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

5.7 Emergency Plans

  1. Develop Emergency Plans – There is an “importance of an emergency plan for restoring the public trust, noting that the average citizen watching television on 9/11 was heartened by the obvious competence and courage of front-line service personnel (police, fire, rescue workers, environmental protection workers). The public was also impressed by the quick flow of disaster workers to New York City from all over the country. This happened because plans were in place: New York City had a plan; the State of New York had a plan; and the Federal government had a plan.”
    California Transportation Security Summits, March 28 and 29, 2002

  2. Make Local Emergency Plans Mandatory – “Plans should be in a standardized format/template consistent across the province, and be made consistent with provincial plans. Plans should be developed from an ‘all hazards’ perspective. Plans must be practical and comprehensive, and plans must include mandatory mutual aid agreements among municipal and regional districts. Plans must incorporate clear obligations and personal responsibilities of residents living in interface fire hazard areas. Plans must have a communications element that incorporates local media into the disaster response effort.”
    Firestorm 2003: Provincial Review

  3. Recognize That Equipment May Not Be Available – In retrospect, SA d’Economie Mixte des Transports Publics de Voyageurs de l’Agglomeration Toulousaine management said they had learned the following lessons: “Emergency plans must assume that computers will not be available.”
    Synthesis of Transit Practice 27: Emergency Preparedness for Transit Terrorism

  4. Test the Emergency Plan Using Small Planned Events – Consider using contingency planning “for small planned events (a scheduled mass demonstration, sporting events) as exercises to test an agency’s ability to handle a larger, unplanned emergency. These events allow agencies to practice working together, update communications plans (phone numbers and radio frequencies) and build trust with each other and the media. Adding that using special events or celebrity visits as practice exercises, allows staff members from different agencies to get acquainted on a face-to-face basis, so that in an emergency people will know whom to call. ‘They will have confidence in each other because they have worked together in the past.’”
    California Transportation Security Summits, March 28 and 29, 2002

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