A Guide to Emergency Quarantine and Isolation Controls of Roads in Rural Areas

TThere are new concerns about the vulnerability of U.S. agriculture to the deliberate introduction of animal and plant diseases (referred to as agro-terrorism), detailed by the Homeland Security Council-led interagency working group in several of the national planning scenarios laid out in Homeland Security Presidential Directive/HSPD-8 National Preparedness. Transportation agencies are being called on to prepare for their roles in the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which provides "a consistent nationwide approach for federal, state, tribal, and local governments to work effectively and efficiently together to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity." Response to agro-terrorism or other biological outbreaks of food contamination or animal disease often requires immediate (within hours) isolation and/or quarantine of potentially infected areas. Researchers indicate that the economic impact of the outbreak is a function of the time it takes to enforce a quarantine and eradicate or control the infection. It is essential that emergency quarantine and isolation controls be available that can be implemented immediately at the local level. Traditional methods of containment (i.e., posting law enforcement officers to control travel) are not feasible in many potentially affected areas; thus, more innovative methods are needed that can be implemented in partnership with law enforcement, military (Active, Reserve, and Guard), the private sector, transportation agencies, and others at the local and state levels. Quarantine or isolation of even a limited area could involve many roads and could need to be in place for weeks to months. While federal support for the longer duration may arrive in a few days, vector control (i.e., containment of damages) requires an effective locally implemented response within hours. There is a need to develop or identify emergency quarantine and isolation controls for road networks (e.g., all roads in a 3- to 6-mile radius of a feed lot) in a short time frame (e.g., 6 to 12 hours). Although a typical state DOT usually has on hand enough signs and barricades to close and detour one route in a county, it would be hard pressed to close two or three roads in the same county. It is doubtful that any county has enough signs and barricades to quarantine and isolate all the county roads in a 3- to 6-mile radius. The objective of this research is to establish recommended practices and procedures for emergency quarantine and isolation controls for local and state roads. The research will focus on quarantine and isolation controls that are related to identified containment areas and need to be established within a suitable time frame. There is a need to be able to implement recommendations with minimal resources typical for a rural region. This project is primarily concerned with agricultural outbreaks (e.g., foot-and-mouth disease, highly pathogenic avian influenza, plant rusts) where a rural county does not have the law-enforcement resources to respond quickly. The panel recognizes the research product may be adaptable for application to other disasters and non-rural areas.


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  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $200000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-59(22)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    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

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Parker, Stephan

  • Performing Organizations:

    Midwest Research Institute

    425 Volker Boulevard
    Kansas City, MO  United States  64110-2299
  • Principal Investigators:

    Graham, Jerry

  • Start Date: 20060830
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20080531
  • Source Data: RiP Project 10770

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463056
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-59(22)
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:15PM