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Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs (2019)

Chapter: Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix F - Emergency Communications CONOPS Template." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2019. Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25507.
×
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F-1 A P P E N D I X F Emergency Communications CONOPS Template This template is designed to assist airports in creating an emergency communications concept of operations (CONOPS) for people with DAFN, including people with disabilities or other access and functional needs and people with limited English proficiency (LEP).The template design promotes development of a CONOPS that is scalable and sustainable and that will supplement the airport’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The content and design of the CONOPS provide a foundation that can be expanded on using local information, other state and federal guidance, and the wealth of information and expertise available in the emergency management community to create an effective and hands-on local operational tool. This document is designed to be used by airports as a ready-made base template; however, no two airports are the same. Recognizing that each has its own requirements, this template provides generic text that airports can edit to meet their own needs and those of the communities they serve by adding to and/or replacing generic text with specific details. Alternatively, airports may elect to copy some of the text from specific sections for use in other documents. The template, which follows this explanatory copy, begins with a sample cover page. To use the template to create an airport-specific document, download the file from the ACRP Research Report 201 web page at www.trb.org and simply delete this explanatory page. There are several points of information to note: • Generic text is found within brackets ([ ]).(In the files downloadable from the report web site, bracketed copy in the template is colored blue to stand out). Generic text should be replaced with text specific to your airport. • [Airport Name] should be replaced with the appropriate airport name. For example, in Alabama: – “[Airport Name]” could become “Huntsville International Airport” or “HSV”; and – “[County Name]” could become “Madison County” or “Madison County, Alabama.” • Where bracketed [ ] instructions suggest the insertion of additional material, the choice is optional as to what and how much to include. This CONOPS template has been written from a local operational perspective. The template is intended to work in conjunction with the airport’s EOP.

F-2 Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs [Airport Name] Emergency Communications Concept of Operations [Date]

Emergency Communications CONOPS Template F-3 Background On a day-to-day basis, an airport is responsible for communicating messages to staff and to the public. Most messaging and signage is planned and deliberate, using boilerplate language and standard messages that have been tailored to the many different audiences of people who are traveling through or working at an airport. When an airport experiences an emergency or disaster requiring the notification of people at the airport, then travelers, vendors, employers, and the general public have to be able to receive and understand the messages so they can respond appropriately, stay informed, and remain safe. These messages, with changing and updated information, must be able to be understood by all travelers and people at the airport. Overview In an emergency or disaster situation, [Airport Name] will provide messaging and communications to travelers, vendors, and other people at the airport. Recognizing that people with a variety of different abilities are on site at any given time, [Airport Name] will work to facilitate the communication of vital and potentially lifesaving information to all people at the airport, including those with disabilities or others with access and functional needs, as well as those with limited English proficiency. Intended Use This Emergency Communications Concept of Operations (CONOPS) identifies specific roles and responsibilities that [Airport Name] may undertake in an emergency or disaster in which [Airport Name] is impacted and needs to communicate with the many people at [Airport Name]. It also provides a checklist to support this function. The [Airport Name] Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is the primary document to support response and recovery when [Airport Name] is affected by an emergency or disaster. This CONOPS supplements existing plans and procedures with a focus on communicating with people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs, as well as those with limited English proficiency. Audience The intended audience for this CONOPS includes [Airport Name] personnel, including all staff with essential emergency duties. Scope This CONOPS focuses on supporting the communications functions as it informs travelers, vendors, staff, and others at [Airport Name] during a disaster or emergency. These people may have disabilities or other access and functional needs, including limited English proficiency, so the ability of [Airport Name] to disseminate timely, relevant, potentially lifesaving information is essential to any emergency response. This document includes the following sections: • Incident Management – Situation – Planning Assumptions – Implementation – Preparedness Roles and Responsibilities

