Learn more about the Office of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery and our work throughout campus. Learn more about the exercises and testing processes of Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery's plans. At Georgetown University, University Information Services (UIS) Business Continuity Management is defined as a holistic management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organization and provides a framework for building resilience with the capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation and value creating activities.
Georgetown University to continue its primary mission without major disruption due technology issues. By performing our primary function and meeting these goals UIS will provide continued support for all operational functions within the University and its affiliates. Our overall mission is to ensure that Georgetown University continues to provide superb academics as well as excellent logistical support for its students, faculty and staff.
Each department in UIS has written a plan to allow them to work through any type of disruption and maintains those plans in a constantly ready state.
TMCs should form an Emergency Preparedness Working Group with agencies that regularly work with the TMC to discuss, develop, and review topics and initiatives related to emergency preparedness. A series of guiding principles with regard to interagency cooperation are shown in the side box. The TMC can use the following checklist to evaluate their current status in forming an Emergency Preparedness Working Group.
Ensure plans and procedures complement the State’s overall emergency structure and plan(s). Use the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101 emergency management planning cycle (plan, prepare, respond, recover) and within that framework, prepare for specific response activities. Recognize the need for transportation agencies to understand the basic concept of the ICS, including Unified Command (UC), as defined in NIMS. Source: NCHRP Report 525, Volume 16, Guide to Emergency Response at State Transportation Agencies, p.
Transportation agencies conduct needs assessments on operations and maintenance, mobility, safety, or staffing. Goals and objectives indicating what the TMC wants to accomplish in the area of emergency operations (see sample in the box above). Gaps and deficiencies such as inadequate staffing or geographic coverage, training, lack of communications capability, or slow response times.
A summary of needs for the Emergency Transportation Operations plan, including task-specific needs, which relate to the ability to carry out specific functions, and crosscutting needs, which include support functions for a variety of tasks. Joint development of detour routes for major emergencies and identification of needed infrastructure. An Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is a coordinating document outlining an organization’s concept of operations during an emergency. Although formats vary, many state transportation agencies choose to follow the State EOP format for their agency plans.
The purpose section sets the tone of the EOP, and describes the shared commitment to improve responder and motorist safety and expedite incident clearance. How to identify areas where plan adjustments may be needed once more information is available. As scientists try to determine not if, but when a major earthquake will occur along the New Madrid fault line, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) is planning for the possibility. This ConOps section of the EOP explains TMC management’s intent on operations and through the documentation of specific operating concepts fosters understanding between transportation and emergency response agencies. This section establishes the organization that will respond to emergencies, including the types of tasks by position and organization. A framework for developing and achieving multiagency coordination (detailed in NIMS and ICS). This section describes the framework for all direction, command and control, and coordination activities, and identifies who has strategic, tactical (as applicable), and operational command and control of response assets and services. Utilizing the Emergency Preparedness Working Group as a vehicle, TMCs should lead or participate in interagency coordination and communication efforts related to emergency preparedness. Familiarizing team members with each other’s roles and responsibilities at initial meetings and repeating as needed given the high turnover rates among participants. Three tractor-trailers have crashed releasing Thioglycol, a Class 6 HAZMAT material, and trapping one of the drivers inside the cab.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) played a primary role in communicating information to residents and tourists before, during, and after Hurricane Irene. This section describes the expertise and resources on traffic flow that TMCs bring to an event planning team. Planned special events provide an opportunity to test emergency response systems, equipment and training, including ICS, in a non-emergency situation. Due to the large number of people concentrated in limited space, planned special events represent a high risk for terrorist acts. The FHWA Freeway Management and Operations Handbook, Chapter 11, provides a detailed summary of TMC planning and management roles related to special events, which will vary depending on event characteristics. Some of the planning and resources from the TMC, law enforcement, and emergency response can improve operational efficiency around planned special events. For instance, when the Dallas Cowboys Stadium opened in 2009, there were 200 officers in the field supporting traffic and event management; today that number is closer to 90, which shows a significant resource and cost savings as a result of technology, operational strategies, and coordination with the TMC. This section describes the essential information common to all emergencies identified during the planning process, including coordination with state and regional Fusion Centers.
