September 14, 2009

Report addresses transportation role in emergencies

A new report released by The Mineta Transportation Institute provides practical information about how universities and other campuses can adequately address the transportation aspects of disaster response and recovery.

“While most university emergency plans address public safety and logistics management, few adequately address the transportation aspects of disaster response and recovery,” said Frances Edwards, Ph.D. “This report describes the value of integrating transportation infrastructure into the campus emergency plan, including planning for helicopter operations."

The report, "Role of Transportation in Campus Emergency Planning," also provides a list of materials and a bibliography that can be used to educate campus leadership about campus emergency impacts. It also includes a complete set of Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) checklists and organization charts updated to include lessons learned from Katrina, 9/11, and other wide-scale emergencies.

Campus emergency planners can quickly update their existing emergency management documents by integrating selected annexes and elements, or they can create new National Incident Management System (NIMS)-compliant plans by adapting the complete set of annexes to their universities’ structures.

Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama sustained significant destruction from Hurricane Katrina, including damage to 31 colleges and universities. Other campuses, notably Louisiana State University, became resources to the disaster area. As a result, the Federal Department of Homeland Security, under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5, requires all public agencies that wish to receive federal preparedness assistance to comply with NIMS, which includes creating an EOP.

Universities, which may be victims or resources during disasters, are now required to write NIMS-compliant emergency plans.

The free document can be downloaded from www.transweb.sjsu.edu. Click “Research” and then “Publications.” Scroll down to the report.

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