F-4 Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs Situation In emergencies and disasters, [Airport Name] will need to communicate vital, potentially lifesaving information to travelers, vendors, and airport employees. This information may be dynamic, timely, and essential. [Airport Name], with its commitment to providing this information to all people, recognizes that varying modes of communication will be essential to completing this task. [Airport Name] also recognizes the importance of training and empowering all airport staff and vendor or contract employees and airport volunteers to help achieve the goal of accessible communication for all. This CONOPS may be implemented in whole or in part depending on the scope of the event. This document supports established EOP protocols and procedures. Planning Assumptions • At any given time, airports contain a number of people with varying abilities, including people with disabilities or other access and functional needs (DAFN) and people with limited English proficiency (LEP). • Some people with DAFN will need additional assistance for communication, alerts, and warnings. • Critical infrastructure, equipment, and supplies needed to communicate information about the emergency may be unavailable due to the emergency or disaster. This may complicate, delay, or reduce the effectiveness of the response. • Systems that transmit information to travelers will be treated as mission-critical systems. • Rumors and inaccuracies will spread as the public attempts to gain information about the emergency. • Social media may be used both to transmit information to people in the airport and to receive ground-truth information from people in the airport about what they are experiencing. • Depending on the scope of an emergency, personnel with non-emergency roles may encounter travelers or other people who have not received emergency information. • Every reasonable effort should be made to ensure that all people are able to access emergency information. • During emergencies, there will be multiple stakeholders (airports, airlines, contractors, tenants, and so forth) pushing communications. These stakeholders should plan together in advance to ensure the best chance of coordinated messaging. This is of particular importance when immediate action is necessary.

Emergency Communications CONOPS Template F-5 Implementation This CONOPS will be implemented whenever the [Airport Name] Authorized Representative activates the EOP or any time that communications and messaging outside of routine, standard communications to travelers are needed. Preparedness Roles and Responsibilities ADA Coordinator’s Office • Participates in internal and multi-agency emergency planning, training, and exercises, focusing on emergency communications to all populations. • Supports Public Relations and/or the public information officer (PIO) in developing and maintaining emergency communications and public information in a number of accessible formats, including, but not limited to, large print, universal signage, languages other than English, and braille. • Ensures all communications are in compliance with all relevant regulations. • Regularly conducts DAFN advisory group meetings to ascertain any gaps or needs that have recently developed in the airport and that have been identified by the DAFN community. • Conducts periodic terminal inspections to ensure that accessible messaging systems are maintained. • Conducts training that is made available to staff, airlines, and stakeholders on how to communicate with and assist people with DAFN during an emergency event. • Coordinates with IT and/or the airport’s web administrator to share accessibility services with the public. Airport Operations • Landside Operations – Participates in internal and multi-agency emergency planning, training, and exercises, focusing on emergency communications to all populations. • Terminal Operations – Participates in internal and multi-agency emergency planning, training, and exercises, focusing on emergency communications to all populations. Airport Volunteers • Attend available training offered by the ADA Coordinator’s Office. • Install or bookmark mobile translation applications and available dictation applications to provide communication options for travelers with LEP or individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. • Review the safety procedures and be familiar with evacuation routes, shelter-in-place locations, and assembly points to provide direction during an emergency.

F-6 Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs Customs and Border Protection (CBP) • Participates in internal and multi-agency emergency planning, training, and exercises, focusing on emergency communications to all populations. • Maintains accessible communications and instructions for the control and/or evacuation of passengers and employees from CBP facilities. Airport Emergency Management Department • Coordinates emergency planning, training, and exercise activities that support accessible communications to a variety of audiences. • Ensures all exercises include a component (e.g., scenario, inject, player, or other element) that tests emergency communications to people with DAFN. • Participates in internal and multi-agency emergency planning, training, and exercises, focusing on emergency communications to all populations. • Ensures communications and public information are available in a number of accessible formats, including, but not limited to, large print, universal signage, languages other than English, and braille. • Supports the implementation of accessibility training in coordination with the ADA coordinator’s office. Public Relations and/or Public Information Officer (PIO) • Participates in internal and multi-agency emergency planning, training, and exercises, focusing on emergency communications to all populations. • Develops and maintains communications and public information in a number of accessible formats, including, but not limited to, large print, universal signage, languages other than English, and braille. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) • Participates in internal and multi-agency emergency planning, training, and exercises, focusing on emergency communications to all populations. • Maintains accessible communications and instructions for the control and/or evacuation of passengers and employees from TSA facilities. • Conducts ongoing evacuation drills that include the testing of messaging and communications with people with DAFN.

