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SECTION 5 Nature and Degree of Hazards/Threats State transportation agencies across the nation face different types of hazards. Coastal states are at risk from tropical storms, hurricanes, and tsunamis, while states bordering large lakes and bays have some similar weather threats, including seiches.23 Several wide corridors are tornado alleys, with a far higher probability of these storms occurring. The central and southwestern states have dust storms. Numerous rivers, large and small, are potential flooding disasters. Earthquakes are not restricted to the west coast; there are seismic faults in many states. States throughout the nation are prone to forest and grassland wildfires. On the security side, states with large population centers, military or other security- sensitive facilities, and ports are more likely targets of terrorism than the more agricultural states. Yet experience has shown that religious and antisocial extremists can plan to attack the safest of states. While many emergency response actions are similar, there are clear differences as well, requir- ing different human and materiel assets. No state can afford to be totally prepared for every threat; thus, each state needs to assess its vulnerability to each type of threat and assess the potential risks and plan accordingly. Range of Hazards CPG 101 summarizes the typical hazards facing state transportation agencies and others, as shown in Table 4. The authors of this study have added several additional hazards, shown in italic type. Impact on and of the Transportation System Table 5 indicates the typical impacts of each hazard on the transportation system when the system itself is the target of the hazard (second column) and its role in response in all cases (third column). Each ER planner should try to anticipate the most likely incidents as the top priority, while continually updating the plans as experiences of others are shared. A good source of such shared 23 A seiche is a disturbance or wave that oscillates in lakes, bays, or gulfs from a few minutes to a few hours, usually because of seismic or atmospheric disturbances; also called seiche waves. 89
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90 A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies Table 4. Sample hazards list. Natural Hazards Technological Hazards Human-Caused Hazards Avalanche Airplane crash Civil disturbance Drought Bridge collapse School violence Earthquake CBRNE Terrorist or criminal act Epidemic Dam or levee failure Sabotage Flood Electromagnetic pulse War related Hurricane (tropical cyclone) HAZMAT release Landslide or mudslide Power failure Tornado Radiological release Tsunami (or seiche) Train derailment Volcanic eruption Urban conflagration Wildfire or facility fire Loss of Internet connectivity Winter storm Loss of telecommunications Wind or dust storm Equipment failure Original source: CPG 101, 2009; indicates others added by the research team or from other transportation sources. Table 5. Impact of various hazards on transportation. Hazard Transportation Transportation's Role in Response is Target Natural Hazards Avalanche Roads might be Transport first responders in their vehicles and blocked. snow-removal equipment. Drought Generally not an issue. Transport caregivers and relief supplies. Earthquake Infrastructure might be Transport first responders in their vehicles and damaged or destroyed. equipment. Epidemic Generally not an issue Transport caregivers and relief supplies. Transportation human resources will be adversely affected leading to shortage in operating staff. In addition, quarantines may affect routes. Flood Infrastructure might be Transport first responders in their vehicles and damaged or destroyed. equipment. Remove debris. Clear roads. Hurricane Infrastructure might be Major evacuation provide alternative routing, (tropical cyclone) damaged or destroyed. and transport first responders in their vehicles and equipment. Remove debris. Landslide Infrastructure might be Transport first responders in their vehicles and (or mudslide) damaged or destroyed. equipment. Remove debris. Tornado Infrastructure might be Transport first responders in their vehicles and damaged or destroyed. equipment. Remove debris. Tsunami Infrastructure might be Provide alternative routing and transport first (or seiche) damaged or destroyed. responders in their vehicles and equipment. Volcanic eruption Infrastructure might be Transport first responders in their vehicles and damaged or destroyed. equipment. Wildfire Infrastructure might be Transport first responders in their vehicles and (or facility fire) damaged or destroyed. equipment. Winter storm Infrastructure might be Transport first responders in their vehicles and covered or iced over. equipment. Clear roads. (continued on next page)