TMCs should form an Emergency Preparedness Working Group with agencies that regularly work with the TMC to discuss, develop, and review topics and initiatives related to emergency preparedness.
Recognize the need for transportation agencies to understand the basic concept of the ICS, including Unified Command (UC), as defined in NIMS.
A framework for developing and achieving multiagency coordination (detailed in NIMS and ICS). Utilizing the Emergency Preparedness Working Group as a vehicle, TMCs should lead or participate in interagency coordination and communication efforts related to emergency preparedness. This section describes the planning process, participants, and how EOP revisions are coordinated during the preparedness phase.
Submit guidelines for review by law enforcement agencies and incorporate into both TMC and joint training activities.
In preparing to develop these guidelines there are several key documents TMC personnel should review to gain a better understanding of security concerns that may trigger use of TMC resources by law enforcement or homeland security agencies.
A useful model for our approach to homeland security is the Nation’s approach to national security.
The Homeland Security Strategy and HSPD-8 provide the framework for the National Preparedness System.
At the Federal level, the most urgent step in creating unity of effort will be to reinforce the Secretary of Homeland Security as the Federal government’s preparedness and incident manager. One model for the command and control structure for the Federal response in the new National Preparedness System is our successful defense and national security statutory framework. To start, all Federal departments and agencies should have operational command and control structures that comply with the National Incident Management System. An effective National Preparedness System requires that management and response personnel, especially those in the field, are well versed in their missions.
The success of the National Preparedness System over time will depend upon the quality of its metrics-based assessment and feedback mechanisms.
While the National Planning Scenarios have been effective tools for generating dialogue on response capabilities, they do not fully anticipate some of the worst disaster scenarios. Finally, our planning and operational documents should define the critical roles played by all of our homeland security partners in the Preparedness System.
The roles of each level of government and the private sector in creating a prepared Nation. Our preparedness culture must also emphasize the importance of citizen and community preparedness. The National Preparedness System must also recognize the role of the Federal government for monitoring and guiding national preparedness efforts. Finally, in our new Culture of Preparedness, all required response assets and resources of the Federal government must integrate and synchronize to ensure an effective national response to a crisis.
TMCs are hubs for information gathering and sharing as well as communications and notifications, and should bring these capabilities and functions to broader, statewide emergency preparedness planning efforts. Of particular importance are potential sources of funding for the TMC’s Emergency Preparedness and Security Program.
Full documentation of the DHS is available in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) and the National Preparedness Guidelines (Figure 3.2). From this guidance comes the requirement for risk-based capabilities at the Federal, State and local levels that must enable the Nation to respond to a range of disasters—both man-made and natural.
DHS must also identify how State, local, regional, and private-sector preparedness activities support the national strategy. For example, these personnel must include logistical experts with the management tools to track moving resources anywhere across the Nation and ensure timely delivery of aid to affected areas.
NIMS is a comprehensive, nationwide, systematic approach to incident management and includes a set of preparedness concepts and principles for all hazards, as well as essential principles for a common operating picture and interoperability of communications and information management.
Beginning with the National Security Act of 1947-mandated creation of the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency, and the National Security Council (NSC), this system has evolved substantially through the years.7 It has taken time to create a strong NSC that has integrated interagency policies and efforts. Yet for a variety of reasons, much of the Federal government, Congress, and the Nation at large have continued to think about terrorism and natural disasters as if they are competing priorities rather than two elements of the larger homeland security challenge.
Rigorous, sustained, and coordinated pre-incident preparedness ensures an efficient and effective handling of future incidents.


