The NTRS takes an all hazards approach to multi-modal transportation. Thus, the Strategy does not address specific incidents, but can be used for all hazards and all modes of transportation in your community. Hazards include all natural, technological, or human-caused disasters (e.g., hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, terrorist attacks, hazardous material spills, etc.).
The NTRS should be a useful tool that supports transportation recovery planning and recovery management. The NTRS focuses on the recovery phase of a transportation network, with an emphasis on redeveloping with resiliency, all of which are defined below.
Recovery is one of the phases of emergency management. The planning, training, exercising, implementation of appropriate technologies, and creation and strengthening of vital partnerships involved in recovery are ongoing for communities. Each of these process steps is necessary for the development of viable recovery programs and initiatives in the preparedness phase of emergency management. However, direct recovery activities, such as actual rebuilding and construction, only begin when the immediate lifesaving activities of the response phase are completed.
Resiliency in the Recovery Phase
Conventionally, the recovery of a transportation network results in the simple restoration of transportation infrastructure, assets, and systems to their conditions prior to the incident. However, recovery can and should involve rebuilding the network beyond its previous condition to a superior standard that is more resilient against future disasters. Resiliency in the recovery phase includes such efforts as improving materials and construction methods to increase the strength of infrastructure, establishing redundancies in the transportation network, using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and improving the common links between transportation modes and communities. Resiliency in the recovery phase should result in a network that has a vibrant ability to absorb damage from a future disaster and thereby bounce back rapidly following the incident.
The transportation network is diverse, and is made up of the following transportation systems: aviation, maritime, pipeline, and surface transportation (public transit, highways, commuter and freight rail, trucking and bus lines, and bicycle and pedestrian paths). Within any given community, all or some of these transportation systems will be part of a uniquely interdependent multi-modal transportation network.