Implement strategies to guide traffic in and out of the event, including reviewing historical traffic conditions to determine where congestion can be expected, using of Dynamic Message Signs (DMS) to provide advance notice, and deploy portable message signs to help guide event traffic advise drivers of potential delays. Provide the public with advanced notice of the event, detours, and closed roads via web sites, 511 phone systems, media, and private traffic information services. Coordinate with other transportation departments to supply additional trucks or equipment to support a potential emergency. Coordinate with local jurisdictions to modify signal timing on arterial roadways during pre-event and postevent periods.
In many regions, the DOT’s ITS is an important source of real-time information about the transportation system, which is often communicated by the TMC to law enforcement. TMCs should explore avenues to enhance connectivity and interoperability between TMCs, EOCs, and Fusion Centers. This section of the EOP describes the response communication protocols and coordination procedures for use during emergencies and disasters. If a common interagency communications center is not available, the plan must then cover how to achieve interagency communications, including notifications between TMCs, EOCs, Fusion Centers, and emergency response agencies. Communications protocols are a critical part of the Emergency Operations Plan, including both notification and equipment.
Districts should continue to use and maintain FDOT-owned 47 MHz maintenance radio system to ensure communication during emergencies. Contractors who provide services to FDOT during emergencies should be included in the FDOT communication system.
Districts should explore use of satellite telephones for redundancy following a hurricane since telephones and radios could be out of service after such an event. State DOT, because of their interest in ITS technology, can work with and support public safety agency partners on advanced technology applications. Regular discussion and coordination with internal and external stakeholders can enhance communications and notification and identify problem areas such as radio interoperability. TMCs should utilize the Communications Working Group to maximize the utility and interoperability of the many different communications services and systems that interface with the TMC and leverage those systems to expand the communications reach of the TMC.
TMCs should utilize the Emergency Preparedness Working Group members to research and leverage transportation emergency preparedness and security funding.
This section describes the planning process, participants, and how EOP revisions are coordinated during the preparedness phase. This section presents a planning process that is flexible and allows TMCs to adapt it to varying characteristics and situations.
Experience and lessons learned have demonstrated that operational planning is best performed by a team. Give the planning team plenty of notice about where and when the planning meeting will be held. Ask the senior appointed official or designee to sign the meeting announcement, since a directive from the executive office carries authority and sends a clear signal that operational planning is important to the community. Allow flexibility in scheduling after the first meeting as not all team members will need to attend all meetings.
In most TMCs, the TMC manager is the senior official’s policy advisor for response and mitigation strategies, as well as overall preparedness. Effective risk management requires a consistent comparison of the hazards a particular TMC faces.
Planners may use the incidents that have the greatest impact on the TMC (worst-case), those that are most likely to occur, or an incident constructed from the impacts of a variety of risks. Keep the language simple and clear by writing in plain English and avoid using jargon and minimize the use of acronyms.
Format the plan and present its contents so that its readers can quickly find solutions and options.
Did an action, a process, a decision, or the operational timing identified in the plan make the situation worse or better? What aspects of the action, process, decision, or operational timing make it something to keep in the plan?
What aspects of the action, process, decision, or operational timing make it something to avoid or remove from the plan?
What specific changes to plans and procedures, personnel, organizational structures, leadership or management processes, facilities, or equipment can improve operational performance? The emergency operations activities of the TMC generally fall within the legislative mandate that established the agency and defined its responsibilities. An example of a noteworthy practice is the consolidation of transportation and emergency response functions into Houston’s TranStar Transportation Center through an interlocal agreement that focuses heavily on funding, project development, and operating responsibilities.
An example of a broader agreement is the Joint Operations Policy Statement between the Washington State DOT, State Patrol, and Association of Fire Chiefs for Disaster Response.
Background: The Washington State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) establishes the policy under which all state agencies will respond to emergencies and disasters. Objective: Improve coordination of joint Washington State Police (WSP), Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) emergency operations. Policy: The WSP and WSDOT agree to enhance existing procedures to provide additional protection measures for the traveling public and the transportation system.
WSDOT Responsibilities: Headquarters (HQ) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) will be equipped for WSP Data communication capabilities.
Washington Fire Chiefs (WFC): Work collaboratively with WSP and WSDOT partners to identify joint interests and best practices for disaster response. Time Line: This policy will be in place when JOPS receives final approval by both agencies. Interagency agreements for incident clearance may address duties and responsibilities of response agencies, jurisdictional authority, and resource sharing among agencies. The purpose of the meeting will not be to find fault or to assign blame but to identify opportunities for improvements in agency procedures, training, or allocation of resources.

