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Guidance on Rapid Impact Assessment for Highway Networks

Authors:
  • HD Research

Abstract and Figures

Globally, the impacts of hazards on highway infrastructure are increasing. Whether this increase is the result of climate change and/or the expansion of the built environment into hazardous areas (e.g., floodplains), is immaterial. The important factor to understand is that a community's highway network should be considered as its principal 'lifeline'. As such, maintaining highway functionality in the face of hazard effects must be regarded as a priority by those responsible for their management. Highways also act to host, carry and connect other lifeline infrastructures, such as pipelines and cabling, medical supplies and critical facilities respectively. Thus, the importance of highway functionality and return to functionality after damage is further amplified. Effective Rapid Impact Assessment builds situational awareness and supports the risk-based prioritisation of asset repair. As such the development of RIA processes has been listed as a priority in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. Taking this into account, whilst during the scoping of this guidance it was found that generic RIA processes did exist, no highway-asset specific methodology was identified. This guidance, therefore, constitutes the first structured approach to a describing a methodology that suitably recognises and substantiates the lifeline status of these assets. Described in stages that reflect the Integrated Emergency Management (IEM) cycle, this guidance leads the user through a systematic process of preparedness, response and recovery activities. This underpins the consistency of information collection that is needed to ensure affected highway infrastructure is returned to its lifeline functionality as effectively as possible following any disruption.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Emergency Preparedness, Response & Recovery:
Guidance on Rapid Impact
Assessment for Highway Networks
If you are reading this document for the first time during a Major
Incident the Rapid Impact Assessment Process, that describes the
systematic approach to completing an RIA is overleaf.
The RIA forms (5 stages) are in Appendix 2 (from p.28)
Rapid Impact Assessment Process
i
Foreword
Globally, the impacts of hazards on highway infrastructure
are increasing. Whether this increase is the result of
climate change and/or the expansion of the built
environment into hazardous areas (e.g., floodplains), is
immaterial. The important factor to understand is that a
communitys highway network should be considered as its
principal lifeline. As such, maintaining highway
functionality in the face of hazard effects must be regarded
as a priority by those responsible for their management.
Highways also act to host, carry and connect other lifeline
infrastructures, such as pipelines and cabling, medical
supplies and critical facilities respectively. Thus, the
importance of highway functionality and return to functionality after damage is further amplified.
In terms of addressing climate change it is obvious that decarbonisation and energy efficiency are
vital mitigation goals, which hold the potential to reduce the impacts of projected increases in
extreme weather in the future. However, what is becoming increasingly clear, is that there are
changes in extreme weather already baked in to the climate system. This means that regardless of
our success in cutting emissions, we are currently facing more damaging storms, droughts and sea
level rise. We need to adapt to these. Lifeline infrastructure is also, however, impacted by other
hazards, including accidents and malicious acts (e.g., terrorism). This hazard profile presents genuine
risks our exposed communities and their highway assets.
Given the likelihood of hazards and that their impacts may increase, the importance of Rapid Impact
Assessment (RIA) becomes clear. Effective Rapid Impact Assessment builds situational awareness
and supports the risk-based prioritisation of asset repair. As such the development of RIA processes
has been listed as a priority in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.
Taking this into account, whilst during the scoping of this guidance it was found that generic RIA
processes did exist, no highway-asset specific methodology was identified. This guidance, therefore,
constitutes the first structured approach to a methodology that suitably recognises and
substantiates the lifeline status of these assets.
Described in stages that reflect the Integrated Emergency Management (IEM) cycle, this guidance
leads the user through a systematic process of preparedness, response and recovery activities. This
underpins the consistency of information collection that is needed to ensure affected highway
infrastructure is returned to its lifeline functionality as effectively as possible following any
disruption.
Dr Hugh Deeming
HD Research Ltd.
ii
Contents
Glossary of terms ................................................................................................................................... iv
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 1
The reason for this guidance .............................................................................................................. 1
................................................................................................................................................................ 3
What this guidance provides .................................................................................................................. 4
What do we mean by Rapid Impact Assessment? .............................................................................. 4
Why do we need a Rapid Impact Assessment procedure?..................................................................... 5
Implementing a planning procedure for effective Rapid Impact Assessment........................................ 6
Activation of a Rapid Impact Assessment Procedure during a Major Incident ...................................... 6
Phase 1: Prioritise and prepare ........................................................................................................... 6
Analyse initial information .............................................................................................................. 6
Establish authority to conduct assessment .................................................................................... 7
Establish RIA Management Function .............................................................................................. 7
Generate a rapid impact assessment action plan/checklist ........................................................... 7
Define area for survey ..................................................................................................................... 8
Convene and assign assessment personnel .................................................................................... 8
Train and brief assessment personnel ............................................................................................ 9
Equip assessment personnel ........................................................................................................... 9
Phase 2: Collect information ............................................................................................................... 9
Information from other sources ................................................................................................... 10
Phase 3: Analyse information ........................................................................................................... 10
Phase 4: Disseminate information .................................................................................................... 11
Use information to inform more detailed assessment ................................................................. 12
The 5-stage Transport Network RIA process ........................................................................................ 13
Stage 1: Rapid Impact Assessment for Highway and Network Infrastructure: Defined network area
of interest) ........................................................................................................................................ 14
Stage 2: Major Incident: Network Infrastructure Rapid Impact Assessment (RIA) Form ................. 16
Stage 3: Initial asset Visible Damage Rating (VDR) assessment........................................................ 16
Asset location and description ...................................................................................................... 17
Dangerous Structures ................................................................................................................... 19
Damage Assessment ..................................................................................................................... 19
Damage to aligned networks ........................................................................................................ 19
Initial Visible Damage Rating (VDR) .............................................................................................. 20
Prioritising Undamaged (Green-rated) Assets for re-opening .......................................................... 20
Stage 4: Technical Damage assessment............................................................................................ 21
iii
Specialist technical assessment .................................................................................................... 21
Asset Residual Capability .............................................................................................................. 21
Current Status of Asset ................................................................................................................. 22
Stage 5: ‘Asset within network’ impact assessment ......................................................................... 22
Diversion route ............................................................................................................................. 23
Consequence Assessment ............................................................................................................. 23
Impact Matrix ................................................................................................................................ 24
Asset within Network Status ......................................................................................................... 25
Post-RIA Asset Status .................................................................................................................... 27
Rapid Impact Assessment - completion ........................................................................................ 27
Asset Status Update ...................................................................................................................... 27
Appendices ............................................................................................................................................ 28
Appendix 1: The RIA preparedness process...................................................................................... 29
Appendix 2: The 5-Stage Rapid Impact Assessment proforma ......................................................... 31
Appendix 3: UNICLASS 2015 - Highway specific entities .................................................................. 41
Acknowledgements
My interest in developing a highway-sector specific RIA process was initially seeded during my
review of Cumbrias response to and recovery from Storm Desmond (Deeming & Otley, 2018). This
interest led to conversations with the late Steve Berry OBE at DfT and John Lamb, the then President
of the Local Government Technical Advisers Group (LGTAG). The completion of this guidance
document is in large part due to the interest and encouragement these two mentors provided me,
and I thank them.
The work has been subjected to national and international review. This has undoubtedly improved
the guidance, with the feedback from experts allowing me to develop what I believe to be a
document that informs the development of effective highways RIA practice across all three key
levels of emergency management coordination: strategic, tactical, and operational.
