Disaster Response and Evacuation User Service: An Addendum to the ITS Program Plan   [open pdf - 99KB]

"The surface transportation system plays a crucial role in responding to natural disasters, terrorist acts, and other catastrophic events. The Disaster Response and Evacuation (DRE) User Service uses intelligent transportation systems (ITS) to enhance the ability of the surface transportation system to respond to and recover from such disasters. The user service provides enhanced access to the scene for response personnel and resources, provides better information about the transportation system in the vicinity of the disaster, and provides more efficient, safer evacuation for the general public if needed. In addition, the transportation system includes a wealth of trained professionals and resources that constitute a portion of the disaster response. Use of ITS to prioritize, allocate, and track these personnel and resources also provides a more effective response to disasters. All types of disasters are considered in this user service including natural disasters (hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, winter storms, tsunamis, etc.) and technological and man-made disasters (hazardous materials incidents, nuclear power plant accidents, and national security emergencies such as terrorism, nuclear, chemical, biological, and radiological weapons attacks terrorist acts.). The basic ITS capabilities for disaster response and evacuation are essentially the same in all of these scenarios, although specific disasters do have unique characteristics (e.g., the amount of warning available, responder risks, local site management (is it a crime scene?), chances for secondary events, recovery operations required, scope and scale of the damage). Broad inter-agency coordination is critical in disaster scenarios, with transportation professionals performing well-defined roles in the larger context of the multi-agency response to the disaster."

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