Mineta Transportation Institute Releases Emergency Management Handbook for State-Level Transportation Agencies

Edwards and Goodrich provide specific guidance and management techniques to aid emergency planning staff to create DHS-compliant systems.
February 15, 2010
San José, CA

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) has published a Handbook of Emergency Management for StateLevel Transportation Agencies. It addresses plans and systems mandated by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that may be applied to the state-level transportation agencies’ disaster response systems to enhance efficiency and effectiveness. Specific guidance and management techniques are provided to aid emergency planning staff to create DHS-compliant systems.

State transportation agencies are required to have plans for continuity of government (COG) functions during any catastrophic disaster, as well as for continuity of operations (COOP) – continuing the essential services that they provide to citizens, government, other state agencies, and federal partners during response, recovery and mitigation phases of emergency management. These augment a state’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), which addresses “normal” emergencies.

“This research project was intended to lay the groundwork for establishing priorities that would lead to a mature management capability for emergencies, disasters and catastrophes,” said Frances Edwards, PhD, director of the Master of Public Administration program at San José Sta University. “While transportation agencies may have significant exper with ‘normal’ emergencies on the roadways, and they may work routinely with state police and fire agencies in disaster situations, this handbook will help them level up to meet DHS requiremen te ience ts.”

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) retained a team of emergency management research associates with significant professional experience in emergency management from the Mineta Transportation Institute’s National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. The team reviewed California’s first COG and COOP plans and advised Caltrans on additions and revisions to the agency’s COG and COOP plans. All this is in keeping with the latest federal guidelines and with the lessons learned from Caltrans’ participation in the 2008 Golden Guardian emergency exercises.

The handbook emphasizes that open, clear and safe roadways are essential so first responders and other emergency teams can reach their destinations. Sample chapters include “The Role of the Emergency Services Manager in a State Transportation Agency,” “The Role of the Department of Transportation Headquarters EOC,” and “The Hierarchy of Emergency Plans."



Dr. Edwards is director of the Master of Public Administration program and professor of political science at San José State University. She is also a research associate of the Mineta Transportation Institute at SJSU, and she teaches emergency management in the Master of Science inTransportation Management program. In 2009 she was appointed U.S. chair for the European Union CAST Project for the development of unified training for first responders. Her most recent research has been in global supply chain security. She is recognized internationally as an emergency management and security expert. Dr. Edwards was director of the Office of Emergency Services in San José, California for 14 years, including one year as acting assistant chief, San José Fire Department. She has a PhD in public administration, a Master of urban planning, and an MA in political science (international relations).


Mr. Goodrich is an emergency preparedness coordinator for Lockheed Martin Corporation and an instructor and research associate for the Mineta Transportation Institute at San José State University, where he also teaches security for transportation managers. He was selected as a 2006 Fellow of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and studied Muslim terrorism in Israel at Tel Aviv University. He is a recognized expert in security and emergency response. Mr. Goodrich served in the US Marine Corps for ten years, including leadership positions in Security Forces. He holds a Master of Public Administration from San José State University and is a Certified Emergency Manager.


The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and was reauthorized under TEA-21 and again under SAFETEA-LU. The institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through the Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and by other public and private grants and donations, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The US DOT selected MTI as a national “Center of Excellence” following a 2002 competition.

The Institute has a Board of Trustees whose internationally-respected members represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI’s focus on policy and management resulted from a board assessment of the industry’s unmet needs and led directly to choosing the San José State University College of Business as the Institute’s home. MTI conducts research, education, and information and technology transfer focusing on multi-modal surface transportation policy and management issues.