A one-page report will be prepared jointly by the representatives of DOS and TDOT and forwarded through the chain-of-command to the Commissioners of DOS and TDOT within one month of the date of the incident, unless unusual circumstances require more than one month.
DOS and TDOT will meet periodically to discuss experiences with incident management and to work toward improvements. Source: Interagency Memorandum of Understanding between the Tennessee Office of Safety and the Tennessee Department of Transportation Relative to Urgent Clearance of Highway 2004. Interagency agreements can be important in defining the parameters of TMC participation in nontransportation events.
Submit guidelines for review by law enforcement agencies and incorporate into both TMC and joint training activities. In preparing to develop these guidelines there are several key documents TMC personnel should review to gain a better understanding of security concerns that may trigger use of TMC resources by law enforcement or homeland security agencies.
DOT transport equipment in emergencies, and support activities such as utility restoration, which may be reimbursable from emergency funding sources. This section details additional planning and coordination functions that may be included in the EOP, including the planning and development of preplanned detours, and emergency evacuation plans. Some states identify preplanned detour routes for their entire Interstate Highway System, a process in which DOT staff often coordinates with evacuation planning.
Regions which have developed emergency evacuation plans for their central business districts, provide information on specific roles for each agency, including which police or DOT unit is responsible for securing each highway access point.
Utilizing their own familiarity with existing emergency evacuation planning, the TMC should develop emergency evacuation routes for the major arterials in their area. Some noteworthy developments in transportation planning have improved the link between planning and operations in disaster response. An important activity for transportation agencies is identification of improvements to alleviate the impact of future disasters.
The TMC can use the following checklist to evaluate their progress and completion status in the development of the EOP.
Performance measures should determine whether the plan met its goals and objectives (see Wisconsin example).
It provides information on potential situations and planning assumptions, roles and responsibilities, administration, and maintenance. Although guidance does not currently exist for transportation EOPs, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101 is a standard guideline for a range of emergency operations needs.
Whenever possible, the TMC should use Federal standards and guidelines in the planning process. This makes the plans more consistent and, when put to use, makes it easier for outside parties to be involved. The purpose should also reflect the basic guiding principles from NIMS as well as the NCHRP Guide to Emergency Response at State Transportation Agencies. It should summarize the hazards faced by the TMC and discuss how the TMC expects to receive (or provide) assistance within its regional response structures. MoDOT has a disaster plan and conducts earthquake emergency exercises with the State Emergency Management Agency and other public safety agencies.
The ConOps should make clear whether the TMC and EOC would colocate, the utilization of virtual EOCs, and how the TMC will leverage Traffic Incident Management (TIM) practices. It can build upon the existing TIM programs, which typically include coordination of incident response efforts by traditional responders (law enforcement, transportation, fire and rescue, and EMS). Strengthening interagency coordination during emergency planning activities will encourage ongoing dialogue among TIM responders. TMCs are hubs for information gathering and sharing as well as communications and notifications, and should bring these capabilities and functions to broader, statewide emergency preparedness planning efforts. While emergency responders worked to extricate the driver, a HAZMAT team contained the chemical.
NCDOT’s TMC provided real-time travel information on their 511 system, web site, changeable message signs, through Twitter, and on mobile devices.
Unanticipated weather events, particularly thunderstorms or high winds, can also result in an emergency situation. Some of the topics discussed include a detailed description of all phases of managing travel from preplanning to postevent, a framework for stakeholder coordination, and innovative techniques for enhancing efficiency.
These protocols should apply for regional communications plans and communication between the TMC and other transportation agencies. Clear direction such as that shown below in the Florida DOT Hurricane Action Response Plan can assure that DOT participants are properly equipped and prepared.
The FCC’s allocation of frequency to public safety functions reinforces this cooperation. All of the systems can support emergency operations as long as there are plans and procedures such as standardized terminology and system protocols, and external stakeholders are able to tap into them. Of particular importance are potential sources of funding for the TMC’s Emergency Preparedness and Security Program.
This funding comes from multiple sources, depending on the specifics of the project and the current funding environment. It also includes guidance on how to provide a regular cycle of testing, reviewing, and updating the EOP. If time is a constraint, steps can be minimized or skipped in order to accelerate the process. A team approach enables organizations to define the role they will play during an operation. Explain why participating on the planning team is important to the participants’ agencies and show the participants how their contributions will lead to more effective operations. TMC managers are often responsible for coordinating and developing an EOP, filling the role of lead planner. TMCs should collect information about threats and hazards and assign values to risk for the purposes of determining priorities, developing or comparing courses of action, and informing decision-making. As the first step, TMCs should gather information about the potential risks, resource base and geographic characteristics that could affect emergency operations.