Writing this guidance has also, however, led me to work with a team comprising myself, John Lamb,
Jonathan Munslow and the IT developers WPM to focus this guidance into the development of a
state-of-the-art highway-asset RIA system. Stormchain© will be beta-tested through the autumn of
2021 ready for launch in January 2022. I could not have considered this even as a possibility without
this team.
iv
Glossary of terms
COBR Cabinet Office Briefing Room
CoP Common Operating Picture
Single display of information collected from and shared by more than one agency or
organisation that contributes to a common understanding of a situation and its associated
hazards and risks along, with the position of resources and other overlays of information
that support individual and collective decision making
CRIP Common Recognised Information Picture
A single, authoritative strategic overview of an emergency or crisis that is developed
according to a standard template and is intended for briefing and decision-support
purposes. The CRIP is only used by COBR
DGPS Differential Global Positioning System
DLO Direct Labour Organisation
DRA Dynamic Risk Assessment
EAOI Encompassing Area of Interest
The area identified as containing the entire impact zone within which assets may have been
damaged by a specific hazard/threat
GIS Geographic Information System
IEM Integrated Emergency Management
JESIP JESIP models and principles have become the standard for interoperability in the UK. JESIP is
scalable, so the five joint working principles and models can be applied to any type of multi-agency
incident.
LiDAR Light Detection and Ranging
Local Critical Highway Infrastructure
A local infrastructure asset that has been identified as being of key importance in a local
highway authority area. The loss or compromise of such an asset could result in significant
economic or social impacts, including casualties or loss of life.
o e.g. a bridge that provides a sole road connection for a community split by a river
and/or acts as host for other critical infrastructure (e.g. a key fibre network)
LRF Local Resilience Forum
MAIC Multi-Agency Information Cell
METHANE is the recognised common model for passing incident information between services and
their control rooms. METHANE messages can be formatted using a mobile device using the JESIP
App.
NAOI Network Area of Interest
The sub-division of the Encompassing Area of Interest (EAOI) that defines the operating area
of specific RIA teams. The number of NAOIs into which the EAOI is divided will be dependent
on factors such as, the scale of the event, resource availability (e.g. team numbers) and
topography
PPE Personal protective equipment
RAG-Rating
A system for classifying damage and/or impact to assets using a Red, Amber, Green scale of
most serious to least serious, respectively
Resilient Network
A highway network that has been identified and designated to receive priority through
maintenance and other measures in order to maintain economic activity and access to key
services during disruptive events.
v
RIA Rapid Impact Assessment
SCG Strategic Coordinating Group
Sit-Rep Situation Report
TCG Tactical Coordinating Group
SOP Standard Operating Procedures
SRG Strategic Recovery Group
VDR Visible Damage Rating
Plate 1: Forge Bridge, Keswick, Cumbria (March 2016) ©Deeming 2016
1
Introduction
Local Highway Authorities in the UK are designated as Category 1 responders under the Civil
Contingencies Act 2004. This places statutory duties on them, including the duties to collaborate
with partners to assess risks, and to plan for their multi-agency response to emergencies and major
incidents and for their recovery operations following such incidents.
Highway Authorities also possess key responsibilities for the management of ‘lifeline’ assets such as
roads and bridges. Accordingly, it is important that they are able to quickly and efficiently quantify
any impacts on their assets in the event they are damaged by a hazard (e.g., flood), accident or
malicious act (e.g., terrorism).
This guidance outlines a framework to deliver nationally consistent Rapid Impact Assessment (RIA)
procedures for the inspection of highway assets following hazard impacts in the UK.
The aim of this guidance is to ensure that Highway Authorities or Operators and their professional
partners (including contractors) have an agreed process through which to carry out the Rapid Impact
Assessment (RIA) of damage to highway assets and associated network infrastructure. It is proposed
that adoption of this process would provide timely situational awareness during high-pressure
dynamic incidents, a basis for the prioritisation of repair works, and the foundations for effective
recovery planning.
In effect this consistent approach to Rapid Impact Assessment and reporting provides a mechanism
through which Local Highway Authorities can increase their own, their professional partners’ and
their communities’ resilience against hazards and threats.
The reason for this guidance
In recent years, the UK has been affected by a series of hazard events that have directly impacted
communities in significant ways. One aspect of this is that we have regularly experienced the
severing or restriction of highway access to communities.
The local highways network should be considered as lifeline infrastructure
1
and should be managed
as such. This is particularly the case in respect to local authorities’ defined resilient networks’
2
. For
example, highways literally provide lifelines for anyone needing medical treatment. Another
perspective on the term lifeline, however, focusses on communities’ social functions. When highway
connections between communities and their facilities (e.g., schools) and/or between businesses and
their markets are cut, this has direct effects on community life, sustainability, and business
continuity.
1
The concept of Community Lifelines has been adopted here following its introduction into international
Emergency Management doctrine by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in 2019:
https://www.fema.gov/emergency-managers/practitioners/lifelines
2
Resilient networks are defined as the parts of a local authority’s network to which it gives priority through
maintenance and other measures in order to maintain economic activity and access to key services during
extreme weather.
2
Local examples of highway disruption, such as the extended closures of the A361 in Somerset during
the floods of 2013/14 and of the A591 in Cumbria following Storm Desmond in 2015, provide clear
illustration that the effect of highways’ being damaged by natural hazards can include significant
negative consequences for local populations.
Nationally, major flood-generating storms over the past 20 years have resulted in hundreds of
millions of pounds of damage to highway infrastructure. For example, the cumulative cost of road
damage and delays following floods in 2007, 2013/14 and 2015 alone has been calculated at £633m.
Unfortunately, projections of future climate change are increasingly agreeing that the occurrence of
extreme-weather emergencies and the damage they cause, are set to increase in the future
3
. This
provides justification and an impetus for highway and other network practitioners to be
collaborating to build resilience into the networks and their procedures in order to prevent and,
when necessary, to manage and recover from such events as effectively as possible.
From this perspective recent research
4
into lessons learned by the highway sector from extreme-
weather events has identified the importance of effective Rapid Impact Assessment (RIA) processes:
By providing consistent guidance that underpins the development of a common
understanding of impacts across response and recovery teams, thus reducing potential
confusion during stressful operations.
Underpinning local authorities management of recovery programmes (e.g., by providing
means to prioritise the repair of assets that bear the greatest importance for affected
communities)
Providing a basis for a consistent and structured approach through which to apply for and
draw grant funding to deliver infrastructure repair and resilience.
This guidance lays out the 5-stage process of a recommended Rapid Impact Assessment for Highway
and Network Infrastructure. The 5 stages comprise:
1) The selection of a defined Network Area of Interest (NAOI)
2) Declaration of a Major Incident
3) Initial asset damage assessment
4) Technical Damage Assessment
5) ‘Asset with network’ Impact Assessment
Figure 1 illustrates the rapid impact assessment cycle, from planning, and capability building through
preparedness to activation during response and programme development for recovery.
3
https://www.theccc.org.uk/uk-climate-change-risk-assessment-2017/
4
DEEMING, H. (2019). Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery: identifying lessons learned by UK
highways sector from extreme-weather emergencies (2015-2018) (A report prepared for the Department for
Transport and the Local Government Technical Advisers Group). Bentham, UK, HD Research.
3
Figure 1: Rapid Impact Assessment Process
4
What this guidance provides
This guidance provides a methodology to underpin the creation of a database of prioritised
Highways Network Infrastructure and a standardised Rapid Impact Assessment process that utilises a
list to guide owners, operators and responders to prioritise and resolve incidents swiftly, efficiently
and intelligently.
What do we mean by Rapid Impact Assessment?
The process this guidance describes constitutes the preliminary (i.e. rapid) assessment of damage to
assets, of the consequences such damage may have for those using the network within which the
asset is positioned and the potential impact these two factors bear on the communities, businesses
and services the highway network links together.
‘Rapid’, in this context, relates to the immediate gathering of sufficient information to enable
managers to attain initial shared situational awareness of both the scale of the incident being dealt
with and the scope of response needed to remediate impacts.
From this perspective it is important to differentiate these three key concepts:
Damage: Damage to an asset signifies a breakage. If an asset is damaged it is no longer
working correctly (e.g., within agreed structural or safety parameters)
Consequences: Consequences denote the effect, result or outcome of something occurring
(e.g., the consequence of the bridge collapse was that the villagers had to negotiate a 15-
mile diversion to the local town)
Impact: for the purposes of this guidance impact can be understood through the equation:
Impact = Damage x Consequences
When applying this equation to the calculation of impacts from infrastructure damage it can
be understood that some assets may be badly damaged, but this damage would have limited
consequences and thus low impact (e.g. a culvert collapse on a short section of easily by-
passable C-road). Whereas the consequences of damage to a narrow, single lane, stone
masonry arch bridge that acts as the sole access/egress for a small hamlet would constitute
a significant impact for that community.
