Natural disasters have the ability to disrupt structured systems in the United States, such as transportation systems and freight routes. When a natural disaster occurs, freight is forced to reroute around the effected areas. Rerouting slows recovery efforts, as well as normal transportation of goods within the United States. Therefore, natural disasters, with respect to freight routes, have widespread impacts and the possibility for acute hardship in disaster-prone areas. This thesis examines how comprehensive state and local level emergency operations plans are with respect to freight transportation rerouting following a natural disaster. Coastal cities can modify freight routes and this rerouting might affect recovery efforts and the normal flow of freight. First, seven coastal cities emergency operations plans are examined for specific elements of freight transportation planning. From there, the project determined how complete local level emergency operations plans are in terms of freight transportation and the framework needed for a freight transportation plan. The result of this research was policy recommendations to improve the resiliency of freight transportation networks surrounding coastal cities and incorporate freight transportation planning into emergency operations. The resiliency of freight routes following natural disasters is important because there can be widespread effects on the delivery of goods to the U.S. as well as recovery supplies to the effected area. If freight routes could be modeled to efficiently deliver rescue supplies and goods, while also minimizing the environmental effects, the benefits of uninterrupted service to the transportation system and society could possibly be substantial. The transportation system cannot encounter difficulties whenever a natural or manmade disaster occurs; therefore the United States needs to be better equipped to counteract interruptions in freight routes.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Transportation--United States--Planning--Research; Freight and freightage--United States--Research; Emergency management--United States--Evaluation
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Science Technology and Society/Public Policy (CLA)
Brown, Christine, "Absence of freight transportation plans in state and county emergency operations plans" (2009). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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