Emergency Communications CONOPS Template F-7 Response Roles and Responsibilities ADA Coordinator’s Office • Assigns DAFN communications function within the Incident Command structure as soon as reasonably possible during the initial response, with the capability to grow throughout the recovery; tasks would be to verify technology is utilized, coordinate additional messages, and develop real-time objectives to ensure ongoing communication as the event unfolds. • Coordinates with established vendors and/or city or county mutual aid for American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation services and translation services to support emergency communications with people with DAFN, including press conferences. Airport Operations • Landside Operations – In coordination with the Incident Commander, determines the needs for activation of the Crisis Communications Plan and the dissemination of messaging to people with DAFN. – Disseminates pre-scripted emergency communications messages in accessible formats via [fill in applicable formats] to airport transportation vendors and other relevant stakeholders. – Ensures that subsequent updates are disseminated per established procedures. – Coordinates with ADA Coordinator’s Office to include ASL interpreters and/or translators for updates to landside PA system announcements, visual paging, and other formats. – Coordinates with Public Relations and/or PIO regarding statements to the public, including the use of alternate messaging formats. • Terminal Operations – In coordination with the Incident Commander, determines the need for activation of the Crisis Communications Plan and dissemination of messaging to people with DAFN. – Disseminates pre-scripted emergency communications messages and live audio emergency communications in accessible formats using all systems and technologies available to the airport, including closed-circuit television (CCTV), visual paging, audio paging, and [fill in other applicable formats] to terminal airport occupants, staff, tenants, airlines, and the public. – Ensures that subsequent updates are disseminated per established procedures. – Coordinates with ADA Coordinator’s Office to include ASL interpreters and/or translators for updates to terminal messaging via PA system announcements, visual paging, and other formats.

F-8 Airport Emergency Communications for People with Disabilities and Others with Access and Functional Needs – Coordinates with Public Relations and/or PIO regarding statements to the public, including the use of alternate messaging formats. Airport Volunteers • Without compromising their own safety, provide assistance to passengers, travelers, and other people at the airport who may not understand or be able to respond. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) • Without compromising their own safety, provide assistance to passengers, travelers, and other people in the CBP area who may not understand or be able to respond. Airport Emergency Management Department • Supports Airport Operations and Public Relations and/or PIO activities, as requested. Public Relations and/or Public Information Officer (PIO) • Implements Crisis Communications Plan and/or emergency communications procedures for the dissemination of messaging via [list applicable formats, which may include social media, text message, and email formats]. • Disseminates communications and public information in a number of accessible formats, including, but not limited to, large print, universal signage, languages other than English, and braille. • Coordinates with ADA Coordinator’s Office to include ASL interpreters and/or translators for press conferences. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) • Without compromising their own safety, provide assistance to passengers, travelers, and other people in the security check area who may not understand or be able to respond.