In essence, if a risk-based approach
5
is adopted then it is the amount of impact any damage
to a particular asset constitutes, not the amount of damage per se, that should inform the
way that the repair of that asset is prioritised and programmed.
5
As per current UK guidance for the sector, see: UKRLG (2013) Highway Infrastructure Asset Management.
London, UK Roads Liaison Group
5
Why do we need a Rapid Impact Assessment procedure?
This procedure and associated resources have been developed as guidance in direct response to
learning in the UK and worldwide in respect to the importance of rapid impact assessment as a key
component of integrated emergency management.
Learning in the UK includes lessons related to successes and shortfalls in relation to the assessment
of impacts from the Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank in 2015 which led to the observation in a
review of highway sector experiences during extreme events since 2015
6
:
It is important for hazard-impacted authorities to present the Ministerial Recovery Group
with a coherent ‘ask’ following emergencies. Therefore, is there a way for local authorities to
develop and agree consistent impact assessment procedures in order to present formatted
common recognised information pictures that support the development of repair/funding
priority lists into 3 categories, e.g., quick wins; damage that needs to be investigated; long
term projects (over one year)?
UK Government civil protection guidance does advocate the importance of impact assessment for
local responders. Therefore, the development of Rapid Impact Assessment tools for the Highway
Sector aligns with and progresses this guidance by providing a clear and consistent methodology.
The United Nations Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction
7
also establishes a global priority
for formalising “processes and systems to enable effective assessment of post-disaster damages and
needs in order to more accurately quantify recovery strategies [i.e., Rapid Impact Assessment].
International examples of RIA guidance and learning that have informed the development of this
currently unique sector-specific guidance include:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), US, Damage Assessment Operations
Manual: A Guide to Assessing Damage and Impact
The Ministry for Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM)
8
, New Zealand, Rapid
Impact Assessment Information for the CDEM Sector [IS 13/14]
Tohoku Regional Bureau Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Japan, Leading the first response to
large-scale natural disasters
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) Post-Disaster Needs
Assessments Guidelines Volume B Transport, World Bank
6
DEEMING, H. (2019) Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery: identifying lessons learned by UK highways
sector from extreme-weather emergencies (2015-2018) A report prepared for the Department for Transport and the
Local Government Technical Advisers Group, HD Research, Bentham, UK (p.47)
7
https://www.undrr.org/publication/sendai-framework-disaster-risk-reduction-2015-2030
8
In December 2019 New Zealand’s CDEM was restructured and renamed as The National Emergency
Management Agency (NEMA)
6
These international examples of guidance describe relatively generic cross-sector RIA processes,
within which the assessment of damage to highway infrastructure is one part.
What is clear from the analysis of UK experience, however, is that the ‘lifeline’ function of highways,
and their shielding role in facilitating and protecting the resilience of aligned critical services and
infrastructure, requires a more sophisticated approach to understanding and responding to impacts.
This guidance, therefore, should be regarded as innovative and as a stimulus for other sectors to
appreciate the need to develop tailored RIA procedures for their own assets and to align them with
the highways sector’s leadership in this, rather than it being for the highways sector to wait for
leadership from elsewhere.
Implementing a planning procedure for effective Rapid Impact
Assessment
For a Rapid Impact Assessment procedure to work effectively when it is needed, preparedness is
vital. Appendix 1 describes the series of objectives and work that can build such a capability.
The steps described in this process have been summarised clearly by New Zealand’s CDEM,
therefore Appendix 1 draws largely on their work, but focusses on laying the foundations for
planning and implementing a highways RIA process within the multi-agency Local Resilience Forum
context in the UK.
Activation of a Rapid Impact Assessment Procedure during a Major
Incident
Again, a recognised RIA activation process has been presented by New Zealand’s CDEM. This section,
therefore, draws on that adopted approach and aligns it for effective use in the UK highway sector.
The four phases of RIA activation are:
1. Prioritise and prepare
2. Collect information
3. Analyse information
4. Disseminate information
Phase 1: Prioritise and prepare
Analyse initial information
It is important to build as much situational awareness of what the scope of a rapid impact
assessment needs to be for any particular incident as soon as possible. Highways Authorities have
access to many types of useful data that can be assessed as part of this activation process. These
data streams include:
METHANE messaging from incidents (Figure 2)
7
o Visual inspections/observations by Operational teams
CCTV feeds:
o Direct from key assets
o from Highways control centre
o from partner organisations
Telemetry and analysis (road-surface conditions, river flows at key locations/bridges)
Mapping (e.g. Google Maps and other traffic apps)
Social Media streams
As effective incident response requires
multi-agency interoperability, it is
important to have access to highways
relevant information being collected by
other partners too. Some Local Resilience
Forum partnerships have developed a
Multi-Agency Information Cell (MAIC)
capability for this purpose.
Establish authority to conduct
assessment
If a major incident has been declared, such
authority is most likely to come through
the Strategic and/or Tactical Coordination
Group via the Local Authority Gold or
Highways Silver.
Responsibilities and accountabilities
should be clearly defined before any
consideration of sending people into
potentially hazardous conditions.
Establish RIA Management Function
It is important to establish the RIA management structure. Nominating the RIA Manager who will
take responsibility for all aspects of the RIA process is, therefore, an initial priority that ensures that,
deployments, data handling and decision making occurs within an appropriate chain of
responsibility.
Generate a rapid impact assessment action plan/checklist
An RIA action plan should include
A situation overview:
o Outline of affected area and network
Figure 2: METHANE is now the recognised common model for
passing incident information between services and their
control rooms.
8
o Key network attributes (e.g., any information regarding assets of local importance in
area)
o Known and estimated impact
Use video footage if available, e.g., Police Helicopter, drone, CCTV (e.g.,
Traffic-cam, bridge-mounted CCTV)
RIA objectives
Safety considerations (e.g., procedures for hazardous locations, PPE)
o A dynamic risk assessment should be conducted, with iterative risk assessments
being carried out by RIA teams as circumstances dictate once in the field.
o Consider viewing weather-station/camera data to assess risks at sites
Limiting factors (e.g., safety zones and perimeters set up by partner agencies)
Prioritised areas, networks, and infrastructure (e.g., the Resilient Network)
Resources available for deployment and estimates for any additional resources required
(e.g., military aid, private sector partners, organised community volunteers)
Reporting format, recipients, and timings
o The Strategic and Tactical coordination groups will require information to be
presented in accordance with a defined ‘Battle rhythm’. The RIA process should
resonate to this same rhythm.
Define area for survey
The RIA manager and coordination team should define the overall priorities of the assessment, they
should define the extent of the area to be surveyed and the task objectives of each deployed team.
The RIA coordination team should map the whole affected area (Encompassing Area of Interest) and
if necessary, apply a systematic process to sub-divide that area into smaller areas that can be
allocated to field teams as individual RIA Network Areas of Interest.
The RIA template provides space for the team to insert the relevant map for each assessment team
(see RIA form Stage 1: Rapid Impact Assessment for Highway and Network Infrastructure: Defined
network (Area of Interest)).
Convene and assign assessment personnel
Dependent on the scale of the incident, impact assessment teams may be drawn from:
local authority operations teams,
from partner agencies,
mutual aid resources,
private-sector partners,
military (subject to Ministerial approval),
voluntary sector
communities (e.g. local authority coordinated flood or snow wardens)
It is therefore important to establish and clarify reporting lines and processes within the team (e.g.
by appointing and training a team leader)
9
Train and brief assessment personnel
Training for RIA teams must include:
the importance of conducting systematic inspections within a Network Area of Interest
(NAOI)
the process of completing the form and/or the functionality and use of technology on which
it is installed (e.g., tablet)
dynamic risk assessment to identify health and safety aspects of working around assets in
hazardous conditions (e.g., floodwater). This includes familiarity with Personal Protective
Equipment (PPE)
Once trained the teams can be briefed. Briefings should outline the incident and areas of interest to
be assessed, what is known, and a safety briefing on protocols for operating in hazardous areas (e.g.
rules in relation to driving in flood water, use of PPE).
