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13 C H A P T E R 2 This guide is based on an âall-hazardsâ approach to emergency manage- ment, the national standard within the emergency management field (see Exhibit 8). The all-hazards approach provides a consistent set of practices for preparing for and responding to a wide variety of hazards (natural, technolog- ical, and manmade). Pandemic response is built on a foundation of emergency management as many of the steps in the emergency management process are shared with other types of hazards (e.g., geological, weather, or hazmat). Preparing for a pandemic is most efficient when a robust emergency management program is in place and key components within a transportation organizationâs all-hazards response plans have been discussed, documented, trained, exercised, and tested. A pandemic is only one of many hazards that may impact a transportation organization or may require the organization to support the community. All organizations should have a robust emergency management program crafted for all-hazards. Exhibit 9 describes how all-hazards disaster manage- ment can support pandemic response. Exhibit 9, which is adapted from an article from the World Health Organi- zation, depicts how all-hazards disaster management practices and principles apply to pandemic planning and response. How Prepared Is an Organization for a Pandemic? This chapter provides an overview of all-hazards emergency management and provides tools designed to help transportation organizations identify their vulnerabilities to pandemics and begin to address them. Exhibits in this Chapter 8 Traditional Components of a Comprehensive Emergency Management Program 9 How All-Hazards Disaster Management Supports Pandemic Response 10 Key Actions for Preparing for a Pandemic 11 Additional Resources for Developing Emergency Management Competency 12 Pandemic Vulnerability Assessment ToolMitigation Minimizing or eliminating hazards and their impacts prior to an emergency. Preparedness The planning, training, exercising, and equipment acquisition to enable organizations to respond safely and eï¬ectively. Response The actions taken during an emergency. Review administrative and legislative requirements for employees. Recovery The actions taken to return to a "new" normal. Exhibit 8. Traditional components of a compre hensive emergency management program.
14 A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response Exhibit 9. How all-hazards disaster management supports pandemic response. Adapted from http://www.who. int/hac/techguidance/tools/WHO_strategy_ consecpts_in_emegency_management.pdf
How Prepared Is an Organization for a Pandemic? 15 Preparing for a Pandemic For pandemic planning, the transportation organization must take several key actions. Exhibit 10 lists these actions and the relevant tools provided in Chapter 7. Exhibit 11 describes additional resources for developing emergency management competency. Identifying Organizational Vulnerabilities During a Pandemic In order to prepare for pandemics, transportation organizations must grapple with several complex challenges that prevent business as usual. â¢ Pandemics are global and can last for months. â¢ Stopping the spread of disease will require individuals to change their habits (e.g., washing hands more frequently, not gathering with others, etc.) which will likely be tough to enforce amongst the American public. â¢ The healthcare system will be overloaded. â¢ Dramatic worker absenteeism will have far-reaching impacts. â¢ Coordination with other agencies, especially public health, will be required. â¢ Public information will be essential and challenging. â¢ A fear of exposure to an infectious disease may significantly curtail ridership and/or increase rider anxiety (this will also affect employees). â¢ Modification of normal operations for the transportation organization may be necessary to support community needs. â¢ Legislative and administrative issues (e.g., occupational safety and health, Social Security, benefits, and employment status) for employees may require special attention. Preparing for pandemics is more time consuming than expensive, but efforts can have multiple benefits such as more comprehensive all-hazards plans, preparedness for other infectious diseases, improved preparations for addressing sensitive workforce issues, and improving the robustness of services during a disaster. 1 See the CDC Inï¬uenza Risk Assessment Tool (IRAT): http://www.cdc.gov/ï¬u/pandemic-resources/tools/ risk-assessment.htm Actions Relevant Tools Conduct a comprehensive Hazard Vulnerability Assessment and develop comprehensive, usable, relevant emergency plans.1 Pandemic Vulnerability Assessment Develop strong relationships with community and allied organizations through meetings, training, and exercising. Decision making and Partnership Planning Tool Develop agreements (e.g., mutual aid agreements, service agreements) that are validated prior to an emergency. Acquire equipment that may be needed during an emergency. Providing Services During a Pandemic Checklist Conduct regular internal and external exercises to identify organization and community strengths and shortfalls; and enhance conï¬dence, competence, and problem solving. Exercise design, deliver, and evaluation training and tools (e.g., Homeland Security Exercise Evaluation Program) Exhibit 10. Key actions for preparing for a pandemic.
16 A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response Exhibit 11. Additional resources for developing emergency management competency. Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Inï¬uenza Mitigation in the United Statesâ Early, Targeted, Layered Use of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions The CDCâs Interim Pre-pandemic Planning Guidance: Community Strategy for Pandemic Inï¬uenza Mitigation in the United Statesâ Early, Targeted, Layered Use of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions provides interim planning guidance for state, territorial, tribal, and local agencies that focuses on several measures other than vaccination and drug treatment that might be useful during an inï¬uenza pandemic to reduce its harm. Access the information online at: http://www.ï¬u.gov/planning-preparedness/community/ community_mitigation.pdf Travel Industry Pandemic Inï¬uenza Planning Checklist The CDCâs Travel Industry Pandemic Inï¬uenza Planning Checklist provides a simple check-oï¬ list relevant to rural transportation organizations. Access the information online at: http://www.ï¬u.gov/planning- preparedness/business/travelchecklist.html A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies NCHRP Report 525: Surface Transportation Security, Volume 16: A Guide to Emergency Response Planning at State Transportation Agencies, provides guidance on how transportation organizations can develop emergency management programs and emergency operations plans. Access the document online at: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/nchrp_rpt_525v16.pdf Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Local Emergency Planning Requirements The U.S. Environmental Protection Agencyâs (EPA) Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) Local Emergency Planning Requirements provides guidance on how communities can establish and operate local emergency planning committees. Access the information online at: http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/epcra/epcra_plan.htm
How Prepared Is an Organization for a Pandemic? 17 Exhibit 12. Pandemic vulnerability assessment tool. This tool is included on page 43 of Chapter 7. Purpose: Assist transportation organizations in identifying vulnerability to a pandemic. Directions: Use this assessment to facilitate an internal discussion about where the organizationâs vulnerabilities are and how to best address them with limited time and budgetary resources. The primary impacts of pandemics are widespread absenteeism (~15%â40%) across all sectors for an extended period of time. As a result, all organizations including rural and small urban transit organizations will need to function with fewer staff, which will impact transit service lines, maintenance and repair, local critical infrastructure, and vendors that help transit function. Since rural and small urban transit agencies often provide the sole or primary transportation options for their passengers, better understanding of the organizationsâ vulnerabilities is key to ensuring that essential services can continue. All the major vulnerabilities transportation organizations are likely to have during pandemics stem from (1) a lack of preparedness, (2) across the board workforce shortages, or (3) responses to public information and/or public health strategies to limit transmittal of the disease. The pandemic-specific hazard vulnerability assessment tool (Exhibit 12) helps agencies identify areas for improvement.