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

6.7 Operations

  1. Address Potential Traffic Impediments – “The Florida Division of Emergency Management will coordinate with the County Emergency Operations Center to ensure that all toll booths, draw bridges, and other known impediments to facilitated traffic flow along regional evacuation routes have been removed, closed, or otherwise addressed.”
    State of Florida Regional Evacuation Procedure

  2. Develop a Reporting and Incident Tracking Scheme That is Understood by All – “Many regions struggle in maintaining up-to-date information regarding the decisions and actions of emergency responders, and their likely impacts on the transportation system. In addressing this challenge, some regions have identified classification systems… which support a reporting and incident tracking scheme that is understood by both transportation personnel and emergency responders. Implementation of such a classification system requires regional stakeholders to recognize that major incidents and special events usually require assistance from, and coordination among, many transportation and public safety agencies across jurisdictional boundaries, and that this coordination cannot be managed solely on an ad hoc, agency-by-agency basis.”
    Vision 2010: Enhanced National Capabilities for Emergency Transportation Operations

  3. Evacuate People Quickly Out of the Incident Area to Locations Where Family Members Can Pick Them Up – “Former US Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary Mort Downey commended Washington DC’s metro system for doing a ‘terrific job’ getting frightened people out of town on 9/11—and worrying later about how people would get to a preferred final destination. Metro told passengers ‘we’ll get you out of town.’ Meanwhile, Metro rerouted buses to suburban stations in order to transport passengers to shopping malls where families could pick them up later. Downey believes that America’s cities should benefit from Washington’s experience and develop their own well-thought out evacuation capability, which can be used ‘not just for terrorism, but for hurricanes.’”
    California Transportation Security Summits, March 28 and 29, 2002

  4. Have an On-Scene Agency-In-Charge – “In the majority of cases, state law enforcement is the lead agency in charge during a major event which affects the freeway system. Other agencies that may lead the transportation response include local law enforcement and fire and rescue (when there is a hazardous materials event or smoke conditions).”
    Emergency Transportation Operations: Freeway Traffic Management Center Capabilities and Needs

  5. Have Emergency Transportation Operation Systems in Place Prior to an Emergency Event 
    1. “Mission – Document what the freeway Traffic Management Center can contribute during regional emergencies.
    2. Stakeholders – Identify Traffic Management Center partners, communication protocols, and contact information.
    3. Planning – The freeway transportation system is an active partner in the regional emergency planning process.
    4. Routing – Emergency evacuation routes and markings, alternate routes and markings, traffic control points, and reception centers and evacuee support facilities are identified prior to an actual event, based on the most current traffic network data available.
    5. Resources – Pre-determined and pre-designated resources to support emergency transportation operations are identified and shared prior to an incident.”

    Vision 2010: Enhanced National Capabilities for Emergency Transportation Operations

  6. Have Emergency Transportation Operations, Event Awareness, Operations, and Recovery Systems in Place
    1. Awareness: Weather-Related Warning System – An effective system is in place to convey road weather information and storm warning information to transportation agencies and the regional emergency planning and response community.
    2. Awareness: Security Threat Warning System – Threats are effectively conveyed to the transportation system and universally understood protocols are put in place to address heightened threat levels.
    3. Awareness: Secure Area Surveillance System – An effective system is in place to alert transportation personnel regarding attempted and actual penetrations of transportation infrastructure.
    4. Notification – A system is in place to ensure the rapid notification of transportation agencies that may be affected by an emergency event.
    5. Situation Assessment – A system is in place that supports the activities of transportation agencies to determine the condition of the transportation network.
    6. Coordinate Field Response – Freeway Traffic Management Centers are able to manage and coordinate response activity with other transportation agencies and local responders using integrated data, voice, and video sharing networks.
    7. Event Stabilization – A system is in place to ensure that that the response transitions effectively to a controlled traffic management plan for resolving or recovering from the disruption.

      Vision 2010: Enhanced National Capabilities for Emergency Transportation Operations

  7. Have One Route in for Responders and No Mixing of Evacuee Traffic – “Neighborhoods were emptied by allowing traffic out but not in. Eventually this strategy provided the freedom of movement that fire response resources needed. One very effective technique involved law enforcement keeping one street cleared for incoming emergency traffic, prohibiting outgoing evacuation traffic on that street. This allowed firefighters into the upper neighborhoods earlier to prepare structures.”
    Southern California Firestorm 2003: Report for the Wildland Fire Lessons Learned Center

  8. ITS Technology Can Be Used to Monitor Traffic Conditions After an Evacuation – “Data from traffic sensors also played an important role. Traffic along key sections of the roadway system including bridges leading to Manhattan was measured, and the information was used to help determine changes in the hours of the lower Manhattan crossings single-occupancy-vehicle ban.”
    Emergency Transportation Operations: Stakeholders, Functions, and Automated Tool

  9. Stage Resources Along Evacuation Routes – “Implementation of a regional evacuation will require substantial personnel, equipment, and supplies at various locations along the evacuation routes and at facilities designated as risk and host shelters:
    1. Programmable electronic public information signs/displays
    2. Local/small area radio broadcast stations
    3. Wreckers, tow trucks, and other heavy equipment for clearing roadways
    4. Gasoline tankers for replenishing fuel supplies at gas stations on regional routes
    5. Ambulances, medical personnel
    6. Shelter management personnel and supplies
    7. Buses for transport of evacuees without other means
    8. Sampling/testing equipment and personnel.”

      State of Florida Regional Evacuation Procedure

  10. Use ITS Technologies to Monitor Evacuations – “The state has expanded its traffic-monitoring capabilities with 34 closed-circuit television cameras on hurricane routes, aircraft, and automated speed detectors. Traffic information will be relayed to the state emergency operations center. From there, emergency managers can send messages via cell phone to solar powered highway signs, which guide evacuees to less congested routes, according to Dick Jenkins, an engineer with the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The state will roll out portable roadside radio transmitters that provide detailed traffic information.”
    Coastal Heritage, “Floyd Follies: What We’ve Learned”

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