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

Evacuating Populations With Special Needs

Routes to Effective Evacuation Planning Primer Series

Annex 3: Evacuation Checklist

Task Date Completed Notes
Planning and Preparedness (Chapter 3)
What local groups did you bring into the planning forum to address evacuations (e.g., local health, EMA, transportation, CRCFs, NGOs)?    
Does the plan clearly define roles for staff?
  • Which staff received a briefing and copy of their roles?
   
How does the plan identify people with special needs?    
Do you have a registry of people with special needs that may need to be evacuated and does it address their:
  • Medical equipment needs
  • Companion caregiver/attendant
  • Service animal
  • Household pet
  • Communication needs
   
What agency is responsible for maintaining/updating the registry of those with special needs who may need evacuation?    
How often is the registry updated and disseminated to agencies responsible for evacuating those on the registry?    
How is the need to register communicated to those with special needs?    
How does the plan address the timeline for evacuating those with special needs?    
How does the plan address coordinating transport of those with special needs with the special needs shelters?    
Do you have copies of all agreements with CRCFs, hospitals, jails, etc.?
  • Where are they located?
  • Who do you have agreements with?
  • Who do you not have agreements with?
  • Have you ensured that your agency is not the sole transportation provider?
  • Is there the potential for competition for transportation resources between your agency and CRCFs?
   
Describe your system of communication with your local EMA.
  • When was it last tested?
  • How do plans differ between the planning phase and operations phase?
   
How does the plan address communicating with people who have special needs such as:
  • Speakers of other languages and those with limited English proficiency
  • People with disabilities
  • People with medical needs
   
How does the plan address communicating information/outreach to people with special needs about:
  • Pick-up locations for transportation
  • What they can bring with them
  • What services/facilities are available at special needs shelters
   
Do you have an inventory of available vehicles for an evacuation and does it address:
  • Contact information
  • Number and types of vehicles
   
Describe your staff notification system.
  • When was it last updated?
  • When was it last tested?
   
Describe your agency’s staff personal and family preparedness plans for essential personnel.
  • Describe your back-up plans to fill essential functions if staff cannot fulfill their duties.
   
When were the plans tested and exercised? (Annual exercises are recommended.)    
Which transportation staff received training?    
Communication Needs (Chapter 4)
When communicating with CRCFs, have you:
  • Identified the types of communication resources available prior to an event?
  • Ensured that as many agencies and facilities as possible know the communications plan and use the same equipment?
  • Conducted routine tests, if using a radio system?
  • Tested all communication resources on a regular basis?
  • Developed a phone-tree of key people to contact for transportation during an evacuation
  • Do numbers include supervisors, medical staff, facility directors and others?
  • Do you test these phone numbers on a regular basis to update accordingly? 
  • Conducted a communications drill at least once a year?
   
When preparing for communication with people who have limited English proficiency or are non-English speaking, have you:
  • Developed written and pictorial illustrations of various words and phrases that may need to be used during the evacuation process and included copies on board all transportation vehicles?
  • Did you create consistent, easily readable photo identification badges and shirts for the transportation staff? 
  • Color-code the shirts and/or badges to identify supervisors, drivers, and other key staff 
  • Give a printed handout in relevant languages and/or with illustrations to each evacuee being transported.
   
Transportation Needs During Activation and Operations (Chapter 5)
How and when do you notify transportation providers to activate the evacuation?    
How do you track requests for transportation to ensure requests are responded to and to support future planning for transportation?    
How do you monitor the status of the evacuation and report it to your EMA?    
How do you provide staff at the transportation pick-up locations?    
How do you use ITS components to support the evacuation and who is responsible for the operation and monitoring of those components?    
Are transportation dispatchers keeping track of the following:
  • Driver names/contact information
  • Vehicle information (owner, number, license plate, type, capacity, etc.) and assignment
  • Route maps
  • Locations of fuel
  • Contact information for interpreters and translators
  • Evacuee information (where available through evacuation registries)
  • Contact information for liaisons and other people/agencies that will provide critical up-to-date information
  • Names and contact information for people assisting with evacuations (mechanics, personnel at fuel depots, staging area workers, assistants traveling with vehicles)
   
Are checklists placed in all vehicles for field drivers to use?    
Does the field checklist include:
  • Driver ID (name, contact information)/credentials
  • Location of mustering areas/staging areas
  • Location of vehicle keys and back-up keys
  • Emergency contact for drivers and format (e.g., CB radio, Push-to-talk)
  • Dispatch contact and alternate
  • Route maps and alternate route maps
  • Lists of evacuees per vehicle with contact information
  • Shelter locations and types (e.g., general population, special medical needs, pet-friendly)
  • Specialized equipment required (e.g., lifts, foreign language information)
  • Fuel locations
  • Instructions for breaks and shift changes
  • Local information sources (211/511 systems, Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) locations, etc.)
  • Point-of-contact for rumor control (e.g., to verify road closures or shelter changes that may be announced by the media or purported by evacuees)
  • Worksheets for trip times (departure/arrival), mileage, passenger names/counts, driver name and company/contact information, staging areas, pick-up points, and shelter locations. Detailed records must be kept for any potential reimbursements.
   
