EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COORDINATION CHALLENGES FOR METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION CENTERS
Woodbury, Glen L.
Halladay, Carolyn C.
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This thesis evaluates emergencies that are likely to occur in metropolitan transportation centers and the challenges emergency managers face when preparing for them. Specifically examining nine co-located transportation agencies in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, the research identifies methods emergency managers can use to enhance preparedness coordination and collaboration across multiple transportation agencies where, despite their different governance structures and base locations, operations overlap. The author examined best practices among existing emergency preparedness documents and offers six recommendations that can enhance cross-agency coordination: 1) adopting an all-hazards approach, 2) defining a common method, 3) involving the “whole community” in preparedness activities, 4) enhancing resource-allocation techniques, 5) establishing a method for continuity of operations in a combined emergency operations center, and 6) hardening existing infrastructure. Going forward, the nine agencies in the study area must establish a year-long pilot program to evaluate emergency preparedness methods, which should include regular table-top exercises and the eventual establishment of a regional transportation emergency operations center (RTEOC). These exercises will also help the agencies establish clear roles and responsibilities, which will provide the public with better protection during emergencies.
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