Office of Operations
21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies Need for Communication

Communication is necessary during an evacuation incident. For example, on September 21, 2001, an explosion occurred at a fertilizer chemical plant (hazardous materials) in Toulouse, France. The plant was next to the SA d’Economie Mixte des Transports Publics de Voyageurs de l’Agglomeration Toulousaine (SEMVAT) bus depot. SEMVTA needed to communicate to the public and its employees. According to Safety and Security Issues at All-Bus Systems in Small- to Medium-Sized Cities in Western Europe, “It was decided that one SEMVAT person would communicate the transit situation to the general public. The SEMVAT representative, the communication manager, went to the media, television, radio, and press, to get the message out to the public. SEMVAT asked the media to publicize one telephone number for employees and another telephone number for passengers. SEMVAT staff recalled that media interest was extremely high, but suggests that one should organize the information to be conveyed, anticipate questions, be informative, use precise briefing points, and do not get overwhelmed by the pressure.”

February 7, 2006
Publication #FHWA–HOP-08-015