National Academies Press: OpenBook

Developing a Guide to Emergency Management at State Transportation Agencies (2020)


Page 21
Suggested Citation:"CHAPTER 7 FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDS." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2020. Developing a Guide to Emergency Management at State Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/25873.
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17 CHAPTER 7 FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDS During the course of this research project, the research team recognized that while there has been a significant amount of research completed in the area of emergency management, additional work remains to be done. This section outlines future research needs based on the findings of this research project. • Understanding the relationship between resilience and emergency management and the impact that relationship has on the roles, needs, and capabilities of state DOTs. More specifically, understanding how resilience can be built into recovery efforts and into mitigation planning. • Better understanding and documenting of the benefits of mitigation and resilience. News stories have identified the benefits of improved building codes on reduced impacts from Hurricane Irma, and have identified how communications recovered quickly in most areas in Houston in the aftermath of Harvey. What are documented financial and economic benefits from transportation investments that foster resilience? • Understanding the interdependencies of all transportation modes and other sectors such as power, water, and communications on emergency management, and their impacts on state DOTs and other transportation agencies. • Understanding the impact of cascading events on emergency management planning, response, and recovery. • Research on emergency management approaches to addresses concurrent events or events that have an impact on extensive area or region. For example, the back-to-back hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017 put a significant burden on the emergency management resources during the response and will constrain the recovery resources in the aftermath. • Understanding how to identify and train the resources needed to carry out all-hazards, all modes, resilience-focused emergency management, recognizing that it is difficult for most transportation agencies to allocate significant personnel, monetary, and material resources to planning and training for events that occur on an infrequent basis or may not occur in their state or region.

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Transportation plays a critical role in emergency management. After all, state transportation agencies have large and distributed workforces, easy access to heavy equipment, and a robust communications infrastructure capable of sustained mobilization.

The TRB National Cooperative Highway Research Program's NCHRP Web-Only Document 267: Developing a Guide to Emergency Management at State Transportation Agencies is a supplemental report to NCHRP Research Report 931: A Guide to Emergency Management at State Transportation Agencies. It details how the guide was developed.

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