Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

7.16 Improvements for Next Time

Each incident had a successful evacuation, but there are always improvements that can be made to either incident and/or evacuation management. The following is a summary by incident.

7.16.1 El Dorado, Arkansas

  • Ensure contact numbers for all institutions such as nursing homes, assisted living centers, and hospitals have the latest contact information. Confirm and periodically update the contact information.
  • Have written evacuation procedures for the county jail that are available for the staff and incorporate the procedures into the training of new staff. Include in the procedures information on who can be contacted for the provision of transportation, temporary detention facilities, and overnight detention facilities.
  • Have one entity follow up on the evacuation of institutions to ensure that the proper institution was evacuated.

7.16.2 Graniteville, South Carolina

  • Direct evacuees to public shelters, if this information is known ahead of time.
  • Ensure that residents without transportation are evacuated.
  • Ensure the 2-1-1 system can be accessed from cell phones.
  • Ensure the 2-1-1 system has all of the information needed to provide social service information to evacuees and the general public.
  • Establish an incident command center without internal bickering; this may be improved through the use of regular training sessions.
  • Provide joint multiple-entity training including emergency operations and incident command.

7.16.3 South Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Canvas private industry prior to an incident for resources and equipment that can be used during an incident.
  • Control access to the incident and establish a uniform identification badge for authorized personnel and identification vests for command staff.
  • Ensure the chain of custody of a sample product.
  • Preplan for the location of the command center so it does not need to be moved.
  • Provide continual training with the railroad.
  • Speed up the sample process and quickly identify the product.

7.16.4 Big Bear Valley, California

  • Evacuate residents off the mountain and not up the mountain. Communities to the west of Big Bear Valley were evacuated to the valley, which itself was evacuated. Some people evacuated twice.
  • Have full-scale training exercises with multiple entities, including the hospital and transit agencies.
  • Have written agreements with nursing homes and/or hospitals for the settlement of evacuated patients/residents.
  • Provide traffic information that can be accessed by driver handheld devices.
  • “Wire” the valley for ITS technology.

February 6, 2006
Publication #FHWA-HOP-08-014