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Suggested Citation:"Introduction." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25993.
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Page 9

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Community services are vital to the functioning of the communities where they operate. With people across the nation, and the globe, affected by COVID-19 and the ongoing challenges of responding to it, transportation systems must be as safe as possible and available to all. COVID-19 is the most recent pandemic. In the not too distant past there have been other pandemics (H1N1 “Swine Flu” in 2009, H3N2 “Hong Kong Flu” in 1968-69, and H2N2 “Asian Flu” in 1957-58) and potential pandemics (Zika in 2016, Ebola in 2014, H1N1 “Bird Flu” in 2005-2007, and SARS in 2003). Others are likely to occur in the future. All pandemics had real effects on health and the transportations systems. This Pandemic Playbook was created to improve transportation agency responses to a pandemic. It concentrates on WHAT needs to be done, WHEN and by WHOM. It briefly addresses planning for a pandemic, a topic addressed in greater depth in the NCHRP Report 769: A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response Pandemic Planning Guide. It summarizes effective practices currently used by transportation agencies based on interviews with state departments of transportation (DOT) and transit agency leaders and operational personnel, supplemented with national and international research results. The playbook was researched and assembled “while the plane was in flight” to be of practical use to transportation professionals during COVID-19 and for future pandemics. The researchers express our heartfelt gratitude to the transportation leaders who shared their ideas and practices during the midst of a pandemic response. Transportation truly is a community of practice, and once again the community members are helping each other address the unique challenges of pandemics. How to Use The goal of the Pandemic Playbook is to help transportation agency senior managers and emergency managers understand, plan, and implement an Emergency Management Program to address COVID-19 and future pandemics. It provides useful information to help guide surface transportation agency decision making and response. Part 1 – the first three chapters – provides an overview of pandemics and their impacts on transportation, common response approaches, and key elements of planning for pandemic. Key questions to ask are provided to help develop policies, priorities, and approaches that fit agency needs, capabilities, and challenges. There is also an overview of the key roles and associated responsibilities in response to a pandemic. Part 2 – Chapter Four – addresses the challenges transportation agencies have encountered and approaches to address them. Part 3– Chapter Five – contains a series of emergency management plays - key capabilities and activities by mission area - that recommend solutions and approaches for transportation agencies to assess and improve their currently existing processes and procedures and address gaps. Lastly, Part 4 - Chapter Six - provides conclusions and information about moving forward into the future. Chapter Notes and Appendices provide additional resources and references. INTRODUCTION A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies 3

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Understanding pandemics, their impacts to transportation, and potential effective response has become more important, not only for the response to COVID-19, but also if, as the World Health Organization warns, we are now “living in a time of viruses.”

TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program and Transit Cooperative Research Program have jointly issued this pre-publication draft of NCHRP Research Report 963/TCRP Research Report 225: A Pandemic Playbook for Transportation Agencies, which was created to improve transportation agency responses to a pandemic.

The Playbook concentrates on what needs to be done, when and by whom. It briefly addresses planning for a pandemic, a topic addressed in greater depth in NCHRP Report 769: A Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response. It summarizes effective practices currently used by transportation agencies based on interviews with state departments of transportation and transit agency leaders and operational personnel, supplemented with national and international research results.

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