Set a reasonable timeframe for assessment teams to report back to an agreed location after
deployment.
Equip assessment personnel
Provide all assessment personnel with:
A copy of relevant Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for resources being provided
Identification
Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), safety equipment and First Aid kit
If the RIA form is loaded as an app:
o A tablet or other device with installed:
RIA reporting App
Camera for image capture
Wireless signal booster to assist in dynamic data uploading
Maps and hard copy forms (in case IT fails)
Means of communication (radio, mobile phone)
Transport/travel arrangements (e.g. designated driver)
Access to food and water
Phase 2: Collect information
RIA teams should be deployed from a forward control point into their Network Area of Interest to
conduct their assigned RIA.
Once their tasking is completed, RIA teams should report back to an agreed location (e.g. RIA
forward control point) and sign back in.
Team leaders should then submit any forms, either manually or electronically, to the RIA
coordinator. If data has been submitted from the field, it should be ensured that all data has been
received for processing.
10
Consider debriefing all returning personnel (e.g. to quickly identify any potential issues with the RIA
process)
The team leader should confirm that any partner organisations whose infrastructure is suspected to
have been damaged within or adjacent to highway assets that have been assessed has been
contacted and inspection measures put in place (see RIA form Stage 3 Damage to Aligned Networks)
Information from other sources
The RIA manager and team should regularly review other sources of information (e.g., news, social
media, community groups), which may assist in understanding impacts on the highway network
infrastructure and ensure that this is collected and assessed within the appropriate structure (e.g., in
the Multi-Agency Information Cell).
Phase 3: Analyse information
All data collected during an RIA should be gathered into a single database for analysis and ownership
and management of that data should be centralised.
Local authorities duties under the Highways Act and other legislation is non-delegable. Accordingly,
Highway Authorities bear the ultimate responsibility to manage major incident / disaster recovery on
their networks. In terms of recovery management, efficiency may be seriously compromised if local
authorities’ Direct Labour Organisations (DLO) and/or contractors use different datasets and
data/project management procedures. To avoid this the RIA data should be centralised into one
local authority authorised ‘recovery’ hub. Sector good practice has illustrated that once centrally
stored and analysed (with any secondary technical expert analyses tracked and re-integrated back
into the database), the collated information can then be more easily and consistently synthesised to
inform the development of an encompassing risk-based recovery programme.
Initial analyses should include, at a minimum:
1. Mapping: RIA form data should be mapped to enable spatial assessment of hazard impact
across the network.
This will help identify actual or potential cascade impacts along and across routes. For
example, diverse asset impacts between the port and the motorway could result in multiple
diversions focusing disrupted traffic to a single junction, which then causes traffic ‘gridlock’
that amplifies the impacts.
Mapping will also enable assessment of the information with regard to other transport (e.g.,
rail, air) and critical Local Authority/partner resources.
2. Data should be collated and sorted as appropriate to information need / use. For example, it
might be useful to sort by variables such as risk factors, asset type, asset condition, on/off
resilient network, or magnitude of route severance / restriction.
3. Analysis outputs should be sent to asset experts. For example, the bridge impact data should
go to the structures team for them to consider / review / comment as early as possible. Any
additional information they provide should be directly integrated into the database /
11
mapping to better inform decision making, i.e., technical reports should be filed against the
relevant asset’s Unique Reference Number/Identifier (URN). Likewise, diversion routes
should be vetted by the Traffic Management team at the earliest opportunity in order to
ensure route suitability (e.g., weight limits, width restrictions)
Phase 4: Disseminate information
Impact assessment outputs are intended to:
Provide the RIA manager with consistent information into the visual damage to assets and
the impacts (damage x consequences) in affected areas.
Assist incident coordinating groups (e.g., TCG, SCG, SRG) to develop a Common Operating
Picture (CoP) of the impacts of an emergency/major incident
Inform response planning and decisions in respect to understanding the status of the
incident and its transition into a recovery phase.
Inform necessary asset stabilisation activity, and
Underpin recovery planning and programme development
Procedures should be put in place to ensure that formatted reports can be generated from the
database in line with the incident management battle rhythm (e.g. the total numbers and
categories of all impact-rated assets that have been assessed to that point should be available for
each specified coordinating group meeting).
Whilst local authority IT and GIS systems may not be compatible with other systems being used
during an incident to produce maps and reports. Sharing, by using the Cabinet Office
ResilienceDirect platform would, therefore, greatly improve the ability of other partners to access
RIA analyses (e.g., in the Strategic Coordination Centre). However, the currently limited functionality
of ResilienceDirect for this type of use (e.g., showing asset inventories and dynamic traffic flows)
has been noted
9
. Accordingly, Highway Authorities are encouraged to collaborate with their partner
responders’ resilience planning teams to develop their own methods for sharing these mapping
outputs directly with incident coordination groups: even if this requires working in parallel with
ResilienceDirect.
For major incidents of national importance, reports and analyses should be generated in a format
that can be easily integrated into the Common Recognised Information Picture (CRIP) format used by
the Cabinet Office Briefing Room (COBR).
During the preparedness phase (Appendix 1), the Highway Authority should liaise with MHCLG
Resilience and Emergencies Division (RED), to ensure the most effective way for this to be done can
be adopted.
9
Cross (2018) Multi-agency flood plan review: final report Defra, London
12
Use information to inform more detailed assessment
Effective adoption of the sequential RIA process described in this guidance will increase shared
situational awareness of impacts affecting the highway network and aligned services. The
information collected and systematically archived will underpin response, stabilisation and recovery
efforts to ensure the function of these ‘lifeline’ infrastructure is brought on-line as effectively as
possible.
13
The 5-stage Transport Network RIA process
This section of the guidance focuses on describing the components of the template RIA forms
(Appendix 2).
The template comprises five stages, each outlining a specific phase of the stepwise RIA process:
1) The selection of a defined Network Area of Interest (NAI)
2) Declaration of a Major Incident
3) Dynamic Risk Assessment and initial asset Visible Damage Rating (VDR)
4) Technical Damage Assessment
5) ‘Asset within network’ Impact Assessment
For the purposes of this guidance, it should be noted that these forms are presented in ‘dumb’
format, in the sense that none of their attributes are linked to any external web-based applications.
In effect, this means that the forms are ready to be printed off and used immediately in the field:
where they could be completed in pencil if required.
The most important aspect of the dumb nature of these resources, however, is not that they are
expected to be used in this manner. Rather, the forms have been developed, simply to illustrate
what information is required to be collected, and at what stage, as part of an ordered and consistent
RIA process.
What the proposed sequential assessment promotes, therefore, is a process through which shared
situational awareness of impacts can be built upward, from multiple inherently local contexts to the
national level as may be required (e.g., Lead Government Departments, COBR and/or the Ministerial
Recovery Group).
As yet, an app has not been developed as part of this guidance simply because the variety of IT
platforms, GIS systems, software and Apps currently used across the breadth of the highways sector
could make the development of a platform-limited template frustratingly exclusive
10
.
Accordingly, the principle underpinning the forms is that users of the guidance are encouraged to
take the structure and attributes of the form and transfer them directly into the web-enabled
application format (likely GIS-based), which best matches their own organisation’s IT hardware and
software capabilities.
Once the data has been collated and analysed, it does not then matter what system has been used,
the data outputs should be directly comparable, whether the RIA was conducted in Cornwall or
Cumbria.
The complete 5-stage RIA template is included in this guidance as Appendix 2.
