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

5.8.5 Evacuation Procedures

  1. Close the System Down When Necessary – “The Tokyo attack was exacerbated by the unwillingness of transportation officials to close the system down; the trains kept running, exposing more and more people to the toxic agent.”
    California Transportation Security Summits, March 28 and 29, 2002

  2. Delegate Authority Levels Down – “Training exercises for a variety of emergencies had proved that even low level transit employees must be given the authority to make on-the-spot decisions. So when the tower [World Trade Center—9/11 New York City terrorist attack] was hit, the station manage did not call up the chain of command. Instead, he pulled out a card in his shirt pocket and followed emergency instructions. As a result of his action and the actions of other employees, tens of thousands of lives were saved.”
    California Transportation Security Summits, March 28 and 29, 2002

  3. Develop Evacuation Strategies to Reduce Time Needed for Implementation – “[Develop] evacuation strategies that reduce the time required for implementation, due to the short time period available for evacuation.”
    Reverse Lane Standards and ITS Strategies Southeast United States Hurricane Study: Technical Memorandum Number 1: Final Report

  4. “Develop Simple-to-Use Decision-Support Tools”
    A Study of the Impact of Nine Transportation Management Projects on Hurricane Evacuation Preparedness

  5. Use an Incident Command System – “In operations, the FDNY needs to expand its use of the Incident Command System (ICS), a blueprint for emergency response widely used around the country. This will lead to the creation of a well-defined, flexible, and complete command and control structure for major incidents, with clear and consistent responsibilities and roles.”
    Increasing (Fire Department of the City of New York) FDNY’s Preparedness

  6. Throw Out the Procedures When Necessary – “Another lesson underscored by 9/11, Jenkins says, is that ‘In some case you need to throw out the procedures.’ On 9/11, the subway attendant working beneath the World Trade Center ordered incoming passengers to remain on the trains, rather than allowing them to get off. As many additional passengers as possible were crammed aboard and the trains ordered to move out. By the time the buildings fell, the station had been empty for 40 minutes. This was accomplished because a low-level subway employee had been delegated the authority to suspend normal procedures as a result of lessons learned in the ’93 World Trade Center bombing.”
    California Transportation Security Summits, March 28 and 29, 2002

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