The risk assessment is the basis for EOP development and helps a planning team decide what hazards or threats merit special attention, what actions to plan for, and what resources are likely to be needed. During this process of building an incident scenario, the planning team identifies the requirements that determine actions and resources. Response requirements are developed based on actions taken in response to an agent-generated problem.
Planners should carefully craft goals and objectives to ensure they support the plan mission and operational priorities.
This step is a process of generating, comparing, and selecting methods of achieving the goals and objectives identified in Step 3.
Planners should cover all mission areas in the timeline and use the speed of incident onset to establish the timeline. Planners use the scenario information developed in Step 3, place the incident information on the timeline and identify and depict decision points. Once the above analysis is complete, planners must compare the costs and benefits of each proposed course of action against the mission, goals, and objectives.
Once courses of action are selected, the planning team identifies resources needed to accomplish tasks without regard to resource availability. The amount of detail a plan should provide depends on the target audience and the amount of certainty about the situation.
Do the scope and concept of planned operations identify and address critical tasks effectively? Can the organization accomplish the assigned mission and critical tasks by using available resources within the time contemplated by the plan?
The plan should comply with guidance and doctrine to the maximum extent possible, because these provide a baseline that facilitates both planning and execution.
Planners should check the written plan for its conformity to applicable regulatory requirements and the standards of Federal or state agencies, as appropriate, and for its usefulness in practice. Once the plan has been validated, the planner should present the plan to the appropriate DOT officials and obtain official promulgation of the plan. After developing a plan, it must be disseminated and managers must train their personnel so they have the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to perform the tasks identified in the plan. The planning team must conduct training events, exercises, and real-world incidents to determine whether the goals, objectives, decisions, actions, and timing outlined in the plan leads to a successful response. This step closes the loop in the planning process as it focuses on adding the information gained by exercising the plan to the research collected in Step 2 and starting the planning cycle over again. Recent legislative initiatives related to emergency operations and roadway safety include Quick Clearance laws, and Move Over Slow Down laws for emergency vehicles.
These agreements form the basis of training and planning activities, and are generally most effective when covering specific topics.
Four entities, including the Texas DOT, Houston Metro (transit operator), Harris County, and the City of Houston agreed to participate in the development and operation of the Center. This goes beyond an incident management agreement to address working relationships for disaster response, work zone safety, winter operations, smart highways, commercial vehicle operations, facilities management (rest areas), wireless communications, system security, and ferry operations. The Team will also work to establish cooperative partnerships with other emergency response agencies.
MOUs or cooperative agreements between emergency operations agencies and transportation agencies can focus exclusively or primarily on the handling of incidents, which is an effective way to reduce tension around the tradeoffs between public safety and mobility.
The after-action review will not substitute for critical incident stress debriefings (CISD) and will not address issues that are more appropriate for CISD. Regardless of the duration, extent, or location of closure, either agency may request an after-action meeting following any highway incident, and that meeting will be held and a report prepared as described above. In addition to the after-action reviews described above, periodic working sessions will be held in each of TDOT Region Offices with DOS, TDOT, and other state and local agencies to discuss overall incident management and related issues.
This issue comes up frequently in relation to the role of law enforcement during homeland security activities. Full documentation of the DHS is available in the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) and the National Preparedness Guidelines (Figure 3.2). MOUs or interagency agreements can be helpful in defining these responsibilities and in setting up payment systems.
This makes it easier to implement the detours in the event of an incident or other emergency. Interagency collaboration is important to developing the plans, which also include involvement from transit agencies and MPOs.
TMCs have often played a central role in the development of emergency evacuation plans and procedures for urban areas.
Both New Orleans and the Houston-Galveston area demonstrated best practices by refining their evacuation plans and routes and assessing what physical and operational infrastructure is required to improve safety and mobility in future emergencies. Effectively developed, an EOP provides a concise overview of an organization’s emergency preparedness, response capabilities, and policies. NIMS is a comprehensive, nationwide, systematic approach to incident management and includes a set of preparedness concepts and principles for all hazards, as well as essential principles for a common operating picture and interoperability of communications and information management.