Congregate and Residential Care Facilities (Chapter 6)
Have all the CRCFs identified a like-to-like facility to which to evacuate, and what agreements are in place to support such an action?    
How does the plan address communications with CRCFs before, during, and after an evacuation?    
Have you considered, during the planning phase, some of the challenges that transportation agencies should include, such as:
  • Transporting adequate supplies on a continuous basis during an emergency when medical supplies and equipment may be at high demand
  • Transporting adequate food supplies
  • Coordinating transportation resources that include vehicles with accommodations for people with special needs during evacuations, re-entry, and recovery
  • Procurement of medical equipment, supplies, and medication that takes into consideration the full age, disability, and medical needs spectrum
  • Working with emergency officials on credentialing issues for “essential transportation personnel” in the context of special needs/CRCF patients
   
Have you considered different scenarios to help with contingency planning including:
  • Timing of the evacuation (should special needs populations be evacuated prior to others)
  • Specialized equipment to assist with the process
  • Different scenarios and the types of evacuation that would occur
  • Dealing with medically fragile people who are at high risk
   
How does the plan for CRCFs address:
  • Vehicle types
  • Fuel for vehicles
  • Vehicle operators
  • Security
  • Transport of service animals
  • Medical emergencies en route
  • Vehicle identification
  • Credentialing
  • Dispatch and tracking
   
How does the plan address transportation of CRCF support items including:
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Food supplies
  • Medical records
  • Medicine
  • CRCF staff
   
Animal Needs (Chapter 7)
How does your plan address transporting different types of animals including:
  • Service animals
  • Household pets
  • Farm animals/livestock
  • Institutional animals (theme parks, zoos, research labs, per stores, animal shelters)
   
How are drivers trained for transporting various animal types?    
How are the animals being transported and tracked to their destination, and who is responsible for that tracking?    
Some key elements must be present in vehicles that transport animals. Have you considered the following:
  • Ventilation
  • Security from attack or disease spread from other animals
  • Crates or units that are secured and will not move about or slip from the vehicle
  • Crates or units that are not subject to winds and projectiles from driving during transport
   
When transporting animals, have you considered containers that have the following components:
  • Locking bolts to secure the container
  • Metal doors since animals can chew through plastic
  • Four metal rods that fasten and secure the door into the container
  • No wheels since airlines will not accept such crates
  • Sturdy construction with no weak points
  • Adequate ventilation
  • Enough space for the animal to turn around
  • Access and room for food and water
  • Access and room for cleaning
   
Does your plan encourage owners to provide animal travel kits that contain the following:
  • Proof of vaccination and veterinary records
  • Licenses, rabies, and ID tags
  • Two weeks of food, water, and medications
  • Bedding and toys
  • Litter box, litter, and a scoop
  • Food and water bowls
  • Information on medication and feeding schedules
  • Newspapers, pee pads, cleaning supplies
  • Collars, leashes, muzzles, harnesses
  • First-aid kit
  • A manual can opener and spoons
  • Stakes and a break-proof rope or tie down
   
Re-entry and Return to Readiness (Chapter 8)
How does the plan address re-entry needs including:
  • Assessment of road conditions
  • Identification of re-entry routes
  • Fuel availability on re-entry routes
  • Security
  • Availability of rest areas
  • Availability of food and water
  • Use of ITS components to support re-entry
   
During re-entry how does your agency track and report to the EMA:
  • Road conditions and status of whether they are open or closed
  • Need for vehicles to transport returning evacuees with special needs
  • Status of shelters—open or closed
   
Post-event, how is your transportation agency taking the following actions:
  • Conduct an after-action debriefing soon after the event (within a week)
  • Develop an after-action report to capture lessons learned and actions that worked
   
Did the after-action debriefing include a facilitator who:
  • Includes everyone involved in the operation
  • Ensures all issues are addressed fully and thoughtfully
  • Has participants focus on both positive and negative actions and outcomes, as well as suggested corrections
  • Ensures that participants do not feel intimidated or pressured to say something or to silence themselves about events that happened
   
Did the debriefing and after-action report result in revisions of the plan, and how have those revisions been disseminated?    
Did the debriefing and after-action plan identify revised or new training needs, and has that training been completed?    
Did the debriefing and after-action plan identify revised or new contracts or agreements, and have those contracts and agreements been executed?    
How does the plan address seeking reimbursement for the costs of the evacuation?    
As with evacuation procedures, transportation dispatchers should track the following:
  • Driver names/contact information
  • Vehicle information (owner, number, license plate, type, capacity, etc.) and assignment
  • Route maps
  • Location of fuel
  • Contact information for interpreters and translators
  • Evacuee information (where available through evacuation registries)
  • Contact information for liaisons and other people/agencies that will provide critical up-to-date information, including medical support personnel who cared for an evacuee prior to the exodus
  • Names and contact information for people assisting with evacuations (mechanics, personnel at fuel depots, staging area workers, assistants traveling with vehicles)
   
Driver checklists for re-entry should mirror those used during evacuation, to include:
  • Driver ID (name, contact information)/credentials
  • Location of collection points/ staging areas
  • Location of vehicle keys and back-up keys
  • Emergency contact for drivers and format of communication used by the drivers (e.g., CB radio, Push-to-talk)
  • Dispatch contact and alternate contacts
  • Route maps and alternate route maps
  • Lists of evacuees per vehicle with their contact information
  • Shelter locations and types (e.g., general population, special medical needs, pet-friendly)
  • Specialized equipment required (e.g., lifts)
  • Fuel locations
  • Instructions for breaks and shift changes
  • Local information sources (211/511 systems, HAR locations, etc.)
  • Point-of-contact for rumor control (e.g., to verify road closures or shelter changes that may be announced by the media or reported by evacuees)
   
Due to potential hazardous road conditions on re-entry, have the vehicles also been equipped with:
  • Flashlights
  • Spare tires
  • Flat tire fixative
  • Shovel
  • Heavy-duty gloves
   
Have vehicles used in the evacuation been:
  • Cleaned
  • Refueled
  • Repaired
  • Restocked