In response to an extraordinary uptick in the tempo and severity of extreme weather events that have been affecting freight railroad operations and the needs of its members, the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has developed and provided resources designed to proactively assist its members in addressing the challenges of both weather and non-weather caused emergency events affecting employees, shippers, infrastructure, and operations.
“Extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, intense heat waves, record cold snaps, floods, fires, and all variety of natural disasters can cause widespread damage to the national rail network, disrupting normal business operations for customers that depend on freight rail service. The potential human, community and economic impact of such events underscores the critical need for short line railroads to have a well thought-out emergency plan in place that can be activated at a moment’s notice,” said Chuck Baker, president of ASLRRA. “Short lines need to be thinking through disaster preparation, response, mitigation and resiliency on the calm days so that they’re ready to respond in a crisis. As we looked to help our members in this effort, we put out the call for resources and our staff and supplier members answered that call, providing resources that can be adapted to fit a railroad operation’s unique needs in advance of an emergency occurrence.”
Materials provided on the website so far cover disaster planning, HazMat response, and instructions on accessing an emergency docket in addition to links to other government websites. The site will continue to be updated and improved.
ASLRRA also has a robust selection of recorded webinars available for members in the On-Demand Resource Library that may be used to prepare and train for emergency situations. Topics range from crisis communications and media training to hazardous materials incident reporting and emergency notifications section review.
Disaster preparedness also is a key component of the educational programming being provided at ASLRRA’s fall 2019 Regional Meetings and will be a topic for multiple breakout sessions at the 2020 Annual Meeting. For meeting registration information click here.
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