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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-1 CHAPTER 3 Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies STEPS: Step 1. Engage Those Who Depend on Your Agency Step 2. Join Regional Resilience Efforts Step 3. Strengthen Key Transit Agency and Supplier Relationships
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-3 long-term capital investment. An agency is also intricately interwoven with and dependent on the infrastructure of the region, including roads, bridges and tunnels, railroads, water and sewer systems, electric, gasoline, diesel fuel and natural gas power systems, satellite, cable, radio and internet communications systems, and much more. You can and should make the case for transit as an essential partner for resilience. Your transit system represents a vital link to employment, goods and services, education and recreation for many people in the community (illustrated in Figure 3.1). Confirming that value and those links can bolster the case for transit agency resilience efforts and investments. One or two active members or leaders from your internal agency resilience working group can serve as valuable liaisons for the regional effort, sharing information both ways. They, or others, may also be tasked with establishing formal Memoranda of Understanding with key suppliers, customers, government funding agencies and/or other transit agencies to foster resilience through operations, contracting and other agreements. Specific strategies and approaches for collaboration will be particular to each region, as are the risks and resources available. However, the precepts of communication and collaboration mirror those of agency resilience, on a larger scale. In this section, resilience strategies that include multiple partners and provide co-benefits to many take
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-6 FTA Emergency Relief Manual Excerpt: Section 2.2 Operations âCoordinate with local human services organizations and schoolsâ In conjunction with Federal, State, local, and tribal emergency management structures, transit agencies should establish relationships with local human services and health care organizations, schools, and other NGOs (e.g., Red Cross, Salvation Army) that have access to transportation departments or other transportation resources (e.g., vehicles, drivers, fuel, maintenance facilities) available for emergency response. Availability of accessible, smaller, or specialized vehicles may be especially important.â (FTA, 2015) Transit-dependent and communities with access and functional needs can suffer greatly from loss of services when major portions of the fleet or other major infrastructure are damaged or destroyed in natural disasters. Imagining the community, especially the most transit- dependent residents, without your functioning and effective transit system in the event of a disaster may help make the case for transit as critical infrastructure in your region. The FTA Emergency Relief Manual provides extensive information on FTA and FEMA grant support for preparing for and responding to emergency situations, including resilience aspects. Several recommendations for disaster preparation considerations in the FTA Emergency Relief Manual recommend customer-facing community interaction and involvement.
Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-7 For example, the preparedness realm (Section 2.1 of the manual), recommends that transit agencies: ï§ Participate in state [and regional] emergency plan exercises. ï§ Develop policies to address personal belongings, pets and service animals (for evacuation situations). ï§ Coordinate and pre-plan evacuation of special populations. The Manual specifically refers to TCRP Report 150: Communication with Vulnerable Populations: A Transportation and Emergency Management Toolkit as a resource for this activity. The Toolkit provides âhow toâ steps for identifying vulnerable populations and those who work with them, reaching out and establishing communications networks; using, growing and improving the networks, and sustaining the communications networks. In the operations realm (Section 2.2), transit agencies are advised to: ï§ Identify pick-up point, shelter and treatment center points of contact (POCs) and protocols. ï§ Consider fare suspension (may require consultation with governing agencies). ï§ Coordinate with local human services organizations and schools. (FTA, 2015).
Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-8 Your agency may already have extensive ties to local human services and health care organizations. For example, some transit agencies serve as the host for legacy âUnited We Rideâ or other mobility management coordination committees or working groups. Mobility management is defined as an eligible capital project expense under FAST Act Section 5302, Definitions, (3) Capital project (K) (1); and cited as an eligible research project under FAST Act Section 5312, Public Transit Innovation, (C) Research, (2) Project Eligibility, (B) Mobility management and improvements and travel management systems. Consider working with such groups or forums, to ensure that resilience and emergency preparedness and response are on their radar screen. i. Evacuation support Consider that your agency may be called upon by the state or local Emergency Management Agency to provide substantial evacuation support in many types of emergencies, as well as reentry support. If your agency is in a community that receives people who have been evacuated (as has been true for parts of Louisiana, Texas and other locations that received large numbers of displaced persons from Hurricane Katrina), you may be called upon to provide substantial transit services on an emergency basis, possibly extending for quite a while. It is helpful to have a good working relationship with
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-10 STEP 2. Join Regional Resilience Efforts Your transit agency will rarely be the lead agency for resilience in the region. However, many transit agencies throughout the country are key players in resilience efforts. Regions may use many different names and organizing principles for resilience (such as Sustainability Committee, or Local Emergency Preparedness Council, and so on), just as transit agencies themselves use various resilience-related names, definitions and compelling rationales for actions. This step includes four sub-steps: i. Identify potential regulatory and organizational frameworks for partners. ii. Join the regional dialog (if there is one). iii. Be part of the discussion to identify regional threats, essential interdependencies and critical infrastructure. iv. Be part of the solution to develop and implement strategies that proactively address identified gaps and weaknesses across agency and jurisdictional lines. These sub-steps are not intended to be sequential.
Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-11 i. Identify potential regulatory and organizational frameworks for partners The Fixing Americaâs Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), passed by Congress and signed into law in December 2015, calls for MPOs to consider resilience (the textbox FAST Act, MPOs and Resilience provides the legislative foundation for the MPO role in resilience). Therefore, your MPO may be a good place to begin looking for local resilience leadership. However, your MPO may not be the only entity working on resilience, with other examples cited throughout this step.
Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-12 FAST Act, MPOs and Resilience The FAST Act identifies resilience as an eligible transit agency priority, as discussed in previous sections. The FAST Act also calls out resilience as a new planning factor for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), as a matter of policy, and as an important element of the MPO planning scope. Relevant portions of 49 U.S.C. 5303 are reproduced below, with emphasis added on the new resiliency language. 5303 (a) âPolicyâit is in the national interestâ â(1) to encourage and promote the safe and efficient management, operation, and development of resilient surface transportation systems that will serve the mobility needs of people and freight and foster economic growth and development within and between States and urbanized areas, while minimizing transportation-related fuel consumption and air pollution through metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes identified in this chapter; and â(2) to encourage the continued improvement and evolution of the metropolitan and statewide transportation planning processes by metropolitan planning organizations, State departments of transportation, and public transit operators as guided by the planning factors identified in subsection (h) and section 5304(d).â 5303 (h) âScope of Planning Process.â â(1) In general.âThe metropolitan planning process for a metropolitan planning area under this section shall provide for consideration of projects and strategies that willâ (A) support the economic vitality of the metropolitan area, especially by enabling global competitiveness, productivity, and efficiency; (B) increase the safety of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; (C) increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and nonmotorized users; (D) increase the accessibility and mobility of people and for freight; (E) protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation, improve the quality of life, and promote consistency between transportation improvements and State and local planned growth and economic development patterns; (F) enhance the integration and connectivity of the transportation system, across and between modes, for people and freight; (G) promote efficient system management and operation; and (H) emphasize the preservation of the existing transportation system; and (I) improve the resiliency and reliability of the transportation system.â [New with FAST Act)
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-18 The discussion points and tools in this Guide, along with the cases and resources profiled in Chapter 4 and included in the Database, are intended to support such a collaborative effort. A regional resilience taskforce is usually charged with bringing key stakeholders to the table to address regional resilience challenges. This includes large issues that affect multiple organizations or jurisdictions, such as repeated flooding, increased storm surge, or drought and wildfires, as well as interdependencies of critical infrastructure elements, such as power, water and sewer, communications and transportation. Infrastructure and interdependencies Discussions on interdependencies usually focus on the four basic systems depicted in Figure 4.3: power, water and wastewater, communications, and transportation. These four systems form basic foundations of modern life and are closely interrelated. Other necessities of life, such as delivery and distribution of food and other goods and supplies, and provision of health, education and other services, are highly dependent on these four core systems. They are, therefore, a major focus for any resilience effort. The infrastructure for these systems is often co-located. For example, water and sewer lines and power and communications lines are often above or below highway or
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-20 Some examples: ï§ Pumps in tunnels that rely on electricity will fail if power is disrupted, potentially flooding tunnels and disrupting communications and other lines that are co- located. ï§ Water systems require regular deliveries of chlorine, often by rail, to purify water. ï§ Water, telecomm and power systems need a functioning transportation system for their employees to get to work. ï§ Many power stations require deliveries of diesel or other fuels for auxiliary systems. ï§ Most rail systems rely on sophisticated communications to safely operate high-frequency service. ï§ Urban heavy rail, light rail, and many commuter rail systems rely on electricity to power their trains, as well as maintenance and repair facilities. ï§ Traffic signals rely on power; some also rely on communications. ï§ Bus systems rely on water, power and communications to manage, operate and maintain their fleets, and operate on the roads.
