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Emergency support functions are a group of governmental and non-governmental services that are structurally organized to respond to imminent and actual threats and disasters. These services are very important in as far as disaster prevention, preparedness, and recovery are…
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Transportation as an emergency support function al affiliation Transportation as an emergency support function Emergency support functions are a group of governmental and non-governmental services that are structurally organized to respond to imminent and actual threats and disasters. These services are very important in as far as disaster prevention, preparedness, and recovery are concerned. As an emergency support function, transportation provides crucial support to state and federal governments, as well as to non-governmental organizations by ensuring that transportation systems are well managed in times of domestic threats and incidents. As such, the transportation function is responsible for ensuring that transportation services are sustained throughout the period of responding to potential and real threats.
Transportation is a very vital component of emergency support because, without it, relief and rescuepersonnel would not be able to reach affected areas. This calls for intermodal transportation services to ensure that all areas in need of emergency services are accessible. In most cases, these modes of transport include water, rail, air, pipeline, and road (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2014). Real-time response to emergency situations saves federal and state governments a lot of time and money.
The primary functions of transportation include assessing and reporting the status, in terms of damages, of transport systems and infrastructure in affected areas. The transportation function also proposes alternative means of transport in areas whose transport systems have been damaged. Additionally, transportation facilitates such activities as preparedness, response, and recovery among stakeholders in the transportation sector (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2013).
The transportation function falls under the department of transportation, as the latter coordinates all transportation services during emergencies. It is the task of the transportation unit to organize and deploy transportation personnel to requisite areas in order to speed up the recovery process (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2013). The transportation function provides support to the homeland security department in an effort to ensure proper incident management.
The transportation process involves prioritizing the movement of federal supplies and personnel to disaster-stricken areas as a means of emergency response. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (2004), once the department of transportation receives information concerning imminent or actual threats, a disaster management center is set up, or if one already exists, it is expanded. Plans are then laid to ensure that the staff and administrative support are adequate to deal with the incident. The staffs are then assigned duties to be fulfilled during the response mission and they coordinate various activities geared towards the acquisition of proper transportation services.
Although the transportation function is responsible for prevention and recovery from disasters, it is not responsible for transporting people, goods, animals, and other personal effects from disaster areas. This means that other stakeholders within the emergency transportation are required to provide evacuation services of people, belongings, and animals from disaster areas. In this case, the community, the private sector, and other organizations have roles to play in as far as hazard mitigation is concerned (Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2014). It is, however, important to note that the transportation function can be very effective on its own but it still needs support from other functions. As such, in conjunction with the communications function, the transportation function uses the US Postal Service to collect and report information regarding any cases of infrastructure disturbance and damages.
Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2004). National Response Plan. from
Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2013). Emergency Support Function #1: Transportation Annex. Retrieved from
Federal Emergency Management Agency. (2014). Fundamentals of Emergency Management. Retrieved from Read More
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