WFC will continue to promote training and coordination to support disaster response preparedness and response. For example, our States and territories developed fifty-six unique homeland security strategies, as have fifty high-threat, high-density urban areas.9 Although each State and territory certainly confronts unique challenges, without coordination this planning approach makes the identification of common or national solutions difficult. It must combine and co-locate the situational awareness mission of the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC), the operational mission of the National Response Coordination Center (NRCC), and the strategic role currently assigned to the Interagency Incident Management Group (IIMG). HAZUS-MH is a nationally applicable and standardized methodology that estimates potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricane winds. While there will be limitations in what law enforcement agencies can divulge about their activities, the discussions should be adequate to develop broad guidelines and policies. During an incident, all department and agency command centers, as well as the Joint Field Office (JFO) at the disaster site, must provide information to the NOC, which develops a National common operating picture capable of being exported in real time to other Federal operations centers.
The TMC can use the following checklist to evaluate their current status in forming an Emergency Preparedness Working Group. TMCs should utilize the Emergency Preparedness Working Group members to research and leverage transportation emergency preparedness and security funding. In most TMCs, the TMC manager is the senior official’s policy advisor for response and mitigation strategies, as well as overall preparedness.
Preparedness is inextricably intertwined with our national security, counterterrorism, and homeland security strategies.
Perhaps most important, the national security system emphasizes feedback and periodic reassessment. Our National Preparedness System must also have appropriate feedback and assessment mechanisms to ensure that progress is made and that our goals are being realized.
With common goals and performance metrics, the new National Preparedness System must first provide us with the capacity to create a national preparedness baseline that, at a minimum, serves as an inventory of our capabilities.
While the National Planning Scenarios represent a good start for our national process of capabilities-based planning for homeland security, we must orient the National Preparedness System towards still greater challenges. The second element of our continuing transformation for homeland security perhaps will be the most profound and enduring—the creation of a Culture of Preparedness. The first principle for a Culture of Preparedness must be a shared acknowledgement that creating a prepared Nation will be a continuing challenge. LESSON LEARNED: The Federal government, working with State, local, NGO, and private sector partners, should combine the various disparate citizen preparedness programs into a single national campaign to promote and strengthen citizen and community preparedness.
Furthermore, in the new culture of preparedness, State and local governments must continually seek to work with their neighboring jurisdictions. Although guidance does not currently exist for transportation EOPs, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101 is a standard guideline for a range of emergency operations needs. At the most fundamental level, the current system fails to define Federal responsibility for national preparedness in catastrophic events.
As called for in the Interim National Preparedness Goal, we must establish a readiness baseline for capabilities at the Federal, State, and local levels. First and most important, Federal government response organizations must be co-located and strengthened to manage catastrophes in a new National Operations Center (NOC). Effectively developed, an EOP provides a concise overview of an organization’s emergency preparedness, response capabilities, and policies. In this way, homeland security and other emergency preparedness exercise programs become an integral part of the planning process. The desired end-state of our National Preparedness System must be to achieve and sustain risk-based target levels of capability to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from major events in order to minimize the impact on lives, property, and the economy.
The mission of the NOC must be to coordinate and integrate the national response and provide a common operating picture for the entire Federal government.
It ties together threat and vulnerability assessments, mitigation planning, procedures, training, and drills and exercises in the form of a central high-level document that guides and advances the organization’s emergency preparedness program.
Full documentation of guidelines for collecting these funds is included in the document Recovering from Disasters: The National Transportation Recovery Strategy.
This interagency center should ensure National-level coordination of Federal, State, and local response to major domestic incidents. Use the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101 emergency management planning cycle (plan, prepare, respond, recover) and within that framework, prepare for specific response activities.


Today there is a national consensus that we must be better prepared to respond to events like Hurricane Katrina. The lessons of the national security system’s evolution will help us to transform our five-year old homeland security system. The creation of an effective National Preparedness System will require the Federal government to transform the way it does business. An integrated National Preparedness System must identify and share lessons learned and best practices both within departments and agencies and across jurisdictions.
Figure 6.3 provides an illustration of how our existing homeland security strategy, doctrine, and capabilities can be unified into a single National Preparedness System.
Private sector companies own and operate 85 percent of our Nation's critical infrastructure. Whenever possible, the TMC should use Federal standards and guidelines in the planning process.
These include the guiding vision for preparedness as well as clarification of the Federal government’s central role in organizing the national efforts of our homeland security partners.
Put another way, the Federal government must develop common doctrine and ensure alignment of preparedness plans, budgets, grants, training, exercises, and equipment. Implementation of NIMS has helped define the roles of transportation and emergency response agencies during emergencies.
This baseline should include an inventory of our preparedness assets as well as a metrics-based assessment of current capabilities. Using these operational plans and capability inventories as baseline data, the Headquarters planning staff can conduct national readiness assessments, highlighting priorities for subsequent preparedness investments, training, and exercising. NIMS consists of standardized resource management procedures that enable coordination among different jurisdictions or organizations. As TMCs work with law enforcement on incident management, event management, or evacuations; relationships can develop along with guidelines for this activity. The remainder of this section describes the key elements of the National Preparedness System. These shortfalls were not due to the absence of top level plans such as the National Response Plan and the National Incident Management System.
Finally, our experience in building an effective national security system demonstrates that Congress will be an essential partner as we continue to transform our homeland security system.
The National Preparedness System graphic additionally highlights the constituent elements of operational capabilities: deliberate planning, resources, logistics, training, and education. Non-governmental organizations play essential roles in preparedness by complementing and supporting preparedness efforts. The purpose should also reflect the basic guiding principles from NIMS as well as the NCHRP Guide to Emergency Response at State Transportation Agencies.
The NIPP integrates existing and future critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) protection efforts and strategies into a single national program. Transportation projects can sometimes take advantage of emergency preparedness or infrastructure security-oriented funding.
The section concludes with a discussion of the essential role of Congress in supporting the National Preparedness System and related transformation. We must now translate this Goal into a robust preparedness system that includes integrated plans, procedures, policies, training, and capabilities at all levels of government. More broadly, the Department of Homeland Security must possess field personnel with the necessary resources, training, and national support. In order to help identify the range of future plausible risks, the Department of Homeland Security has produced a set of fifteen National Planning Scenarios (see Figure 6.2).
As described above, the National Preparedness System must be dynamic, flexible, and responsive to new developments.
Key inputs to the System include the current national vision for preparedness, laws, and policies and the use of capability-based planning that prioritizes investments to fill gaps identified by needs assessments.



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