and response teams of the event and directing these staff to report to the appropriate staging areas or control centers. The agency should also mobilize all other resources, such as vehicles and equip- ment necessary to support emergency-response activities. Once state transportation agency response personnel arrive at the designated staging area or command center, they should be briefed fully on the situation and begin to take the response actions that have been developed and exercised during the emergency planning and preparedness phases. This includes activating the applicable operating procedures, traffic control, and management protocols, and other plans and procedures that guide the agency's response activities. Supporting Resources. FHWA Emergency Transportation Operations, National Traffic Incident Management Coalition, pageid=590 Traffic Incident Management Committee, RESPOND Phase 02: Assess Status of Transportation Infrastructure Purpose. Receive reports from automated systems, field personnel, law enforcement, and/or a Fusion Center regarding the status of the transportation infrastructure. Actions. Receive cell phone calls from motorist(s) to report incidents and conditions directly to the state transportation agency. Receive reports from road watch, first observer, volun- teer spotter, and other probe programs to enable specially trained individuals (including transit vehicle operators) to provide information by radio or cell phone. If available/applicable, use automated vehicle location (AVL) identifiers in vehicles that travel a transportation corridor reg- ularly to track vehicle movement and compare it against anticipated travel times to identify delays and potential incidents. Where available, use cell phone tracking data to obtain near real- time travel time information. Supporting actions may include the following: Coordinate with/manage 24-hour law enforcement patrols to enhance detection, response, and site management with dedicated officers available at all times in the transportation corridor.

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70 A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies Coordinate with/manage specialty patrols (motorcycle, aircraft) to provide surveillance of roadway conditions for incident detection, verification, response, clearance, and recovery. Operate dedicated incident response patrols to provide early detection, verification, response, clearance, and recovery. Ensure patrol vehicles are equipped to help stranded motorists and some are equipped to quickly remove a disabled vehicle or debris from the roadway. Use automated detection systems, including loops, microwave, radar, and video, to detect congestion on the highway. Use video surveillance equipment, mounted within the transportation corridor, to provide incident detection. Video equipment can be combined with automated detection and report- ing systems. Video can also be used to verify the occurrence of an incident and to identify the appropriate response equipment needed. Focus. Ensure the safety of transportation infrastructure elements that may be used to sup- port evacuation of the affected area or response efforts. In its support role, the state transporta- tion agency should provide the Incident Commander with updates as to the continued viability of emergency access and emergency evacuation routes to and from the affected area. The agency's Emergency Planning Coordinator should attend, or assign an agency representative to attend, all incident briefings held by the Incident Commander to gather and share any additional information that may be necessary to support the response effort. Supporting Resources. FHWA Traffic Incident Management Program, Major Initiatives and Current News, http:// National Traffic Incident Management Coalition, Traffic Incident Management Committee, RESPOND Phase 03: Gain and Maintain Situation Awareness Purpose. Receive notification of all declared emergencies and ensure that situation reports contain verified information and explicit details (who, what, where, when and how) related to the incident/emergency. Actions. The state transportation agency should receive notification of all declared emer- gencies and then continuously monitor relevant sources of information regarding actual inci- dents and developing hazards. The scope and type of monitoring varies based on the type of incident being evaluated and needed reporting thresholds. Supporting actions may include ensuring critical information is passed through preestablished reporting channels according to established security protocols and ensuring situation reports contain verified information and explicit details (who, what, where, when and how) related to the incident. Status reports, which may be contained in situation reports, relay specific information about resources. Based on an analysis of the threat(s), issue warnings to the public and provide emergency public information. National Incident Management System Compliance Issues. To achieve NIMS compliance, Coordinate and support emergency management and incident response objectives through development and use of integrated MACS (i.e., develop/maintain connectivity capability between local ICPs, local 9-1-1 Centers, EOCs, as well as NRF organizational elements). Institute multidisciplinary and/or multi-jurisdictional procedures and protocols for stan- dardizing data collection and analysis to use or share information during an incident/ planned event.