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New Study Examines Role of Transportation in Campus Emergencies

A new report from the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) is intended to help campuses consider potential transportation problems as part of their crisis planning. The report, "The Role of Transportation in Campus Emergency Planning," provides practical information about how universities and campuses settings can address the transportation aspects of disaster response and recovery. The 198-page report is available online for free.

Researchers provide a set of emergency operations plan checklists and organization charts with lessons learned from Katrina, 9/11 and other wide-scale emergencies. Its format is designed to encourage campus emergency planners to update their existing documents by inserting sections of the report. Or planners can create new National Incident Management System (NIMS)-compliant plans by adapting the complete set of appendixes to their universities' structures.

Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama sustained significant destruction from Hurricane Katrina, including damage to 31 colleges and universities. Other campuses, notably Louisiana State University (LSU), became resources to the disaster area. As a result, the Federal Department of Homeland Security, under Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5, requires all public agencies--including universities--that wish to receive federal preparedness assistance to comply with NIMS, which includes creating an emergency operations plan.

"While most university emergency plans address public safety and logistics management, few adequately address the transportation aspects of disaster response and recovery," said Frances Edwards, director of the Master of Public Administration program at San Jose State University and co-author of the report, along with Daniel C. Goodrich, an emergency preparedness coordinator for Lockheed Martin Space Systems. "This report describes the value of integrating transportation infrastructure into the campus emergency plan, including planning for helicopter operations."

The Mineta Transportation Institute, housed at San Jose State University, conducts research, education, and information and technology transfer focusing on transportation.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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