Knowledge to action: Resilience planning among state and local transportation agencies in the United States




transportation, planning, emergency management, resilience


The results of a nationwide survey of state and local agencies conducted in 2020 are summarized to understand priorities for improving transportation emergency management (EM) and resilience. Questions on EM activities, policies, and operations were answered by 190 respondents from across the country. In addition to comparing responses across transportation, EM, and other organizations (law enforcement, public works, health, environmental services, etc.), differences are analyzed based on agency size, location, experience, and hazard exposure. Respondents were also asked to prioritize EM activities for additional funding. Capabilities such as Emergency Planning, Traffic Control, Response Teams, and Situational Awareness emerge as priority areas. Approximately 60 percent of transportation agencies report updates of EM plans within the last 5 years compared to 70 percent of EM and 38 percent among other agencies. Four general linear models (GLMs) are developed and tested to determine the attributes of respondents who support improvements in (1) planning, (2) communications, (3) collaboration, and (4) transformation of agencies. An evaluative framework for measuring and managing resilience is developed and tested based on the responses. The analysis reveals diverse EM experiences, capabilities, and priorities, providing insight into future directions for sustaining and improving transportation resilience.

Author Biographies

Karl Kim, PhD

Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

Eric Yamashita, MURP

National Disaster Preparedness Training Center, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

Jiwnath Ghimire, PhD

Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii

Patricia G. Bye, MBA

Holicong Pennsylvania, Buckingham, Bucks, Pennsylvania

Deb Matherly, AICP

Principal Planner, WSP USA Solutions, Lexington, South Carolina


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How to Cite

Kim, PhD, K., E. Yamashita, MURP, J. Ghimire, PhD, P. G. Bye, MBA, and D. Matherly, AICP. “Knowledge to Action: Resilience Planning Among State and Local Transportation Agencies in the United States”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 21, no. 1, Jan. 2023, pp. 7-22, doi:10.5055/jem.0715.