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1 A product of the research for NCHRP Project 20â59, Task 42, âA Guide to Regional Trans- portation Planning for Disasters, Emergencies, and Significant Events,â NCHRP Report 777 has been developed to help transportation and non-transportation stakeholders, such as emergency managers and first responders, better understand transportationâs important role in building resilient communities. Transportation planning for disasters and emergencies is essential to community readiness, response, and resilience for several important reasons: â¢ Transportation links communities, counties, states, and countries. â¢ Transportation is one of several critical infrastructure components of a community and region. â¢ Transportation systems and assets (roads, railways, waterways, airways, and transit lines) are required every day to move goods and people into, out of, and around an area. â¢ Transportation systems provide daily support to emergency services; public safety; public health; delivery of goods and services; business continuity; and public access to work, educa- tion, commerce, and recreation. â¢ Transportation involves fixed assets, such as roads, rails, signals, signs, bridges, tunnels, air- ports and waterways, and moveable resources, such as ships, planes, buses, ambulances, trains, traffic control devices, barriers and signs, tow trucks, delivery trucks, heavy equipment, and personnel. â¢ Transportation involves information on traffic congestion, traffic incidents, roadways, rail lines, waterways, and air traffic conditions. â¢ The material, human, and information resources that are involved in transportation can facilitate planning for, responding to, and recovering from a disaster or significant event, and incorporating transportation assets improves and leverages effective mitigation planning before and after a disaster. â¢ Eventsâwhether caused by nature or by human activities and whether intentional or unintentionalâcan damage or destroy transportation assets. â¢ Transportation assets also can be the source or conduit of a disaster (e.g., 9/11/2001; the 1995 Murrah Federal Building bombing in Oklahoma; or a major train derailment, multi-vehicle accident, or hazmat spill). â¢ Damage to transportation assets often must be overcome or worked around to respond to emergencies, carry out rescues, restore power, and begin recovery. The bottom line is that transportation is critical to communitiesâ response and recovery in disasters, emergencies, and significant events. Planning for these incidents is as necessary to transportation agencies as planning for rush hours and snow removal. It is more challenging, however, because it requires a much greater emphasis on communication and collaboration with a broader-than-usual range of stakeholders and across a broader geography. Planning for S U M M A R Y A Guide to Regional Transportation Planning for Disasters, Emergencies, and Significant Events
2 A Guide to Regional Transportation Planning for Disasters, Emergencies, and Significant Events disasters, emergencies, and significant events is a whole-community, multi-faceted, multijuris- dictional planning effort that establishes a process that brings transportation considerations into the emergency planning cycle and brings emergency planning considerations into the transportation planning cycle. Emergency management organizations often head up the emergency planning and opera- tions aspects of this work. However, transportation managers and planners provide critical leadership to: â¢ Plan, exercise, and manage transportation operations roles for emergencies; â¢ Ensure that the âbig pictureâ multijurisdictional framework, perspectives, and stakeholders are included in planning and exercises; â¢ Ensure that essential security and hazard mitigation features are considered and perpetuated from transportation project inception to completion; and â¢ Ensure that transportation assets and projects are fully considered and included in long- range hazard mitigation planning. A true partnership among transportation, emergency management, and other key stake- holders (including public, private, and nonprofit entities) is essential to improve communitiesâ resilience and speed recovery from disasters. NCHRP Report 777 has been developed to help transportation stakeholders in the public and private sector, as well as non-transportation stakeholders, such as emergency managers and first responders, better understand transportationâs important role in planning for multijuris- dictional disasters, emergencies, and major events. The guide sets out foundational planning principles and uses examples, case studies, tips, tools, and suggested strategies to illustrate their implementation. Research for this study discovered multijurisdictional transportation planning for disasters, emergencies, and significant events taking place in many locations across the country, in many different institutional frameworks and settings. Basic principles undergird all such planning. Two preceptsâcommunication and collaborationâbind the principles together. Eight associated principles (Comprehensive, Cooperative, Informative, Coordinated, Inclusive, Exer- cised, Flexible, and Continuous/Iterative) make up the components of any specific plan. The eight principles are interconnected and interdependent, and will yield strategies or tactics for use in building readiness and resilience in the particular communities doing the planning. All of the principles contribute to the common goal of multijurisdictional resilience. These principles connect the many disciplines, levels of government, and private, nonprofit, and public-sector agencies that contribute to a good community plan. They provide a shared vocabulary for a collaborative effort that promises sound preparation, effective response, and rapid recovery. Resilient communities weave social, economic, and infrastructure elements into a strong community fabric. Planning that is collaborative and communicative provides the foundation for building such resilience; the eight principles provide the building blocks. Usually some or all of these principles are observable in institutionalized transportation planning, in emergency operations planning as part of the emergency planning cycle, and in long-range hazard mitigation planning. Sometimes they appear under other labels, or even as simply intuitive approaches; however, multijurisdictional disaster, emergency, and significant event planning will be most effective if the proponents consciously agree to adhere to the two precepts and eight principles as they shape their process. A cooperative planning process that incorporates these precepts and principles will support greater resilience in the community. âResilience is the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to adverse events.â âNational Research Council (NRC), Disaster Resilience: A National Imperative, 2012