Emergency Response: Organizational and Operational Models Used by State DOTs

NCHRP Research Report 1088: State DOT Models for Organizing and Operating Emergency Response: A Guide presents state-of-the-art information to assist state departments of transportation (DOTs) in the assessment of emergency response programs in foundational governance, programmatic planning and support, and building capacity for response for emergency surges. The Guide provides models that illustrate choices DOTs have made among a wide range of organizational and operational dimensions. The Guide also presents case studies of solutions DOTs have implemented across many organizational and operational facets, from specialized capacities, such as strike teams or mobile equipment teams, to integration of emergency management with security functions to close teaming of emergency management operations with Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO). The Guide is designed for new and experienced practitioners alike to use immediately as they fulfill their agency's emergency response incident and event management responsibilities. State DOTs continually develop and hone all-hazards emergency response procedures and protocols. They are adept at responding to a range of emergencies and incidents and fulfilling their federal responsibilities - namely Emergency Support Function (ESF) #1 - Transportation responsibilities, such as emergency access and evacuation support identified in FEMA's National Response Framework. Organizational structure can and does make a difference in the effectiveness of emergency response and related emergency activities and initiatives. As noted in AASHTO's 2017 publication, Understanding Transportation Resilience: A 2016-2018 Roadmap for Security, Emergency Management, and Infrastructure Protection in Transportation Resilience, emergency management is an essential component of resilience, but the current organizational frameworks may not be ideal. A gap was identified in the research relating to recommended state DOT operational and organizational models for emergency response. The importance of the topic, types of actions and related responsibilities, and desired outcomes had been identified, but research was needed on ways that state DOTs organize themselves for effectively participating in emergency response. Under NCHRP Project 20-128, "Emergency Response: Organizational and Operational Models Used by State DOTs," WSP USA Inc. was asked to investigate and document how state DOTs use different organizational and operational models to fulfill their emergency response incident and event management responsibilities within the context of FEMA's National Planning Frameworks for prevention, protection, mitigation, response, and recovery. In addition to this report, NCHRP Web-Only Document 378: Emergency Response: Organizational and Operational Models Used by State DOTs, a PowerPoint summary of the Guide, and a Pocket Guide on organizational essentials are available on the National Academies Press website (nap.nationalacademies.org) by searching for NCHRP Research Report 1088.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $400000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-128

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Parker, Stephan

  • Performing Organizations:


    One Penn Plaza
    250 W 34th Street
    New York, New York  United States  10119
  • Principal Investigators:

    Matherly, Deborah

  • Start Date: 20210201
  • Expected Completion Date: 20230301
  • Actual Completion Date: 20230301

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01707629
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-128
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2019 4:41PM