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Disaster Management Manual
A manual for practitioners and decision makers!
The road network is one of the key factors in modern societies, both in economic and social terms. Road operation is primarily dependent on infrastructure. Risks to road network infrastructure and to associated control and information systems can occur in a variety of ways, either intentionally or accidentally as a result of various events. These emergency situations can be categorized into:
To optimize the preparedness, response and recovery of the road transport sector to emergency situations, cooperation with organizations at all levels (local, regional and national) and with operators of critical infrastructure is needed so as to ensure appropriate integration of these entities to emergency management.
This section includes a comparison study of Emergency Management Manuals and Business Continuity Plans for pre- and post-emergency principles, practices and actions related to road network in six countries – Australia, Canada (Québec), United States of America, Japan, Romania and New Zealand. Good practices for the different stages of the emergency management procedure are then summarized.
2. Comparison study of emergency management manuals and business continuity plans
Each country has their own detailed approach to emergency situations, however, they all follow a consistent high-level process based on three key functions.
This can be further broken down into a number of key phases as shown in Figure 3.2.3.
The following sections provide a summary of each countries emergency response processes in terms of pre- and post-emergency. This is followed by a summary of ‘best practice’ based on the existing processes and experience from the six countries reviewed as part of this report.
In New South Wales the emergency management best practice is based on the following principles:
In planning for a recovery, New South Wales continuously gather information about resources and equipment in order to establish logistics planning for the community at a local level. This means monitoring and intelligence gathering of information about supply chains, suitable locations, assets and resources. Evaluation and impact assessments carried out during and immediately after disaster event occurrence is especially valued in establishing the risk management plan for the area.
Building on this risk management plan there should also be a recovery plan identifying local recovery management structures, actions, roles and responsibilities, and be consistent with relevant State level plans. For an effective recovery these planning and managing arrangements must be accepted and understood by recovery agencies and the community. Emergency Management Committees at all levels are responsible for recovery planning.
These management arrangements call on several personnel depending on the need including:
Following a major emergency or natural disaster the best practice is for the initial impact assessment to be carried out within 24 hours. This assessment and recovery plan work together to set out the detailed action plan that will proceed.
The initial impact assessment defines the extent of damage, impact on the community and the potential need for a longer-term recovery process to take place. A delegated State Emergency Operations Controller (SEOCON) initiates this and the assessment is carried out with the assistance of combat agencies, functional areas and local government. The main duties of the combat agency will be the response operations, however New South Wales best practice emphasizes the importance of the early impact assessment info to be gathered and relayed to decide whether the damage can be managed locally in the short-term as part of the operational response, or requires more formal recovery arrangements.
Where the response operation and initial impact assessment has concluded that a more formal recovery arrangement is needed two things happen:
A State Emergency Recovery Controller (SERCON) consults with the SEOCON and a recovery Centre is established as a one-stop shop providing a single point of contact for information and assistance to disaster affected persons.
The function of the Recovery Committee is to strategically coordinate the recovery. Locally the committee is made up of Local Emergency Operations Controllers (LEOCONs) and the early meetings will be attended by the combat agency and the LEOCON to provide an overview of the situation. In the case of a regional recovery committee the effected Regional Emergency Operations Controller (REOCON) will meet to establish the composition of the Regional Committee.
The Canada Transport Agency has an Emergency Preparedness branch within their organization to:
In addition to this, in 1986 Canada and the United States re-formalized their history of emergency cooperation with the signing of The Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States on Co-Operation in Comprehensive Civil Emergency Planning and Management. This agreement revolves around 10 principles of co-operation, which are to guide coordinated efforts in emergency preparedness.
The department plays a part in the following areas of emergency response: planning, exercise, training and response.
Same as with United States of America (USA), Canada deploys Transport Management Centres (TMC), which play an essential role in the response and recovery phase of an emergency. TMC participation in the National Response Framework and National Incident Management System (NRF and NIMS) frameworks are key to effective working relationships during recovery. Their roles extend to:
During an emergency or event, the TMC serves as a Transportation Department Operations Centre (TOC). It can be collocated with a state or county Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), which allows for close coordination between the Department of Transportation (DOT) and their counterparts in emergency response. It also allows the quick deployment of TMC resources for emergency response activities.
However, in an incident that spans multiple counties and even states, coordination among EOCs can become challenging. In at least one region, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is establishing procedures to aid communication and coordination among EOCs in an emergency.
The USA National framework for emergency response and recovery emphasizes that response to incidents should be handled at the lowest jurisdiction level capable for handling the works. The best practice model looks at all three phases of emergency response and recovery being:
The framework works to strengthen, organize and coordinate response actions across all levels based on the principle: “Mastery of these key tasks supports unity of effort, and thus improve our ability to save lives, protect property and the environment, and meet basic human needs”.
This section of the national framework is focused on capability building. In terms of the transportation sector best practice is divided into interagency communication and cooperation; emergency operations; equipment; ITS; mutual aid; threat notification, awareness, and information sharing; and policy.
In terms of coordination, the state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) and major transit agencies typically participate or take a lead role in the coordination efforts with state-level homeland security offices and state and local emergency management agencies (e.g. emergency and evacuation planning, multi-agency notification procedures, public information coordination). For regions encompassing several states Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) take the lead role.
Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) practices differ between regions. Those identified as beneficial include:
Japan is very much exposed to natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis. Disaster risk reduction is covered in the budget of national and local governments. At the national level, the annual budget for disaster risk reduction is approximately $ 11 billion, which is about 1% of the total general-account budget expenditure (year 2010).
