Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is FHWA Operations doing to respond to the security challenge?
A: FHWA Operations is engaged in emergency preparedness and management, working with other DOT administrations and Federal agencies, its State and local partners, academia, industry associations, and the private sector. The purpose is to ensure that surface transportation operating agencies throughout the nation have the necessary tools, techniques, information, and understanding to be able to prevent when possible, prepare for, respond to, and recover from both natural and man-made disasters. A key element is "emergency transportation operations preparedness."
Check out the Public Safety and Security Program Brochure (PDF 1.2 MB) for more information.
Q: What is the goal of emergency transportation operations preparedness?
A: To ensure that operational policies, protocols, procedures, practices, and improvements are put into place within a region that will enable people and goods to move safely and effectively during threatening situations while still enabling emergency access to the scene(s), and will facilitate re-establishment of transportation following an emergency.
Q: How does emergency operational preparedness accomplish this goal?
A: In general, it will enhance, through awareness, guidance, and technical assistance, the roadway (highway, arterials, etc.) transportation component of both new and existing State and local emergency management planning and response efforts. More specifically, it will work to:
- More fully engage transportation operators with emergency managers and public safety in regional collaboration, information sharing, and strategic planning, for the management of transportation during emergencies.
- Ensure development of a telecommunications capability, with agreed-to protocols, standards, and messages, to enable transportation system operators to communicate with law enforcement, fire and rescue, EMS, and other emergency management officials.
- Ensure that transportation operation is an integral part of emergency management planning
- Ensure that communications to the public, through media and advanced traveler information services, regarding the demands and conditions of the highways are an essential component of emergency management planning.
- Facilitate full information sharing and data exchange capabilities of the transportation system, including ITS, to support emergency management planning and operations.
- Ensure that planning for emergency management addresses issues surrounding the movement of freight, including the flow of supplies and materials to the emergency area(s) or site(s), and the restoration of the routine flow of goods and supplies to the general public.