The scope identifies the jurisdictional, geographic, and functional boundaries applicable to the EOP. During the scenarios, the participants deal with fallen bridges, trapped motorists, crumbled roadways, and essential employees who were injured or incapacitated.

More information on roles and responsibilities is included in the Traffic Incident Management Handbook.
Whether led by state DOT, state Emergency Management Agencies (EMA), or DHS, incorporation of TMC resources and capabilities is rarely turned away. Behind the scenes, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) published 511 messages (voice and web site), and through its regional TMCs established detours, and posted information on message boards until the highway was open in both directions and returned to normal traffic patterns. In addition, the TMC should incorporate ITS into their emergency operations procedures to provide situational awareness to the EOC and Fusion Center including traffic volumes and queuing. TMCs can only be effective in this role if there are appropriate communications and notification policies and procedures. An integrated approach to a broader range of hazards requires cooperation among the emergency management community and public safety and transportation entities, more shared real-time information, rapid access across public data sources and data types, and access to special expertise on an on-call basis. Small TMCs can follow just the steps that are appropriate to their size, known risks, and available planning resources. The common threads found in successful operations are that participating organizations understand and accept their roles and that members of the planning team understand and accept the roles of other departments and agencies. In addition, TMCs’ hazard mitigation plans are an excellent resource for this step, as they are required to identify, catalog, and analyze all natural hazards that have the ability to impact the TMC and its operations. In this step, planners inventory, evaluate, and provide loss estimates for assets deemed critical during the response and recovery phases of an incident.
The planning team engages the senior official to establish how the hazard or threat would evolve survivors, and the community.
When developing courses of action, planners depict how an operation unfolds by building a portrait of the incident’s actions, decision points, and participant activities.
Decision points indicate the place in time, as incidents unfold, when leaders anticipate making decisions about a course of action. Developing this information helps planners incorporate the task into the plan when they are writing it. Based on this comparison, planners then select the preferred courses of action to move forward in the planning process. The planning team develops a rough draft of the basic plan, functional annexes, hazard-specific annexes, or other parts of the plan as appropriate. Personnel should also be trained on the organization-specific procedures necessary to support those plan tasks.
In this way, homeland security and other emergency preparedness exercise programs become an integral part of the planning process. Planning teams should establish a process for reviewing and revising the plan on a regular basis. Implementation of NIMS has helped define the roles of transportation and emergency response agencies during emergencies. TranStar operates freeway and traffic signal management and emergency management activities for both Harris County and the City of Houston. For each area, the policy statement includes a brief background statement, a simply stated objective, and policy guidance (which may reference other documents) along with roles and responsibilities, ongoing actions, measures of performance, and a timeline for implementation.
Each WSP District Commander (DC) and WSDOT Region Administrator (RA) will work to exchange knowledge of all applicable WSP and WSDOT disaster response plans. Incident commanders at the scene have safety as a first priority and are generally cautious in allowing traffic to move through or around an incident. The NIPP integrates existing and future critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR) protection efforts and strategies into a single national program. TMCs can also have an important role in documenting conditions that enable states to collect emergency repair funds after infrastructure losses. Several state and local DOT also have standard detour routes for use during construction or incident-related rerouting. TMCs should also be involved in these efforts since the plans often delegate responsibility for specific traffic control points to varying agencies based on geographic jurisdiction (or other factors). Full documentation is available in the Peer Exchange Series on State and Metropolitan Transportation Planning Issues. Rigorous, sustained, and coordinated pre-incident preparedness ensures an efficient and effective handling of future incidents. It ties together threat and vulnerability assessments, mitigation planning, procedures, training, and drills and exercises in the form of a central high-level document that guides and advances the organization’s emergency preparedness program. NIMS consists of standardized resource management procedures that enable coordination among different jurisdictions or organizations. Another benefit of the exercise demonstrates how MoDOT TMCs will disseminate messages to the traveling public and the media. Scenarios can vary from relatively simple high-level concepts, as shown below, to very detailed flowcharts. The Handbook offers insights into the latest innovations in TIM tools and technologies and includes a web-based version that users can easily access.
The box shows a communications policy developed by Florida DOT for use in hurricanes and other emergencies.
TMCs should also establish a Communications Working Group and include stakeholders involved in communications and notification systems and procedures within and outside the TMC. Transportation projects can sometimes take advantage of emergency preparedness or infrastructure security-oriented funding.
