Preparation & Planning: Transportation Industry Stakeholders
If you are an owner or manager of a private company specializing in transportation services, assets, systems, or infrastructure, you play a critical role in transportation recovery after a disaster has struck your community. Transportation industry stakeholders or special districts own a large percentage of America’s transportation network assets—airports, ports, pipelines, and surface transportation (public transit, highways, commuter and freight rail, trucking and bus lines, and bicycle and pedestrian paths)—so your resources, expertise, and planning will contribute significantly to the recovery process. While the government facilitates transportation recovery operations, your company is ultimately responsible for the recovery of your own transportation service, asset, system, or infrastructure.
Your role is vital to the effective, safe, and timely recovery and restoration of the transportation system or infrastructure for which you are responsible, and your local community will be depending on you to deliver. Good planning and coordination now will lead to a faster and more efficient recovery later.
You can mitigate transportation recovery challenges through effective continuity of operations (COOP) planning and by collaborating with others involved in long-term transportation and community recovery.
During the recovery period, you and your company should be fully involved in all means of information sharing in coordination with government and other private companies, such as joining a recovery task force or similar group. Such collaboration with others will help to build resiliency into the transportation network and will mitigate the impact of future incidents.
As a participant in the recovery process, you may be asked to:
Identify and Provide Critical Transportation Resources: Your community may need assistance providing essential transportation services to critical facilities, such as hospitals, during the initial response and recovery phases. Be prepared to provide critical transportation resources for this essential activity.
Conduct Damage Assessments: Be prepared to assess the impact of the incident on your transportation service, system, or infrastructure and the impact this damage has on the overall transportation network.
Provide Subject-Matter Expertise: You and your employees may be asked to advise government decision-makers during the recovery phase with regards to your area of expertise. Participating in an advisory role will ensure your industry interests are considered in the recovery process.
Implement Improved Materials and Construction Methods: As you recover your transportation asset or infrastructure, be aware that new, improved materials and construction methods may be strongly encouraged or required by regulators to prevent similar damage from occurring again.
Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to Employees: Especially if the disaster involves radiation, biological hazards, or toxic chemicals, your employees may require additional protection in the recovery phase to ensure their safety. Be prepared to assume these costs as necessary.
The following sections describe some steps you should consider taking before a disaster hits to mitigate potential consequences.
Ready Business: For more ways to prepare your business for disasters, consult http://www.ready.gov/business/index.html.
Develop a Business Impact Analysis
If you have not already done so, develop a business impact analysis (BIA) for your company to determine the financial losses that could incur if your company and the transportation system or infrastructure it owns or operates were to be damaged or destroyed. Consider the economic, logistical, and social impacts that the loss would inflict on the greater community at large.
Develop a Continuity of Operations Plan
Using the results from your BIA, you are strongly encouraged to develop a business continuity and recovery plan for your transportation service, system, or infrastructure. Further, you are encouraged to review, exercise, and enhance your continuity of operations plans on a regular basis, in line with:
Department of Homeland Security, Federal Continuity Directive 1 (FCD 1): Federal Executive Branch National Continuity Programs and Requirements (www.fema.gov/pdf/about/offices/fcd1.pdf).
National Fire Protection Association 1600 Standard on Disaster/ Emergency Management and Business Continuity Programs (NFPA 1600) (www.nfpa.org/assets/files/pdf/nfpa1600.pdf).
Coordinate with Government and Stakeholders
Enter Into Mutual Aid Agreements
To the extent permitted by law or in accordance with applicable laws and regulations, consider entering into mutual aid agreements and assistance networks with other transportation industry stakeholders.
Coordinate with Government and Other Transportation Industry Stakeholders
Coordination efforts among all private companies or organizations and all levels of government involved in the transportation network recovery process are vital to ensuring that restoration occurs safely and quickly:
• Join any State or local transportation management organizations where you can share best practices and lessons learned with other companies and organizations in your field, such as a local emergency preparedness committee. Be aware of and attend planning and information-gathering meetings and activities that are relevant to your organization. This could be a good place to develop mutual aid agreements as well.
• Consider holding regular meetings or tabletop exercises to discuss how all of you would communicate and coordinate after a disaster. Make sure any and all partners and vendors that you rely upon are included in your continuity plans. Ensure that everyone has the physical and human resources on hand now to respond effectively after an incident.
• Meet with government officials in your community with whom you would be required to work after a disaster to ensure that you get to know each other now, rather than during the disaster. This should include your Regional Emergency Transportation Coordinating Officials (RETCO) and Regional Emergency Transportation Representative (RETREP). The RETCO and RETREP are the regional representatives for the U.S. Department of Transportation and can be a valuable resource in connecting you regionally and nationally with subject matter experts both before and during the transportation recovery process (regional map and contact information)
• Enhance information sharing with the government by providing your recovery plans to the National Infrastructure Coordination Center’s (NICC) Protected Critical Infrastructure Information (PCII) Program. NICC will keep your plans confidential and safeguard your business information. On a Federal level, you may additionally want to reach out to the Transportation Sector Coordinating Council of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Infrastructure Protection.
Train and Improve Materials and Methods
• Train: Train your staff to serve as technical or subject-matter experts in the response and recovery phases and to coordinate with government officials. Pre-identify these essential employees for your transportation operation and set expectations and requirements so there is no confusion during the recovery process.
• Improve Materials and Construction Methods: Before a disaster occurs, it is important that you review risk assessments for your transportation entity. Work with local emergency management officials to understand what those risks are and the probability of occurrence in your community and on your infrastructure. Consider making improvements to your materials and construction methods when building and maintaining your transportation asset or infrastructure to mitigate these risks.
• Evaluate Your Insurance Coverage: Evaluate the sufficiency of your insurance coverage for physical and financial losses. Consider as well the limitations of your liability insurance policies in situations where people may need to be evacuated or temporarily displaced from their homes due to a transportation disruption.