10
This is not to say that a single RIA reporting app will not be developed in the future.
14
Stage 1: Rapid Impact Assessment for Highway and Network Infrastructure: Defined
network area of interest)
The preliminary stage of the RIA process is to define the geographic area within which each
assessment team is to operate. Objectively, in order that it include all damaged assets the
Encompassing Area of Interest (EAOI) should include the whole geographic area affected by the
incident (i.e. for wide-area events this may necessitate the designation of a whole county as the
EAOI).
Such an area may be too large for any single assessment team to inspect all assets efficiently and
speedily. Accordingly, the encompassing area of interest should be broken down into smaller
network units, with each of these sub-units being geo-spatially defined and identified using a
systematic labelling scheme.
For illustrative purposes, assets in a notional sub-unit Network Area of Interest, have been labelled
in this guidance document in a way that can be broken down into three elements:
RIA_004_1
RIA
_004
_1
Task name
Sub-unit 4 of the
encompassing area of interest
The first of the sequentially numbered
assets inspected within the sub-unit
Assets such as bridges may already have a Unique Reference Number (URN) within their highway
authority’s inventory. However, each asset subjected to an RIA is still given an additional, sequential,
reference number because not all highway/network assets will be on the inventory. This is important
for consistency; in that it enables the identification and linking of all damaged assets that are
situated close to each other in a way that best informs the development of (e.g.) a geographical
area-based repair programme.
The clear definition of each inspection team’s sub-unit working area, or ‘Network Area of Interest
(NAOI), is vital in order to ensure that all assets within an affected area are correctly inspected and
that task duplication and/or the accidental omission of assets from an inspection are avoided.
Ensuring the assessment teams have these clearly defined operational parameters reduces the risk
of such occurrences.
Figure 3 illustrates the first page of the RIA proforma which has been completed with a notional
Network Area of Interest that has been assigned to a notional assessment team. This illustrative
example is derived from mapping, however, NAOIs could also be defined from aerial imagery.
This part of the form illustrates the following attributes:
The NAOI’s descriptive title (A591, Wythburn…”)
The specific coordination-team assigned network code for this defined NAOI (sub-unit) of
the whole affected area (“RIA_004”)
The geo-spatial ‘anchoring of the NAOI using the ~14-figure Lat/Long references for the
north west and south east corner of the map
15
The point-markers indicating the geographic location of four inspected assets, labelled with
their RIA URN (e.g. “RIA_004_1”).
The table shows:
o the sheet code and 14-figure Latitude/Longitude for each inspected asset
o the Visible Damage (RAG) Rating assigned to each asset.
The second page of this form is used to define the bounds of any highway sections inspected in that
specific code area. It does this by requiring the entry of Latitude/Longitude
11
references for highway
features that mark the start and finish of any linear stretches of highway the team inspect within
that NAOI. It also asks if the features used as end markers class as highway assets and if they do,
whether or not that asset was inspected as part of the assessment.
The second page of the form also requires details of the leader of the assessment team tasked with
inspecting that NAOI.
The third page of this form requires completion of details related to the deployment of the
assessment team.
Finally, the initial NAOI form contains a section where details of the RAG-rated assessments carried
out by the team are aggregated and collated.
11
Lat/Long references are used in this document for demonstration purposes because this tends to be the
coordinate system used by current on-line mapping apps (e.g. Google Maps). However, users could equally
choose to use Ordnance Survey (OS) grid coordinates or other forms of geo-spatial referencing (e.g.
What3Words) to locate their assets.
Figure 3: example Network Area of Interest with reference codes
16
Stage 2: Major Incident: Network Infrastructure Rapid Impact Assessment (RIA) Form
1) Has a Major Incident been declared by your authority or a partner agency?
Local Highway Authorities are designated as Category 1 responders under the Civil Contingencies Act
2004. This places statutory duties on them, including the duty to cooperate with partners in
assessing risks and planning for emergencies and major incidents. It also places an expectation on
highways authorities that they have processes in place to empower competent people to declare a
major incident if circumstances dictate. It is not the sole responsibility of the ‘Blue Light’ emergency
services to declare a major incident.
A major incident is defined in UK Resilience doctrine as:
An event or situation with a range of serious consequences which requires special
arrangements to be implemented by one or more emergency responder agency
This section has been included in the form, because it is possible that once incorporated into
practice operational highways personnel may use the form whenever they attend reports of
damaged assets. If the damage is reported in respect to an on-going incident (either major or
routine) the operations room log number will be available.
Using this log number ensures all impacts related to an incident are recorded correctly. This is
important, because it may have a bearing on subsequent claims for response and/or damage repair
(e.g. the Bellwin Scheme).
Conversely, if an operations team is sent to, or happens across, damage to an asset of sufficient
magnitude to warrant the declaration of a major incident, for the authority itself or for the wider
responder partnership, this form prompts the team leader to make that decision and to
communicate that decision to their operations room.
Stage 3: Initial asset Visible Damage Rating (VDR) assessment
Once the Network Area of Interest for each assessment team has been defined, the initial phase of
the fieldwork can be carried out.
It should be assumed that until an assessment has been carried out an asset may need to be
physically closed (e.g. with barriers and/or assigned personnel) to prevent the public being put at
risk.
2) Site-specific Dynamic Risk Assessment (DRA) conducted and recorded
Before any asset is inspected the RIA team/assessor must carry out a dynamic risk assessment to
ensure their safety and the safety of others. This dynamic risk assessment should be recorded at the
time using an appropriate formal procedure (e.g. Highway Operatives Lone Worker Protocol’)
It is important to note that the assessment to categorise the asset’s initial Visible Damage Rating
does not need to be carried out by experts in asset structure/maintenance, such as qualified bridge
inspectors.
17
The Visual Damage Rating can be applied by any suitably trained individual and/or coordinated
team. For example, in Cumbria the initial damage assessments in the aftermath of Storm Desmond
were carried out by military teams under the auspices of Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (see
footnote
12
).
Once a dynamic risk assessment has been carried out, trained teams will be able to conduct the
initial asset Visible Damage Rating assessment very quickly.
The focus of the initial Visible Damage Rating (VDR) is to classify all assets in an area using a Red-
Amber-Green rating system, where the classifications are applied straightforwardly as a means to
describe the extent of physical damage to each asset inspected:
RED - Complete loss of structural integrity (collapse) and/or danger from damaged aligned
services
AMBER - Damaged but structural integrity retained
GREEN - Structure appears undamaged
Prior to recording a Visible Damage Rating (VDR) for an asset it is important to gather key
information about each asset in order that its location, condition and any associated damage to
aligned infrastructure can be understood at the tactical level.
The information gathered at this point comprises:
Asset location and description
3) RIA inspection URN [e.g. RIA_004_01]
4) Date/Time of inspection
5) Road classification and number (e.g. A591)
6) Asset type (e.g. Bridge, culvert)
7) Precise location of asset (e.g., 14-figure Lat/Long reference)
For sections of linear carriageway the form asks for the start and end points of
assessment
8) Highway Authority Inventory URN (if known)
If an asset inventory has been developed by the local authority as part of a risk-based asset
management approach, then it is vitally important for any asset rapid impact assessment to be
integrated with that inventory at the earliest opportunity. As a unique attribute of an inventoried
asset, the inventory URN provides the key connection, that will ensure that any damage to the asset
12
Using military teams in Cumbria in 2015 was particularly useful, because such teams could be presumed self-
reliant, and due to their training and capabilities (e.g. 4x4 vehicles), they had an ability to operate in hazardous
conditions for extended periods. It must be remembered, however, that the availability of military assets will
always be dependent on Government approval and the following of clearly defined protocols.
18
is correctly recorded and any repair works inform and are integrated with any existing asset
management framework.
9) Uniclass2015 entity code (if known)
e.g. The Uniclass2015 code for a fixed bridge is EN_80_94_50
Entering the Uniclass2015 entity code as a searchable attribute at this stage may assist local
authorities who integrate Building Information Management (BIM) approaches into their asset
management processes and schemes. Uniclass2015 codes, which include highway infrastructure
assets described in terms of complexes, entities, elements and spaces, are available: here. A list of
highways specific entity codes taken from the full list is also reproduced in Appendix 3.
10) Is this asset part of the Local Critical Highway Infrastructure?
The local critical highway infrastructure should be listed on a local authority asset inventory. These
inventories have been developed at the recommendation of the 2016 National Flood Resilience
Review and should include assets such as bridges that carry aligned critical infrastructure (e.g. key
fibre networks)
11) Is this asset located on the local authority’s Resilient Network?
Within the highway network hierarchy, a Resilient Network should have been identified by a local
authority as a network to which priority is given through maintenance and other measures to
maintain economic activity and access to key services during extreme weather.
13
If damage has been sustained by an asset on the local authority’s Resilient Network this will very
likely increase the level of impact attributed above that of the same level of damage sustained by an
otherwise identical asset that is not on the resilient network.
12) Asset description
This is a section requiring the free-text description of the asset as it was designed, e.g. “One lane
single span stone masonry arch bridge over stream”
13) Attach images of asset
Images of the asset should be included with the form.
The asset and damage should be photographed and labelled systematically from all
points of the compass (N,E,S,W) if safe access is possible.
All images of damage should include a reference scale (e.g. a survey pole)
For this task it is clearly advantageous to have the RIA template formatted onto a
tablet with camera app that can upload images directly into this section of the form.
13
UKRLG (2016) Well-Managed Highway Infrastructure (p.51)
19
Dangerous Structures
14) Are the structure and its surroundings sufficiently safe for a full initial assessment to be
conducted without additional technical support?
This section asks the assessor if the asset and its surroundings are sufficiently safe for a full initial
assessment to be conducted without additional technical support?
If the assessment or an element of the assessment is deemed too dangerous the
assessor is asked which elements could not be carried out.
For this description it is important to understand the effect that any technical support in
conducting an assessment will be needed to achieve.
For example, understanding the assessor cannot carry out an assessment of a bridge
pier’s foundations for scour, allows the RIA coordination team to consider all available
options for achieving that effect (e.g. civilian or military divers, sonar, cameras). This is
much more useful than simply asking for a diver.
Damage Assessment
15) Record the most significant damage
This section of the report is used to describe the principal damage to the asset. This is done in two
ways:
By using a tick-box to describe the most significant damage. This method allows direct
comparability across assets (e.g. when aggregated these data can provide the total number
of assets suffering Complete collapse of deck structure” across all regions affected by an
event)
By asking for a free-text description of all damage identified. Whilst not directly comparable
across assets, this free text description provides important additional information for those
coordinating recovery.
Damage to aligned networks
16) Damage to / exposure of aligned services (Mark all relevant boxes)
As possibly the first assessment team to arrive at a damaged asset it is possible that this may be the
first occasion that damage to other aligned services can be identified. As some aligned services can
present danger if they are damaged (e.g. gas, electricity), it is important for the team to take this
opportunity to ensure, if they are able, that the service owner/operator is aware of the damage as
soon as possible.
Accordingly, this section asks the team to identify the network damaged, to note the name of the
owner/operator and to disclose whether the owner/operator has been informed of the damage and
if so, when.
20
Because it is possible that the assessment team may not be able to contact the owner/operator
directly or to ensure they have been informed in another way, this section needs to be checked as
soon as the damage assessment has been handed to the RIA coordination team.
Initial Visible Damage Rating (VDR)
17) Initial Asset status assessment
This is the final section of the initial asset damage assessment. Using the data collected and by
making an informed decision on the nature of the visible damage the assessor is asked to rate the
damage using the Red-Amber-Green classification.
RED - Complete loss of structural integrity (collapse) and/or danger from damaged
aligned services
AMBER - Damaged but structural integrity retained
GREEN - Structure appears undamaged
Whilst it is important to differentiate the three damage classes, even if no physical damage is visible
and a green rating appears appropriate, if conditions suggest there may be invisible damage (e.g., a
suspicion of unseen scour to bridge foundations) a RED rating should be applied, and expert
technical assessment conducted before the asset is opened for use.
Such conditions could include the presence of large debris accumulations around bridge abutments
or wash/erosion limits in proximity to the asset, which suggest an asset may have been destabilised.
Once a Visible Damage Rating has attributed, the assessment team must complete as much of the
Stage 4 assessment as they can, but most importantly they must create the asset’s Stage 4 form by
entering the URN details and they must complete at least the ‘Current Status of Asset section,
before submitting the Stage2-3 and Stage4 forms together to the RIA coordination team. This team
will immediately vet these forms to ensure any requested technical assessments are actioned and/or
incomplete sections completed.
Prioritising Undamaged (Green-rated) Assets for re-opening
If the Initial Asset Damage Assessment has been carried out by non-expert personnel (e.g. military
teams, non-specialist council operatives), the priority should then be placed on coordinating
sufficient suitably qualified personnel to carry out a secondary Technical Impact Assessment on all
Green-rated assets before they are opened for public use.
Ensuring Green-rated assets are safe to be re-opened should take priority over the technical
assessment of more seriously damaged infrastructure.
This will ensure that the assets deemed undamaged are returned to service as soon as possible,
whilst also ensuring that any risk that structural damage has occurred to these assets without being
identified is minimised.
21
Stage 4: Technical Damage Assessment
Once an initial asset damage assessment has been carried out, the next stage of the process is to
understand how this damage might affect the residual capability of the asset.
In terms of informing the recovery process and the efficient programming of recovery operations it
is vital to gain an expert technical understanding of how the damage sustained by the asset affects
its functioning.
Therefore, this impact assessment stage opens the process to include inputs from technical
specialists using more complex techniques than straightforward visual inspection.
These technical assessments may involve the deployment of specialist capabilities and analytical
techniques, e.g. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) surveys.
This form will be completed, either once the initial asset damage assessment has been conducted, or
prior to that assessment if the initial team has not yet been able to get in a position to physically
carry out the initial damage assessment (e.g., if a stretch of highway is cut off by landslides).
The first section on this form, therefore, asks for the RIA inspection URN, in order that all data
gathered in this secondary process can be married correctly with the initial documentation.
Specialist technical assessment
18) Has a secondary technical assessment of this asset been carried out?
This section of the form is directly linked to both the Dangerous Structures and Visible Damage
Rating sections of the Initial asset damage assessment form.
If a structure was regarded as too dangerous to inspect, or if conditions suggest damage may be
more serious than visual inspection alone can identify, the assessment team were asked to describe
which part of the assessment they were unable to complete (e.g., inspecting bridge foundations for
scour).
Once this information has been received by the RIA coordination team, they are able to consider all
available options for carrying out those specific aspects of the assessment using technical/specialist
capabilities (e.g., a qualified bridge inspector, sonar inspection).
The form outlines options for aerial, geo-technical, vehicle-deployed, structural and ‘other’
categories of technical assessment.
Once that assessment has been tasked and carried out, the specialist should complete this section of
the form, with the technical inspection report being attached directly to the RIA form.
Asset Residual Capability
19) Considering the findings of the initial and any secondary assessment, is the highway safe to
be used by the public at this asset location?
22
Once the initial and technical damage assessments have been completed, the assessor will use all
data collected to that point in order to decide whether the asset can be used:
by the public (i.e. all permitted traffic)
by the public, but only once safety measures have been put in place (e.g. slow signs)
If the asset is only safe for public use with safety measures in place, the form asks for those safety
measures to be listed.
If the asset is unsafe for public use, the assessor is asked whether this is due to:
Damage to the asset
Due to other damage on the network in which the asset is nested
If the asset is unsafe for public use but remains safe for use by emergency responders (i.e. blue and
yellow light services) with safety measures in place, the form asks for those safety measures to be
listed.
NB. It should be noted that any suggestions in relation to the deployment of safety measures by
non-operational highways personnel should be double checked by someone with suitable
knowledge of at least the Safety at street works and road works code of practice if not experience in
managing street works in emergency situations (i.e. in some circumstances standard closure layouts
may be inadequate to provide sufficient workforce/public safety).
Current Status of Asset
Having carried out the initial and technical assessments on the individual asset, the assessor is asked
to declare the current status of the asset by indicating one of four options:
Open to all permitted traffic (with/without measures)
Open to emergency responders only (with/without measures)
Closed awaiting safety/stabilisation measures
Closed to all traffic
Once the technical assessment has been carried out, any technical reports attached and the residual
capability and status of the asset defined, the form should be signed and submitted for further
action.
Stage 5: ‘Asset within network’ impact assessment
This is the final section of the Rapid Impact Assessment process.
The steps in this section assess how damage to individual assets acts to generate negative
consequences for those reliant on the broader network (e.g., creating long diversions around a
damaged asset).
This ‘Asset within Network’ analysis should be conducted by someone who understands how
highway networks operate to connect communities, businesses and services. The assessor should
23
also understand the potential consequences and necessary contingencies if part of such a network
fails as a result of damage to individual or grouped assets within those networks.
This analysis should be completed for all assets that have been assessed as unsafe to be opened for
all permitted traffic.
As with other forms, the initial box of the form is to be completed with the asset’s RIA inspection
URN to ensure data consistency.
Diversion route
20) Is a local diversion route available?
As closure of networks or parts of a network require diversions to be implemented, it is important
that this section of the assessment form is completed by a traffic manager who has knowledge of
the network’s critical features (e.g. weight limits and width restrictions).
In the first instance the assessor will be asked to determine whether a diversion route is available.
If no diversion is available this may increase the potential impact loading of even quite minor
damage to a single asset. For example, a small community might only have access via a single-track
road. Accordingly, if that road is made impassable to traffic this would represent a high impact for
the community and as such would justify a priority repair.
Linked to the asset’s residual capability (above) the assessment also asks for information on whether
a diversion route is available for the public, or for emergency responders.
It is also asked whether a risk-assessment has been carried out for the diversion route/s. As the
designation of inappropriate diversion routes could initiate secondary risk effects (e.g. bridge failures
due to overloading), diversion route risk assessment should be considered a key task for an
authorised traffic manager.
Once a safe and sustainable diversion route around closed assets has been defined, a map should be
attached to the assessment form.
Consequence Assessment
This section of the process comprises an analysis of all data collected during the previous stages to
develop an understanding of the consequences of the damage to the asset within its network for all
affected local communities, businesses and services.
21) Describe the effect that the damaged asset may have on the functionality of the wider
network as a community resource
This box provides space for a free text description of the potential consequences of the closure of a
particular asset and/or section of highway into which the asset is integrated.
24
Whilst informed by the findings related to the initial damage assessment, damage to aligned
services, the asset’s residual capability and any diversion route that is available to avoid it, this
section may also include the subjective interpretation of local circumstances.
When considering potential consequences, it is useful to think about any particular attributes of the
section of highway that the damage is disrupting. For example:
Does it comprise part of the local authority’s Resilient Network?
Does it constitute the sole access/egress route for a community (i.e. is it a
community ‘lifeline’)?
Does it carry (e.g. key fibre) or provide access to critical infrastructure (e.g.
hospital)?
Is this a Local Critical Highway Infrastructure’ asset?
If, for example, an asset is situated on a local authority’s Resilient Network, it should be assumed
that the consequences of loss of function in that asset would be higher than for similar assets on
other parts of the wider network.
Whilst consequences cannot be described quantitatively in the same way that damage can be
assessed, it is important that the assessor adopts a method for defining consequences, which
justifies their assessment on the basis of all available evidence.
This may involve collaboration with other agencies (e.g., Adult Social Care) to identify any
particularly vulnerable communities who may be disproportionately affected by network
disruptions.
Impact Matrix
22) Consider damage and consequences and produce ‘asset-within-network’ impact status by
placing mark in matrix
This section provides the culmination of data collection and analysis within the Rapid Impact
Assessment.
Whereas the initial asset damage assessment produced a Red-Amber-Green (RAG) rating for visible
damage to each asset inspected. This section provides a RAG-rating for the impact of the damage on
the wider network and affected community.
Impact = Damage x Consequences
Drawing together information on the damage assessment (visual and technical), the asset’s residual
capability, any available diversions and the consequences of lack of asset function, this section
requires the assessor to use an impact matrix to rate the impact in terms of damage and
consequences.
The matrix (Figure 4) takes a standard bi-axial form with the Y-axis split into five categories of
consequence, from minor to extreme, and the X-axis providing five classes of damage, from None-
visible to Total failure. These five damage categories are illustrative of the more precise secondary
25
analyses of information, conducted subsequently to the initial field assessment that informed the
Visible Damage Rating.
The matrix itself is divided into coloured blocks, which signify Red, Amber and Green categories. So,
where damage to an asset is quantifiably extreme and the asset function is totally lost, its level of
impact would place it in the RED sector.
Likewise, if damage and consequences were both assessed as minor and limited, respectively, this
would place it in the GREEN sector.
Figure 4: RIA Impact Matrix
It might seem appropriate to multiply the Damage and Consequences score to create a single
‘impact factor’, e.g.
Significant Consequences 4 x Limited Damage 2 = Impact factor 8
However, this would be both wrong and misleading.
This impact assessment matrix is deliberately weighted to skew the final result toward emphasising
consequences. This is logical, because seeking to reduce the consequences for our communities of
damage to highway assets and networks should be our priority.
Due to this design, the multiplication of scores creates error. To continue with the above example,
look at the letters A and B on the matrix (figure 4):
A. Limited Consequences 2 x Severe Damage 4 = ‘Impact factor’ 8 but RAG-rating of
AMBER
B. Significant Consequences 4 x Limited Damage 2 = ‘Impact factor’ 8 but RAG-rating
of RED
Whilst if multiplied both these combinations produce the ‘impact factor’ of 8, they are in different
RAG categories. In effect, the matrix is telling us that it is more important to bring a lesser damaged
A
B
©HD Research Ltd. (2020)
C
26
asset back into full service quickly in order to reduce the risk of significant consequences on the
community it serves. Whereas, the severely damaged asset is less important, because its loss of
function creates less severe consequences.
This matrix design is important because it weights consequences in a way that allows smaller assets
whose disruption would have moderate to extreme consequences for an affected population to be
RED rated. This means that even very small communities can receive enhanced assistance if, for
example, their day-to-day life was affected by damage to a small bridge, whose repair would not
normally meet cost-benefit criteria.
A final illustration of this functionality is shown by the Red impact rating of an asset with no visible
damage, but whose closure would have extreme consequences for a dependent community
(denoted C in figure 4). It would seem obvious that this asset would be open. However, this example
speaks to a situation where a blanket closure of assets has been ordered until an RIA has been
completed. Here the red rating serves to inform the urgency of lifting such an order relative to this
specific asset as soon as possible.
Asset within Network Status
23) Repair Task
Once an impact rating has been assigned in the matrix, the assessor is asked to define whether the
repair task is simple or complex?
Simple tasks would include minor works like clearing a small culvert trash screen of accumulated
stones. Conversely, the replacement of a bridge, or structural components of a road deck would
need significant planning and organisation and, therefore, would always be considered a complex
task.
Understanding both the impact rating and complexity level of the repair task provides the recovery
manager with useful information for developing network-based recovery programmes in parallel to
business as usual operations (e.g. a culvert screen clearance could be assigned as a routine task for a
duty operational crew).
24) Asset within network status
The final task in the RIA is to assign each asset a final impact status.
The impact RAG rating is applied as per the matrix, but each of the three rating’s is also assigned a
short description of the priority given to recovery of the asset to full function.
Repair of asset is critical for community recovery (requires expedited
repair and focussed management and community support)
RED
Repair is important for community recovery, but managed temporary
options are acceptable in medium term.