At each step in the planning process, TMCs should consider the impact of the decisions made on training, exercises, equipment, and other requirements. A key goal of any TMC planning team is to build and expand relationships that help bring creativity and innovation to emergency planning. Due to resource limitations, however, this level of analysis may not be possible or practical In such cases, TMCs should conduct a risk assessment of achievable and appropriate scale and scope. Goals and objectives facilitate unity of effort and consistency of purpose among the multiple groups and activities involved in plan execution. Planners identify tasks that occur immediately at incident initiation, tasks that are carried out through the duration of the incident, and tasks that affect long-term operations. Once the planning team identifies all the requirements, they begin matching available resources to requirements.
The TMC and partners on the planning team record results from Step 4 and provide an outline for the rough draft.
Commonly used criteria help decision-makers determine the effectiveness and efficiency of plans. A formal promulgation documentation process is implemented to obtain senior official’s approval and to gain the widest acceptance possible for the plan.
The operating agreement of the Center determines the procedures affecting transportation and emergency response personnel. WFC will continue to promote training and coordination to support disaster response preparedness and response. Transportation agencies meanwhile are concerned about traffic impacts and both parties are concerned about the potential for secondary crashes when there are stops in the traffic flow. TMCs are hard-pressed to turn down these requests even though it may contradict TMC policies or agreements and most TMCs do not record CCTV feeds except for incidents. The NIPP framework provides recommendations on how to mitigate risk by lessening vulnerabilities, deterring threats, and minimizing the consequences of terrorist attacks and other manmade and natural disasters.
Full documentation of guidelines for collecting these funds is included in the document Recovering from Disasters: The National Transportation Recovery Strategy. This chart shows the concept for DOT monitoring of a weather event, and communications with the Michigan State Police (MSP). Some of the topics covered include the necessary programmatic structure and institutional cooperation, what constitutes the full range of on-scene operations, and the communications and technical aspects of a successful program. Additional detail on coordination strategies can be found in the FHWA Traffic Incident Management Handbook, which is described earlier.
Planning teams should use state and local fusion centers to provide analytical products, such as risk and trend analyses, that are derived from the systematic collection and evaluation of threat information.
The resource base should also include a list of facilities vital to emergency operations, and the list should indicate how individual hazards might affect the facilities. As the planning team works through successive drafts, the members add necessary tables, charts, and other graphics. Planners use both acceptability and feasibility tests to ensure that the mission can be accomplished with available resources, without incurring excessive risk regarding personnel, equipment, material, or time. A remedial action process will help a planning team identify, illuminate, and correct problems with the TMC’s EOP. TMC personnel can provide inventories of equipment, current operating procedures, and provide recommendations on items to include in the plan. A sample memorandum between the Tennessee DOT and the Tennessee Department of Safety (DOS) defines the responsibilities and policies for each agency, and those which are joint activities.
As TMCs work with law enforcement on incident management, event management, or evacuations; relationships can develop along with guidelines for this activity. One of the suggestions in the strategy, for instance, recommends communities bring together individuals responsible for overseeing the recovery of various infrastructure networks to plan for the overall process. HAZUS-MH is a nationally applicable and standardized methodology that estimates potential losses from earthquakes, floods, and hurricane winds. The planning team prepares and circulates a final draft to obtain the comments of organizations that have responsibilities for implementing the plan. Decision-makers directly involved in planning can employ these criteria, along with their understanding of plan requirements, to determine a plan’s effectiveness and efficiency and to assess risks and define costs. Once the senior official grants approval, the plan must be distributed and a record of the people and organizations that received a copy (or copies) of the plan must be maintained. This process captures information from exercises, post-disaster critiques, self-assessments, audits, administrative reviews, or lessons-learned processes that may indicate that deficiencies exist. In no case should any part of the plan go for more than two years without being reviewed and revised. Two of the paragraphs in the text box illustrate how such an agreement can define specific responsibilities during and after an incident through ongoing working relationships.
While there will be limitations in what law enforcement agencies can divulge about their activities, the discussions should be adequate to develop broad guidelines and policies. This step provides planners an opportunity to identify resource shortfalls and prepare pre-scripted resource requests, as appropriate.
Members of the planning team should reconvene to discuss the problem and to consider and assign responsibility for generating remedies across all mission areas.
Successful implementation of an agreement requires research upfront by all parties during the preparation phase and most importantly, efforts to build relationships between agency personnel. Remedial actions may also involve providing refresher training for an organization’s personnel.

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