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-22 in resilience, emergency preparedness and response planning and implementation. The Pacific Northwest Economic Region and the Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (PNWER/RDR) includes five mainland states including Alaska, and three provinces and two territories in Canada. PNWER was established to strengthen the resilience of the electric grid in the region. Its regular Cascade exercises, led by private sector partners, have examined and tabletop tested many different logistical challenges, improving coordination across state, province and international borders (including improving cross-border coordination for the Olympics and freight movements). Its continuity is evidence of its relevance and value after more than 25 years. (PNWER/RDR is the first case study in NCHRP Report 777, available free online.) The All Hazards Consortium (AHC) is modeled after PNWER and includes eight Mid-Atlantic States and the District of Columbia, including urban areas of New York City, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Newark, New Jersey. It was established to give the private sector a voice in regional disaster and resilience planning, and it has played important coordination roles since its inception. Examples include facilitating the movement of fleets of utility vehicles from across the country through regional tollbooths in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. (AHC is also a case study from NCHRP Report 777.)
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-24 NIPP Core Tenet 2. âUnderstanding and addressing risks from cross- sector dependencies and interdependencies is essential to enhancing critical infrastructure security and resilience. The way infrastructure sectors interact, including through reliance on shared information and communications technologies (e.g., cloud services), shapes how the Nationâs critical infrastructure partners should collectively manage risk. For example, all critical infrastructure sectors rely on functions provided by energy, communications, transportation, and water systems, among others. In addition, interdependencies flow both ways, as with the dependence of energy and communications systems on each other and on other functions. It is important for the critical infrastructure community to understand and appropriately account for dependencies and interdependencies when managing risk.â (NIPP Plan 2013, p. 13) Although the NIPP identifies 16 sectors, it recognizes the greater criticality and interdependence of all sectors on the four sectors identified above. NIPP also emphasizes the importance of state, local, tribal and territorial government coordination with the private sector. In terms of information sharing, the NIPP notes âmany of the [information sharing] structures take advantage of the Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory Council (CIPAC) (http://www.dhs.gov/critical-infrastructure- partnership-advisory- council). The Secretary of Homeland Security established CIPAC in 2006 as a mechanism to directly support sectorsâ interest to engage in public-private critical infrastructure discussions and participate in a broad spectrum of activities. CIPAC exempts partnership meetings from the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) (Public Law 92â463 (October 6, 1972), allowing the public-private critical infrastructure community to engage in frank or sensitive dialog to mitigate critical infrastructure vulnerabilities and lessen impacts from developing or emerging threats . . . the CIPAC model provides the legal framework for cross-sector collaboration.â(NIPP 2014, p. 12).
Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-25 Regional resilience taskforce A regional resilience taskforce can convene frank and useful (and sometimes confidential) discussions on assets, strengths, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. Your agency can take a leadership role in discussions, or provide critical information and support to designated leaders. Example discussion and regional exercise topics could be along the lines of the following: ï§ Discuss and assess regional risks and hazards: o What kinds of events have happened in your region and in neighboring regions over the past 20 years? The past 100 years? o Have major events been occurring with greater frequency or greater severity or both in recent years or decades? o What events are most likely to occur in the future? Consider anticipated recurrence intervals and averages, as well as extremes. o Is the region subject to potential cataclysmic events (such as earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis)? o Is the region subject to major weather-related events like hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, severe flooding or major tornadoes?
Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-26 ï§ Is your region subject to slower-moving events, like sea level rise and/or coastal land subsidence? ï§ What do climate scientists or geologists forecast for high-likelihood situations for your region by 2030? 2050? 2080? 2100? ï§ What do they foresee as less likely, but still possible, high consequence weather or other natural disaster by those same years? ï§ Can (or have) regional partners agree (d) on a scenario or a range of scenarios that you can reasonably use for planning for resilience? Know that scenarios can be updated as events occur. It is important to get started and working on incremental and long range strategies. (The NASA case study in the Database can help you with this, along with the tools described in Chapter 4; often a trained facilitator can be a great help.) ï§ Understand that you are all mutually interdependent. o On whom do you depend? And on whom do they depend? How do you get fuel, power, and clean water? o Where are weak links without redundancies? o Think of major events in other areas. What were the biggest failures? How would your region cope? How can it prepare? And how can you
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-28 flooding, improving an evacuation route and protection of residences and businesses. Hazard assessments and climate change studies can require significant resources to develop, maintain and update. In most cases, it will be most appropriate to develop a common, agreed-upon regional framework with underlying assumptions on the most likely types of hazards and worst- case scenarios. These can be revised and updated over time as information evolves or as emergency situations occur. To take the role your agency deserves in the regional resilience conversation you can: ï§ Actively participate in regional tabletop and other exercises. ï§ Reinforce, if necessary, the case for transit as an essential partner for resilience. ï§ Participate in planning and carrying out regional exercises. ï§ Work out âworst/ bad case scenariosâ with partners: o Jointly create scenarios for tabletop testing or more robust exercises; o Exercise scenarios to test abilities and procedures (communications, coordination, logistics, weak points, successes); and
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Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-32 STEP 3. Strengthen Key Transit Agency and Supplier Relationships Strategic discussions on managing risks within your agency, as discussed in Chapter 2, in parallel with regional discussions on interdependencies, as discussed in Steps 1 and 2 in this chapter, have probably identified some obvious and some not-so-obvious partners who are critical to your agencyâs resilience as a transit agency, per se. It is valuable to be part of the broader regional approach to resilience, as âno agency is an islandâ. It is essential to establish and maintain relationships and agreements with your suppliers, potential contractors, and other agencies, including transit agencies, for mutual aid and other support. i. Build closer relationships and establish formal agreements with transit-specific partners for essential services and mutual support as appropriate. Identify and establish agreements with essential partners Your discussions within your agency undertaken in Chapters 1 and 2 have likely identified some key âoutsideâ stakeholders that you rely on to carry out everyday business. Have you identified all of the following, including the roles they play in your operations and resiliency? ï§ Fuel suppliers â for all vehicle types
Reinforce Your Agencyâs Regional Interdependencies â 3-33 ï§ Power suppliers â for facilities and equipment ï§ Communication providers â central control to drivers; equipment communications (e.g., Communications Based Train Control, GPS bus monitors, signal equipment); supervisors and management with regional and state leadership and with all employees; communications with customers, the general public, and other stakeholders ï§ Water suppliers ï§ Highway department and associated support services ï§ Other transit agencies ï§ Agencies or organizations where you can store (and refuel?) in case of threat or damage to your own storage (and refueling?) facilities. (Having a plan in place and ready to go to move as much of your fleet as possible out of immediate harmâs way is the primary objective for this readily achieved preparation. If an entire maintenance facility is at risk, your internal deliberations may need to go in other directions as well.) ï§ Representatives of pertinent government agenciesââ MPO, city, county or state leaders, representing emergency management, sustainability, resilience, public safety, as appropriate for your region
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