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86 A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies transportation partners, should next begin the repair process, tracking all associated costs as nec- essary for future reimbursement. Similar to the evacuation/shelter-in-place/quarantine processes, the state transportation agency will also be called upon for traffic control and management of those returning to the affected area. This will again require the agency to work and coordinate with local, state, and regional TMCs and TCCs to manage traffic signal timing, message signs, and other public information systems; to deploy personnel, equipment, and other resources as necessary to direct and facilitate traffic flow, including contraflow activities (although less likely for recovery); and to monitor traffic conges- tion during the return of those evacuated/sheltered-in-place/quarantined, providing the Incident Command Team with updates regarding the need for additional resources or for limiting/phasing the number of those who can enter the affected area at any one time. Because many of the area's hospitals, nursing homes, or other special needs facilities, may have been damaged during the emergency event, those evacuated/sheltered-in-place/quarantined should not be transported back to those facilities until all necessary repairs have been made and all neces- sary systems and equipment are up and running. Once acceptable conditions have been verified, the state transportation agency, or appropriate local authority, can begin coordinating the transport of those evacuated/sheltered-in-place/quarantined back to these facilities. Again, this may require working with local, state, and regional public transit agencies, hospitals, and private transporta- tion providers to ensure the special medical or other needs of these individuals are met during transport. Step Checklist To evaluate the state transportation agency's processes and capabilities for restoring traffic to affected areas, the agency should consider its capability to · Develop plans, procedures, and protocols for restoring essential services. This should include conducting damage assessments, debris removal, and hazardous materials disposal, and repair of roads and other transportation facilities. · Develop plans, procedures, and protocols to reestablish traffic management to the affected area. This includes establishing routes to move traffic into, out of, and/or around the affected area. This also includes coordinating traffic management with restoration plans for affected com- munities and resumption of government operations and services through individual, private- sector, nongovernmental, and public assistance programs. · Prepare to implement a phased approach to bring evacuated/sheltered-in-place/quarantined residents and others back into the affected area. · Prepare to conduct emergency repair, replacement, and decontamination processes by identi- fying what can be done quickly and what will require more time. Step 2--Identify and Implement Lessons Learned Many of the most useful practices and recommendations presented in this and other guides have been developed by evaluating the emergency management processes of previous events to identify what could have been done better or more efficiently. These lessons learned are an essential tool for continually improving the emergency management capabilities of state transportation agencies and other response agencies. Moreover, as presented in this 2010 Guide's discussion of the emergency planning process, emergency planning never ends; rather, it evolves as emergency planners and response teams continue to learn from new expe- riences. As such, following any emergency event, the agency should actively participate in developing lessons learned from the event. Identifying and implementing lessons learned requires the completion of two phases.
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Develop an Emergency Preparedness Program 87 RECOVER Phase 05: Perform After-Action Reviews Purpose. Assess response activities to determine what went well and where improvements are needed. Actions. Identify who is responsible for conducting After-Action Reviews and for ensuring necessary changes are made to EOPs, SOPs, SOGs, etc., and communicated to staff. Conduct a review of how the evacuation/shelter-in-place/quarantine was executed and determine how it could have been improved. Each agency should review its actions. When multiple agencies are involved in an operation, conduct a joint After-Action Review to address how well agencies worked together and what improvements can be made in future joint operations. Share each After-Action Review with decisionmakers and agency personnel and include recommendations for which improvements should be considered and implemented quickly. Conduct an After-Action Review, a formal meeting of operation participants to assess actions, determine follow-up items, and develop recommendations for improving future operations. Include results of the After-Action Review in an After Action Report (AAR) and use results to determine if changes should be made to plans and procedures. Supporting Resources. · NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 9: Guidelines for Transportation Emergency Training Exercises, search for title at www.TRB.org/SecurityPubs · NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 7: System Security Awareness for Transportation Employees, search for title at www.TRB.org/SecurityPubs RECOVER Phase 06: Return to Readiness Purpose. Incorporate recommendations from the After-Action Review into existing emer- gency response plans and procedures. Actions. Establish a policy for the evacuation/shelter-in-place/quarantine team members' home organizations regarding recovery time and time to participate in After-Action Reviews and other return-to-readiness activities. Agencies may · Determine what equipment and supplies need to be restocked, what infrastructure needs to be repaired or replaced, and what new information needs to be communicated to the public to maintain their awareness to be prepared. · Begin transitioning the system from an operations cycle back to a state of planning and preparedness. · Continue data collection and begin analyses of response activities. · Identify evacuation costs and reimbursable expenditures. Account for services such as equip- ment rehabilitation, restocking of expendable supplies, transportation to original storage or usage locations, overtime costs for public safety and transportation officials, materials used in support of evacuation, and contract labor and equipment. · Begin request for reimbursement processes from state and federal governments, as applicable. · Continue to track personnel, supplies, and equipment costs to meet the requirements of the reimbursing agencies. · Work with FEMA and FHWA to ensure proper documentation is used for submitting reim- bursement requests. Supporting Resources. · NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 9: Guidelines for Transportation Emergency Training Exercises, search for title at www.TRB.org/SecurityPubs · NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 7: System Security Awareness for Transportation Employees, search for title at www.TRB.org/SecurityPubs
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88 A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies · ACRP Report 22: Helping Airport and Air Carrier Employees Cope with Traumatic Events, search for title at www.TRB.org/SecurityPubs Step Observations Develop an AAR immediately following the out-brief to identify the lessons learned and the actions to be taken by each agency and stakeholder involved in the emergency response effort to incorporate these lessons learned into their plans, procedures, protocols, and future training activities. Develop debrief teams, including representatives of the key emergency response parties, to walk through the emergency event, from its inception through final recovery, to identify the following: · Specific issues and challenges presented by the event. · Resource shortcomings that may have occurred and how they hindered response capabilities. · Actions taken during the response and what could have been done differently to improve the response. · Any occurrences in which communication breakdowns between response agencies impaired or prevented response capabilities. · Causes of any injuries or fatalities to emergency responders or citizens and what can be done in the future to prevent recurrences. · What plans, procedures, and protocols worked and did not work and what revisions should be made to correct any missteps. · The effectiveness of contracted support teams and personnel to meet their contractual requirements and quickly provide the equipment and resources needed to effectively respond to the emergency when called upon. · Any other changes that should be made to improve future emergency response efforts. It is important to conduct these reviews in a blameless environment; the objective is to make improvements, not to point fingers at anyone or any agency. Step Checklist To evaluate the state transportation agency's processes and capabilities for identifying and implementing lessons learned from the emergency, the agency should consider whether it can perform an After-Action Review to assess response activities to determine what went well and where improvements are needed.