Cooperation and coordination among disaster response organizations are seen to be essential in emergency response and recovery. However, even in Japan, only highway companies or local road authorities that have suffered large-scale disaster actively worked on making such emergency agreements with other organizations. Japan has seen success on these collaboration agreements both planned and spontaneous and has based their best practice of emergency response and recovery as well as BCP on these case studies.
What stands out the most for Japan’s Best Practice for emergency response and recovery is their collaboration agreements that extend beyond emergency response type activities with frequent workshops and emergency drills. This makes implementation of the collaboration much smoother in an emergency as collaboration becomes business as usual.
Collaboration Agreement features:
Recovery measures are aimed at the early restoration of road services after the disaster. The best practice is to have had time-series response plans already planned out and preferably undergone drills. The targeted time of each action should be reflective of the priorities being rescue followed by provision of emergency escape routes and network restoration.
The responsibility for managing emergency situations belongs to different organizations depending on the type of road:
Permanent and Temporary Activity Operational Units are set up by the responsible organizations. These Activity Operational Units approve decisions during emergency situations relating to the road networks.
The Permanent Activity Operational Unit has specialized staff to manage risks. The size of the unit depends on the nature, frequency and severity of major risks.
Pre-emergency, the permanent activity operational unit is responsible for risk management:
It is a requirement that flood management plans are in place for those roads likely to be affected. These should cover protection, prevention and intervention. Plans for flood management must:
Intervention stocks are required close to the areas likely to be affected. These are to be maintained and remain available in case of an event.
Thresholds are to be set for intervention, and plans are followed if threshold reached:
Post-emergency, the permanent activity operational unit is responsible for:
Temporary Activity Operational Units are organized by the responsible organization and are only active during a time of emergency. This operational unit reports to the permanent operational unit.
The Temporary Activity Operational Unit is set up to provide information on:
The Civil Defense Emergency Management (CDEM) Act 2002 is intended to improve and promote the sustainable management of hazards. This relates to hazards that may impact on the social, economic, cultural, and environmental well-being and safety of the public, and property. The purpose of the act is to:
Each region is required to set up a CDEM group which brings together local authorities and emergency services in order to deliver the requirements of the CDEM.
Lifeline utilities are essential infrastructure services to the community. Identified lifeline utilities are required to have planning in place to enable the continuation of service in an emergency.
The CDEM 2002 Act defines two distinct aspects in terms of emergency readiness:
The incident response section in the specification for maintenance contracts sets out a minimal level of service for responding to incidents on the network. This ensures that maintenance contractors are prepared and ready to respond. The contractor must be prepared to:
Agencies are required to respond to emergency events by activating their own plans and coordinating their activities with other agencies:
Emergency Response Objectives include:
Transition from response to recovery:
Using the high-level approach to emergency response and recovery as established under section above (Preparedness, Response, Recovery) and the six examples of best practice emergency response and recovery of the road network in Australia, Canada (Quebec), United States of America, Romania and New Zealand, the following section provides a summary of key themes from those countries that define ‘best or practice’.
It is important that every Utility and Road Controlling Authority develops their own BCP for their organization. A key part of the process when developing a Business Continuity Plan is to undertake a risk analysis to establish what the key lifeline routes/utilities are so that an appropriate management plan can be developed for each of these and be communicated to other key organizations and the community.
It is also good practice during the planning phase to establish collaborations and supplier agreements to ensure resourcing, plant, response times, responsibilities and accountabilities and payment terms are agreed prior to any emergency event.
If an organization is both national and local/regional then development of a two part (or two separate) Business Continuity Plans is common practice. The detail provided within a local or regional plan will be different to what is required in a national plan.
Once individual Organizations have prepared their own Business Continuity Plans, it is common practice in a number of countries to establish some form of ‘Civil Defense Emergency Management Group (CDEG)’ or ‘Lifelines Group’. The purpose of these groups is to bring together Local Councils, Road Controlling Authorities and other Utility and lifeline Authorities so a coordinated national and local approach to emergency management planning is undertaken.
The CDEG groups can also form the single point of coordination and communication during an emergency, which is a critical function for the successful management and recovery following an event, although some countries establish a separate group to perform this function.
The CDEM groups focus should as a minimum cover:
A key component of being prepared for an event is ensuring regular training and emergency management simulations are undertaken with key response staff, both within individual organizations and across multiple organizations.
All countries with advanced procedures for emergency management and recovery have developed appropriate training programmes to ensure organizations are ready and well equipped to respond to an emergency.
A key aspect to all these training programmes is ensuring that an appropriate lessons-learnt process is undertaken after each training programme and implementation of business improvements is completed and audited.
Simulation drills and training should be real as possible, undertaken regularly and involve all people from workers on the road to senior management, wherever possible.
In the immediate aftermath of an emergency event there are some key processes that need to be undertaken that are consistent across all countries Business Continuity Plans. These are:
It is best practice for these plans to be “time series’ plans which change as the emergency develops. It is also common for new response plans to be developed during an event due to the developing and changing nature of an event. Ensuring appropriate resources are in place to develop and action the recovery plans is critical.
Communication with the road users advising them of road conditions is very important – Best Practice for this is discussed under section 3.2.2 above.
There were three key themes that came from the Business Continuity Plans regarding full recovery of the transport network following an emergency event. These are: