Museum Handbook: Primer on Disaster Preparedness
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Orange Line Graphic
Orange Block Graphic Major Transportation Accident

Major transportation accidents are those involving any of the various modes of transportation (e.g., highways, waterways, railways, and airways). Such accidents could occur at any time and any place, and often involve multiple injuries and/or deaths.

Many facilities are not prepared (and are not expected to be prepared) to cope with the type of problems created by a major transportation accident. Should such a disaster occur, initiate life-saving and property protection actions until assistance can be provided from the community. For example, security personnel are trained to extinguish small fires and to ensure the safe evacuation of the public. The medical staff and/or persons trained in first aid can attend injured persons. Also, during regular work hours, the staff can implement appropriate measures to protect the collections and other physical assets.

Should a major transportation accident occur, many decisions regarding the appropriate emergency actions to take will have to be made "on-the-spot" based on the situation. For instance, are hazardous materials involved and/or are there casualties? Is there a need to evacuate? Is there damage to the facility itself and/or are the utilities functioning? For the appropriate protective actions to take for a specific hazard (i.e., fire, hazardous materials, explosions, utility failure, etc.) refer to the respective section in this booklet.