Emergency Preparedness

Events in recent years have heightened awareness of regional emergency preparedness. In addition to the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, metropolitan Washington has experienced a series of sniper shootings, anthrax incidents, hurricanes, an earthquake, and other emergencies. With its world prominence and its many visible symbols of democracy, the region remains a target for terrorism and other attacks. These events and circumstances serve as reminders the region must be as prepared as possible to respond to emergencies and disasters.

Transportation plays multifaceted roles in incidents and emergencies. Every day, transportation agencies handle incidents such as crashes and breakdowns on their systems. The need for coordination among transportation agencies during incidents having multi-jurisdictional or regional impacts fostered creation of the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) Program. MATOC aims to advise agencies as they respond to major incidents, through improved technological data sharing systems, coordinated operating and notification procedures, and better availability of transportation information for the public.

In declared emergencies and major disasters, transportation becomes one of a number of support functions to a public safety agency-led response. Regionally, public safety and emergency management planning are addressed through COG and its group of programs and committees. The TPB and its programs provide technical transportation expertise and support to these programs and committees as needed. 

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