Transportation

The assets contained in fleet vehicles and buses demonstrate a substantial investment to the district and are key components to returning to normalcy post event. Special effort should be taken to protect vehicles and to keep them in operational order during a major event. Replacement of these items would pose delays in re-establishing normal operations.

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Before the Event

  1. Verify appropriate insurance for buses

    1. A district will need comprehensive insurance to cover storm/flood damage, so this coverage should be verified with the insurance agent. Also, if buses were purchased with FEMA funds as the result of a past event, FEMA will help with replacement in the future only if comprehensive coverage is included on those new buses.
    2. Weigh insurance costs and deductibles versus the costs of evacuating buses and parking them off site to avoid any repair/replacement costs after the event.

  2. Consider protected or covered storage of vehicles and/or dispersing assets to avoid the catastrophic loss of all vehicles with one localized event – tornado, hail storm, etc.

  3. If the decision is made to evacuate the buses to protect the asset value, these issues must be considered.

    1. Who will drive the buses? Determine which drivers are available and agreeable to drive for the evacuation. Drivers could include their families on their buses during the evacuation. However, you should keep an available list of drivers and their emergency contact information for use after the evacuation.
    2. Insurance coverage – Pre-determine coverage if other drivers (both employees and non-employees) should drive the buses and whether or not coverage is in effect if buses are driven out of their normal transport area.
    3. Determine what devices you will use to allow for communication between vehicles and make sure those devises are available and charged, with back-up batteries.
    4. Distribute evacuation plan to drivers. Establish a realistic departure time in order to allow for traffic congestion.
    5. Pre-determine re-fueling sources that will readily be available both going and returning and methods for drivers to make payment. If necessary, you may wish to consider a tanker truck to be included in the convoy.

  4. In coordination with other organizations, consider the use of buses to transport community evacuees.

    1. Pre-determine whom they would want to evacuate on buses – elderly, low income neighborhoods, prisoners, nursing homes, retirement centers, hospitals, special needs students, Develop an MOU for these agencies including their personnel as riders on the bus to attend to evacuees.
    2. Establish with the agencies, routes for pick-up, evacuation and pre-determined destinations. Check with those destinations prior to departure to confirm their acceptance of the evacuees.

  5. If district transportation program is out-sourced, coordinate with the vendor regarding their plan to protect vehicles or to use vehicles for evacuation efforts.

  6. Develop an emergency communication system for implementation

    1. With civil authorities, including police, fire department, and Office of Homeland Security
    2. With local government if transporting general public
    3. Within the school district personnel, including other drivers and administrators

Immediately Prior to the Event

  1. Be sure all vehicles are fueled.

    1. Verify district stockpile of fuel or 3rd party availability

  2. Notify pre-determined destination for relocation of vehicles of their imminent arrival.

  3. Inspect and replenish emergency provisions (weather radio, paper, pencil, maps, extra batteries, flashlight, water, laminated list of emergency contact numbers) on each vehicle, as appropriate for geographic region.

    1. Confirm that communication equipment is on each vehicle.
    2. Provide for fuel cards or credit cards if moving vehicles out of the district. Consider that cash may be the best resource due to limited access to credit card service.
    3. Verify 3rd party fueling locations on route if destination is beyond range of one tank of gas.

  4. Verify with state police that roadways on the evacuation route are open and operational.

During the Event

  1. Evacuate the vehicle, wherever you are, and seek appropriate shelter. Do not ride out any storm in a vehicle.

After the Event

  1. Assess the sheltered vehicles for damage.

  2. Compile a list of vehicles capable of remaining in service.

    1. Conduct inventory of safety provisions on hand that could be used in other locations or shelters.
    2. Contact fueling vendors to make sure they are available for re-fueling the buses, if necessary.

  3. Determine opportunities for replenishment of fleet (replacement vehicles) based on current need.

  4. Perform accounting of receipts and credit cards to audit fueling costs.

  5. Determine local bus storage area condition and security.

  6. Begin recovery of vehicles stored out of district and assess condition of the vehicles after the return trip.

    1. Contact drivers at their sheltered locations and ascertain their readiness to return with the buses.
    2. Determine the safest route for vehicle return and coordinate that return with the drivers.
    3. Be prepared to give an estimate of time before buses are ready to run routes for the re-opening of school.

  7. Before re-opening campuses, drive bus routes to determine if they are passable and to assess if it is safe for school opening.

  8. If transportation service is out-sourced, contact the vendor to determine the extent of service available for restarting school.