Emergency Response


Agency: Department of Transportation

Title: Emergency Response

Background Information

Over the past two years, the U.S. has endured some of the costliest natural disasters in its history, such as the Northridge earthquake and the Midwest floods. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has proven to be fundamental to the relief of the victims' suffering and recovery of the regions' commerce and way of life. People affected by a disaster look to DOT for immediate assistance in four critical areas:

During the recent Midwest floods, DOT employees provided assistance to disaster victims by serving on emergency response teams. These included the search and rescue units of the U.S. Coast Guard who were first on the scene to rescue farmers and other victims, Federal Highway Administration engineers who visited washed out roads and bridges and provided immediate response to state and local transportation offices, and the Federal Aviation Administration employees who rerouted air traffic and made sure flights bringing equipment and supplies got as close as possible to the disaster areas.

DOT employees from several other administrations also established a communications network to relocate families to temporary housing, kept local and state media and emergency personnel aware of bridges and roads that were unusable, made sure essential services and medical relief could get in, organized delivery of emergency supplies and equipment, and assisted the Federal Emergency Management Agency, state and local disaster relief agencies, and the American Red Cross.

DOT operating administrations are developing a number of significant program activities to enhance their services and to provide effective support to disaster victims. This coordinated emergency response effort includes interaction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Federal transportation support agencies, such as the General Services Administration, Interstate Commerce Commission, and the Department of Defense.

Main NPR Category: Customer Service

Contact Person: Jim Kabel

Contact Phone: (202) 366-4359

Contact Address: Department of Transportation

Research and Special Programs

400 7th Street, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20590

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