Homeland security has emerged as a major public policy concern and has forced many metropolitan areas in the country to realize the need for a regionally cooperative and collaborative approach in planning, preparation and response to emergencies, whether caused by natural or human elements. This increased emphasis on security is also reflected in SAFETEA-LU which specifies that MPOs shall conduct a metropolitan planning process that provides for consideration of projects and strategies that will increase the security of the transportation system for motorized and non-motorized users.
Plan for Evacuation of the Transportation Needs Populations of Central Ohio
MORPC was awarded one of the two “Transportation Equity Research Program” grants awarded by the Federal Transit Administration in FY2008 out of a total of 31 applications. The grant facilitates the creation of a seven-county regional evacuation and emergency preparedness plan for the Transportation Needs Populations.
The plan addresses a seven county subset of the MORPC region, including Franklin, Delaware, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway, Madison, and Union Counties. The plan lays the groundwork for more robust strategies in the identified MORPC jurisdictions to ensure that future evacuations will efficiently and effectively accommodate the vulnerable Transportation Needs Populations, including people who lack access to private automobile transportation. It emphasizes integration and compliance with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) within the over-arching common operating picture. This user-friendly document is designed to provide helpful information prior to and during an incident requiring evacuation. As such, narratives and graphics depicting transfer/pick-up and drop-off points, shelter locations, and other reference information are complemented by a matrix that utilizes emergency support functions (ESF) to allow for a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities during an evacuation. Contact rosters and a Response Checklist identify appropriate responding agencies designated to perform specific tasks.
A coordinated effort between MORPC government agencies and non-profit organizations will create an environment of information sharing that will allow planners to accurately account for carless populations. Additionally, demographic characteristics and census data can support the identification process to overcome language barriers, particularly for the Somali and Hispanic/Latino communities.
Dan Haake - Senior Planner - 614.233.4149