Emergency Communications CONOPS Template F-9 Checklists The following checklists provide reminders of details to be considered and/or addressed within the planning or response processes. These checklists are not inclusive of all possible checklists, subjects, or tasks within a function and can be expanded on as needed. [Airport may choose to add checklists as needed.] Planning Checklist Evaluate existing communications notifications, messages, and resources and identify areas that should be adapted to reach people with DAFN. Review wayfinding signage to evacuation points, designated assembly points, and shelter-in-place locations, and evaluate accessibility. Evaluate the need for locating low-tech communications boards (alphabet and pictures), whiteboards, and erasable markers. Develop signage and information in alternative formats, including but not limited to: audio, large print, picture, languages other than English, and braille. Develop pre-scripted messages in other languages relevant to the airport’s passenger population and surrounding areas. Establish vendor contracts and/or on-demand services for ASL interpreters, if applicable. Establish vendor contracts and/or on-demand services for foreign translation, if applicable. Establish DAFN advisory group and keep a list of contact information for local advocacy groups for people with disabilities to help with supplemental planning. Ensure airport website is accessible and provides information about services available to people with DAFN. Develop and deliver DAFN awareness and emergency communication operations training to airport staff and volunteers. Integrate testing of accessible communications into emergency exercises. Response Checklist Integrate the DAFN communications function into the Incident Command System (ICS) and staff a liaison position at the Emergency Operations Center, as needed. Repeat essential emergency information in simple message formats. Ensure that printed information: • Uses clear fonts (e.g., Arial), 12 points or larger, and bold text for emphasis. • Has a blank background. • Uses left alignment and proper punctuation. • Uses text to explain any images or charts. Ensure that emergency information is posted to an accessible website. Have TTY/TDD (text telephone, also known as telecommunication device for the deaf) capabilities when setting up emergency hotlines, if applicable. Provide information in alternate formats, such as large-sized fonts and various languages.

Next: Appendix G - Training Program Resources »
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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Research Report 201 provides guidance and tools for airports to aid in effective communication with passengers and persons with disabilities, including those with cultural and language differences.

The report includes a primer that discusses issues, techniques, and the unique requirements and challenges of communicating with people with disabilities and others who have access or functional needs.

The report explores uses of technology and other methods that incorporate ADA considerations and communication challenges with airport stakeholders, and training programs for airport personnel, including templates for development of curricula.

There are case study examples of methods of emergency communication at airports and in other industries, and for universal messaging for emergency communications.

The project that produced the report also produced templates in support of airport emergency plans specifically addressing individuals with limited English proficiency, step-by-step tools that include a needs assessment tool that airports can use to determine what steps must to be taken to comply with ADA requirements concerning communications, and templates/worksheets/checklists for planning tabletop exercises that focus on communicating with people with disabilities and access or functional needs during emergency events. These resources are described and linked to below.

  • The Inventory Checklists (from Appendix A) list plans, reports, documents, programs, and services that are helpful in emergency communications for DAFN. The checklists make it easy to review what the airport has in place, what needs to be developed or updated, etc.
  • The Accessibility Walkthrough Worksheet (from Appendix B) is a tool to structure evaluations (ideally conducted by members of a DAFN Advisory Group, as discussed in the report) that identify and assign accessibility ratings to existing communications modes and resources from curbside through baggage claim, and identify modes or resources that can be added or improved.
  • The FAA Airport Accessibility Checklist (from Appendix C) is reproduced online in PDF for convenience; a url is provided that directs users to the FAA source.
  • The Accessibility Strategy Quick Reference Guide (from Appendix D) summarizes key aspects of core, enhanced, and emerging strategies described in the report.
  • The CONOPS Template (from Appendix F) provides generic text for an Emergency Communications Concept of Operations document that airports can edit to meet their needs and those of the communities they serve.
  • The Disability Equity Training document provides training content, including empathy exercises, from Appendix G in a format that can be adapted and customized for use by practitioners.
  • The 1-Minute Read Poster (from Appendix H) provides a reproducible, one-page reference on how to offer and provide assistance respectfully to people with DAFN.
  • The Outreach Brochure (also from Appendix H) is provided in a separate downloadable file for use and distribution by practitioners.
  • The Exercise Toolkit (from Appendix I), with checklists and materials to support a discussion-based exercise and a full-scale, operational exercise, is reproduced in Word to facilitate adaptation and use by practitioners.
  • The Prepared Scenario Vignettes (from Appendix J), which can be used to lay the foundation of a discussion-based or tabletop exercise.
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