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Page 22
Suggested Citation:"Breakout Group D." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24648.
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Page 22
Page 23
Suggested Citation:"Breakout Group D." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24648.
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Page 23

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22 t r a n s p o r t a t i o n r e s i l i e n c e ate chain of command, both within and across agencies. It was noted that distributed decision making may occur when the chain of command is broken. • A second challenge discussed in this breakout group was that technology systems may fail during extreme weather events and that backup systems may not be adequate or may not support other technologies. • Another challenge described by some participants was that agencies, and individuals within an agency, may see only one part of the problem and may not have a full understanding of the complete situation. A related challenge was ensuring that managers and supervisors know where both field and office personnel are during an event and have the tools, technologies, and equipment to adequately respond to changing situations. • Making decisions in real time requires predictions about future conditions and responses. Both historic and real-time data are needed for determining appropriate responses. A few participants suggested that needed data may not always be available or may be disrupted during an extreme weather event. • Having a good understanding of the entire trans- port system, including connections between modes, vulnerable areas and facilities, and alternatives, was sug- gested as a good way to improve management response during an extreme weather event. • Some participants discussed that funding was not typically available to bring in experts during an extreme weather event. Having adequate funding and the mecha- nisms in place for on-call services if needed would assist in managing responses to extreme weather events. • Participants also discussed the importance of rely- ing on knowledgeable personnel who have conducted scenario planning and tabletop exercises in managing responses to extreme weather events. These individuals are trained in response techniques. Participants further noted that having defined and documented decision- making processes and protocols was important. Research • One research topic could be examining the avail- ability and use of big data to assist in all aspects of plan- ning for extreme weather events, minimizing disruptions during actual events, and recovering. • Some participants suggested that research develop- ing simulation tools to capture disaster elements would be beneficial. • Assessing the total social impacts during and immediately after an extreme weather event, as well as the long-term impacts, could be helpful research. • Research focusing on monitoring the condition of infrastructure to provide needed data for decision mak- ing would be beneficial. A related research topic could be integrating these data into asset management systems. • A number of participants discussed how ongoing research examining the condition of pavements, rails, and other infrastructure during extreme weather events, including heat, flooding, snow and ice, and other condi- tions, would be valuable. Breakout Group D Gordana Petkovic Challenges • Breakout group participants identified coordinat- ing responses among multiple jurisdictions with mul- tiple leaders as a challenge. Developing coordinated management strategies and plans, including identify- ing the decision-making process, was also suggested as important. • A related challenge was coordinating involvement in emergency situations across different levels of govern- ment, different agencies, and different modes. • Some participants discussed how unexpected extreme events, called black swans, are a major chal- lenge. These types of events typically require crisis teams. • A number of participants discussed the commu- nications challenges during an extreme weather event. Developing appropriate and timely thresholds for lev- els of events, between ordinary and extreme, would be beneficial. Using a population-based criterion focusing on the number of people affected was one suggested measure. • A few participants noted that institutional barri- ers are often a challenge in managing the response to extreme weather events. Coordinating the responses of agencies at the local, state, national, and multicountry levels can be complex and challenging. • Another challenge was that there may be no warn- ing or a very short warning period with some extreme weather events. Managing responses under these condi- tions can be difficult. • Challenges discussed in managing an extreme weather event included identifying areas to put debris, developing contracts with other transport modes and vendors, and timely mobilization of emergency services. Coordinating ad hoc emergency measures by volunteers, ensuring that arrangements for emergency services are made in advance, and providing training for decision makers were other challenges considered. • A number of participants suggested that develop- ing a communication plan would ideally be included as part of the overall response plan. Identifying the indi-

23s e s s i o n 2 : m i n i m i z i n g d i s r u p t i o n d u r i n g e x t r e m e e v e n t s viduals to communicate with the public, the appropriate messages, and the communication methods could also be part of the plan. • Participants discussed the development and use of jurisdictional agreements in managing responses to extreme weather events. Items suggested for inclusion in these agreements were identifying the jurisdictional boundaries within the emergency areas, the protocols for information sharing, and the decision-making processes. These emergency structures could be used for small as well as large events. They could include processes on prioritizing cascading failures and strategies for manag- ing specific challenges. The link to hazard and mitigation planning was also considered. Research • One research project could involve developing improved tools for modeling the cascading impacts of extreme weather events. • A second research topic discussed by some partici- pants was developing public education and outreach pro- grams on how to respond to weather-related emergencies. • A related research topic could focus on methods and messages to communicate the agreed-on manage- ment strategy. Examining incentives for getting the public to accept an unpopular strategy could also be explored as part of the research project. • A number of participants discussed a research topic focusing on the use of insurance funds for disas- ters and using insurance as an instrument for adapta- tion planning. • All types of strategies and approaches, not just engineering solutions, are needed to adequately respond to extreme weather events, so useful research could focus on identifying the range of alternatives and options. • Research examining how nontransportation sec- tors could be used to respond in emergency situations could be helpful. • A few participants suggested that research examin- ing fail-safe designs and introducing a system of weak points for graceful failure would be valuable. Several participants suggested that research developing, imple- menting, and evaluating smart, self-functioning emer- gency responses would be beneficial. • Participants discussed how a research project examining the use of unmanned aerial vehicles and satel- lites to obtain more accurate and timely data could be beneficial. This project could include training on how to interpret and use these data. • Another possible research topic was exploring new and innovative methods for communicating with the public during extreme weather events, including the use of social media. • Additional research considered by some par- ticipants was developing improved methodologies for contingency planning, including techniques for evaluat- ing contingency plans based on experience and lessons learned. • Research examining mobility issues, especially mobility for vulnerable population groups, would be valuable. • Finally, some participants suggested that research focused on better understanding human behavior in emergency situations would be beneficial.

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Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change Get This Book
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Transportation Resilience: Adaptation to Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events summarizes a symposium held June 16–17, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium. The fourth annual symposium promotes common understanding, efficiencies, and trans-Atlantic cooperation within the international transportation research community while accelerating transport-sector innovation in the European Union (EU) and the United States.

The two-day, invitation-only symposium brought together high-level experts to share their views on disruptions to the transportation system resulting from climate change and extreme weather events. With the goal of fostering trans-Atlantic collaboration in research and deployment, symposium participants discussed the technical, financial, and policy challenges to better plan, design, and operate the transportation network before, during, and after extreme and/or long-term climate events.

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