Good Practices in Transportation Evacuation Preparedness and Response
Results of the FHWA Workshop Series
Phase 3 - Re-entry and Return to Readiness
In phase 3 of the tabletop exercise, Re-entry and Return to Readiness, participants were provided information on the fatalities and casualties caused by the emergency event as well as the damage to infrastructure and other structures. Participant discussion focused on responding to medical and other human needs, recovery activities such as search and rescue and damage assessment, necessary repairs to allow evacuee re-entry and readiness procedures once the initial recovery phase was completed.
- Performance Expectations - FDOT sets aggressive performance expectations for its districts for response and recovery activities. The purpose is to provide the quickest and most complete response, prioritize resources, and to identify areas for future improvement in response and recovery activities.
- Debris Removal - A debris management plan is required of all local agencies in Illinois before any debris is moved after an event. If state assistance is required, IDOT and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) have an incinerator that can be placed on public property. Inmate labor is used to pick up debris. The process is overseen by IEMA and IDOT. In another example, FDOT has a scope of services for debris removal pre-approved by FHWA and measured by cubic yard so the contract can be used for reimbursement under both Emergency Relief (ER) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as needed.
- Damage Assessment - The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MS DOT) dispatches trained damage assessment inspectors quickly after an event to identify road damage and prioritize road repairs.
- Damage Documentation - VDOT instructs all of its staff and contractors involved in damage assessment to take photos to support/document requests to the FHWA and FEMA for reimbursement of expenditures for emergency response and repairs after an incident.
- Multiple Means of Communications - FDOT uses multiple communication channels to disseminate human services, travel advisory, and re-entry information after an incident. This is important because once an evacuee has left an area, it is difficult to know what methods of communication will reach them in their temporary location.