multi-state planning, coordination & support activities
Integrated Planning and Coordination Activities
- Regional Rail Project - This project brought together the major rail carriers for passenger and freight railroads in six states and three principal cities, along with the DHS Transportation Security Agency. The project involved several integrated planning sessions and explored common emergency planning efforts and operational issues. A working group was formed and supported by the AHC. Several projects were funded by different sponsors. A regional report was produced and used by Congress during some of its hearings on rail safety. Funded by the NJ UASI as part of the regional projects objectives.
- Delaware Bay Regional Ports Workshop - This was the first integrated planning meeting of the AHC that brought 30 private sector companies together with three states and two urban areas to look at port security issues and projects going on within the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. The intent of this effort was to integrate planning efforts on a regional basis. A report was produced and several key relationships were established with the U.S. Navy and several of the States on key projects. Following the meeting, the AHC brokered many introductions and meetings between the private sector stakeholders. Funded by the NJ UASI as part of the regional projects objectives.
- Food Distribution Planning - This project focused on developing a multi-state regional plan to better coordinate the public and private sector efforts in the food distribution efforts. The core of this project was to have a common process and framework for state, local, and federal government agencies to restore infrastructure quickly so that the private sector food distribution and logistical organizations could open their stores faster to distribute food. This project involved 40 of the major food distributors within the region, along with government representatives from six states and two cities within the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Funded by the NJ UASI as part of the regional projects objectives.
- Social Media Trend Reporting for Emergency Management Pilot - This project was conducted in New Jersey and brought together 60 companies from seven different sectors (e.g. power, water, communications, retail, insurance, finance, and transportation/trucking). These companies were not all local, but represented businesses from around the nation. The project also included the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, State Police and the New Jersey Fusion Center. The pilot project focused on using public social media data that was captured, harvested to find professionals, reduced to action items and shared with both public and private sector participants. The project also explored how each sector utilized this information in their planning efforts. During SANDY, this pilot was extended to the NJ Fusion Center and the reports resulted in the saving of lives, the rescuing of stranded citizens, and identified public safety issues like looting and gang activity, along with hoaxes that were being perpetuated in the aftermath of SANDY. Funded by the private sector R&D funds from service providers.
- Multi-State Fleet Response Initiative Project - This project focused on the movement of private sector resources across state lines in response to regional disasters, whether from neighboring states or across the nation. This effort has produced a regional working group and workshops that included federal, state and private sector representatives from across the nation. Products from this group are already being produced that will assist multiple states, agencies and private sector utilities and supply-chain companies in their resource movement within the region. FEMA, DHS, DOT and DOE participate in this effort along with 60+ participants from the private sector, including representatives from power, telecom, transportation, food, water, retail, banking, chemical and nuclear. Funded by the NJ UASI as part of the regional projects objectives.
- Multiple RCPGP Grant Projects (e.g. Shelter in Place, Disaster Communications, Supply Chain Resiliency & Mass Care/Housing) - The AHC was involved in several multi-state projects as part of the Regional Catastrophic Planning Grant Program that involved dozens of private sector companies across several different sectors of the critical infrastructure. The relationships and information gathered during these multi-year, multi-state planning projects created access to new private sector relationships, information and processes. The AHC engaged several of these relationships in support of SANDY, particularly the companies who manage regional/national housing databases who quickly provided support to New York City and New Jersey in support of their housing efforts to support citizens left homeless by SANDY.
Integrated Planning Support
- Social Media Trending for New Jersey during Super Storm SANDY - During SANDY, this capability was used both by public and private sectors to protect property and individuals and provide early warning to law enforcement and emergency management officials on specific activities being reported on public social media sites. Reports and alerts provided to the NJ Fusion Center resulted in the rescuing of a drowning person in the Toms River, rescuing stranded citizens on rooftops, identifying looting and property damage, and alerting law-enforcement to false reports of sharks in the Toms River. The AHC facilitated the process and the relationships between the service provider, state government and the outreach to the private sector.
- Regional Rail Operations Status Reports - A partnership was developed with the Association of American Railroads (AAR) which resulted in the sharing of their daily status reports on the “current state” of commuter and freight rail systems during hurricane SANDY. This information helped both public and private sector move their essential personnel and other resources into the affected regions quicker which improved their response efforts. The AHC facilitated the process and the relationships between the state governments, the outreach to the private sector and the involvement of TSA.
- Private Sector Resource Reports Sent To States - Reports were generated daily and distributed that contained the potential open/closed status of thousands of fast food stores, gas stations, convenience stores, pharmacies, and hotels during SANDY. This information went viral and was utilized by tens of thousands of public and private sector responders, support staff, temporary workers, and companies moving resources into the region. These reports provided valuable data that would allow people to know where there might be fuel, food, and hotels to support temporary relief workers. This data was also used by the federal government and FEMA in a variety of ways and was briefed to White House and DHS officials daily during the first five days of the storm. This data was also used in preparation for SANDY’s landfall to pre-position assets where they would most likely be needed. The AHC facilitated this process, attracted and managed the data providers, integrated and formatted the data into Excel, and distributed the information to its members and partners across the region. The AHC coordinated closely with FEMA, NY and NJ and their private sector efforts to ensure widespread coverage of the emails.
- Multi-State Fleet Response Initiative Support - This private sector working group is supported by the AHC, and is focusing on developing information products that help the private sector understand how each State operates, where to find the information that they need in order to enter or pass through a State while responding, and to know who the contact offices are in each state as they move across the region. The working group has doubled in size in the past year and is looking to improve its products and information, with the goal of developing them into products which can be used nationally. The AHC is supporting the effort by facilitating the process and working group, coordinating the federal involvement, providing outreach to the private sector and integrating the multiple state agencies and regulators from Pennsylvania and New Jersey involved in the resource movement process.
- Interim Housing Locations - The AHC was approached by the States and FEMA during SANDY to assist with finding housing locations for displaced citizens. The AHC used its private sector relationships to identify companies in the housing industry who had inventory of available locations around the country. Very quickly, these private sector organizations were introduced to government agencies and engaged to support the New Jersey and New York City efforts by providing thousands of units to be used by displaced citizens from SANDY. The AHC provided the outreach to the suppliers, facilitated the introductions, coordinated and integrated this effort with government efforts, and provided the follow-up to report progress.
- Fueling Station Availability - As part of the daily private sector resource reports effort, the AHC interfaced with a number of different data providers regarding fuel. The AHC from Day One of SANDY was able to capture and integrate several sources of information from fuel station providers and supply chains that were compiled into daily private sector resource reports. These reports were then sent via email to tens of thousands of stakeholders across the region for use in a variety of ways.