AMBER
Repair can be dependent on broader recovery programme; this asset
should not be prioritised above business as usual
GREEN
27
Whilst it is clear that complex tasks, such as bridge repair, cannot be carried out quickly, regardless
of whether they have a RED impact rating, what this rating underpins, is that the effort and
resources invested in returning that asset to full function should facilitate expeditious repair relative
to the complexity of the task.
Where a complex, but high priority repair cannot be carried out quickly, this designation also creates
the impetus for a developing communications strategy relative to that repair, which reassures any
dependent community of the known situation and keeps them apprised of and engaged with
progress until the repair is completed.
Post-RIA Asset Status
It is important to ensure that the post-RIA status of the asset is recorded and kept under review.
Accordingly, the final section of the form replicates the asset status entered as the final stage of
section of the Stage 4 Technical Damage Assessment using one of the four options:
Open to all permitted traffic (with/without measures)
Open to emergency responders only (with/without measures)
Closed awaiting safety/stabilisation measures
Closed to all traffic
Rapid Impact Assessment - completion
The final task of the assessor is to sign and date the damage and impact assessment of each asset
inspected within the relevant Network Area of Interest. The Stage 1 Defined Network (Area of
Interest) form is then completed for all assets and the completed bundle of forms is submitted by
the RIA manager to the recovery coordination/programme team.
Asset Status Update
In order to maintain situational awareness of the status of the assets and the network all subsequent
inspections of the asset should be logged against the individual asset record (URN), whether those
inspections result in a status change or not. A grid is provided for this purpose.
28
Appendices
Appendix 1: The RIA preparedness process
Appendix 2: The 5-Stage Rapid Impact Assessment proforma
Stage 1: Rapid Impact Assessment for Highway and Network Infrastructure: Defined network
(Area of Interest)
Stage 2: Major Incident: Network Infrastructure Rapid Impact Assessment (RIA) Form
Stage 3: Initial asset damage assessment
Stage 4: Technical Damage assessment
Stage 5: ‘Asset within network’ impact assessment
29
Appendix 1: The RIA preparedness process
Step
Action
Detail
1
Establish authority
to develop plan
This will involve gaining local authority consent to plan but should
also include discussion within the Local Resilience Forum (NB.
Other partners in the LRF can neither tell the local authority to
conduct this planning nor tell them not to. However, collaboration
and coordination with other partners’ activities is crucial to
support interoperability)
2
Review Hazard
assessment
Review all risk registers (e.g. Community, Corporate, Sector) to
identify the range of risks an RIA may need to be activated in
response to.
3
Network
(community)
analysis
Collation of statistical and GIS data is a key part of planning for an
RIA. Consideration should be given to mapping:
The Resilient Network
Local Critical Highway Infrastructure
Vulnerable assets (e.g. assets within floodplains)
Diversion routes
Access routes and risks related to key critical and
community infrastructure (e.g. schools, hospitals)
4
Convene planning
team
The planning team should involve senior team members and
partner representatives whose organisations would be involved in
impact assessment. It is important to include suppliers in these
activities if their capabilities align with those required for RIA (e.g.
geo-spatial analysis, surveying).
It is also important to identify aligned network infrastructure
partners and develop an RIA planning partnership to ensure all
relevant data is collected or contingencies for access to it during
major incidents are developed at the planning stage.
5
Determine
capabilities and
capacities required
Consideration should be given to how the RIA will be conducted.
This guidance provides a ‘dumb’ template RIA form, but
information management would be significantly enhanced if the
agreed RIA procedure was integrated into a web-enabled App
configured on and integrated with the responsible authority’s IT
systems (e.g. GIS).
Measures should be developed to enable the timely, efficient and
accurate collection, transfer, analysis and sharing of information
efficiently, from operational teams locally, up to Lead Government
Department level and above as required.
Ideally, there should be a degree of collaboration with MHCLG-
RED to ensure conduits for information to pass up the
coordination structures have been agreed and tested during
‘peace time’.
30
Step
Action
Detail
6
Determine concept
of operations for
risk types
A concept of operations should be developed for primary risks to
the network. These should be informed by:
Size and nature of major incident risk
Geographic areas, boundaries of responsibility
o Agree any operational boundary overlap
Prioritised key routes (resilient network) and
infrastructure
Key vulnerabilities (e.g. isolated communities)
Available resources
7
Determine roles
and responsibilities
Ensure that all personnel and partners have a clear understanding
of their own and others’ responsibilities during a rapid impact
assessment (e.g. statutory duties, standard operating procedures,
coordination and reporting protocols)
8
Establish RIA
management
arrangements
Rapid Impact Assessment procedures must fit within the broader
Integrated Emergency Management (IEM) framework.
As the RIA will generate information that will be key to achieving
multi-agency shared situational awareness, it is important that
pathways for information flow from the RIA coordination team to
(e.g.) the Multi-Agency Information Cell (MAIC) and Strategic and
Tactical Coordinating Groups are documented in advance.
9
Document agreed
arrangements
The documented plan needs to be in an accessible format that is
easy to read and understand
10
Categorise the plan
Agree a category for the assessed piece of infrastructure to enable
owners and responders to prioritise their plans to repair, reroute
or abandon. Categories should be shown on plans and maps to
facilitate decision making. Plan categories are:
A. Infrastructure whose loss will create major disruption to
critical services or safety.
B. Infrastructure that will cause inconvenience to the local
population, but straightforward workarounds have been
prepared.
C. Infrastructure that can be repaired in slow time as the
potential impacts are assessed as minor.
Overall priority should be given to categorising assets on the
authority’s Resilient Network
11
Review the plan
All partners involved in the RIA need to review and sign-off the
documented plan
12
Test the plan
All partners involved in the RIA process need to exercise their role
in local RIA arrangements
13
Monitor and
address plan
deficiencies and
necessary revisions
The use of the plan in either exercises or live incidents may
highlight issues that need corrective action or improvement.
These issues should be addressed to ensure the RIA process
remains workable and effective when it is most needed.
31
Appendix 2: The 5-Stage Rapid Impact Assessment proforma
Rapid Impact Assessment - Highway and Network Infrastructure: Inspection complex (Area of Interest)
Assessment Area/road network [descriptive title]
RIA network code for this assessment area:
Initial Area Assessment completed (Time/Date):
[Insert map or sketch map here and use reference indicators]
Assets inspected
Asset
inspection
code:
Asset type
Lat/Long
RAG-
Rating:
32
Area anchors (map corners): Latitude/Longitude
NW
SE
Highway sections inspected within assessment area
Road Classification &
number
Section start
(Lat/Long)
Start feature: asset type
(e.g. marker post)
Has start
feature/asset
been inspected?
Y/N
Section end (Lat/Long)
End feature: asset
type (e.g. water
main cover)
Has end
feature/asset
been inspected?
Y/N
Example
B591
54°30'12.5"N
3°02'37.3"W
Gas Main Cover
N
54°30'54.2"N
3°02'43.7"W
Water Hydrant
N
Assessor’s details
Name:
Phone:
Organisation/agency
33
Team attached:
Deployment
Task briefing
Location of briefing:
Briefing (time/date)
Assets inspected and forms attached (total):
Team deployed (time/date):
Team returned (time/date):
Forms submitted to coordination team
(time/date):
34
Stage 2: Major Incident: Network Infrastructure Rapid Impact Assessment (RIA) Form
Has a Major Incident been declared by your authority or a partner agency?
Y/N
If No: As a Cat 1 responder, are conditions such that you
should consider declaring a Major Incident for your
authority?
Y/N
If Major Incident declared: time/date of
declaration:
Local Authority Incident/Log number:
Stage 3: Initial asset damage assessment
Site-specific Dynamic Risk Assessment (DRA) conducted and recorded
Date/Time of
Dynamic Risk
Assessment and
inspection start:
RIA inspection URN [Task-area_asset number, e.g. RIA_004_1]:
Road classification and number:
Asset type:
[e.g. bridge, culvert]
Precise location of asset
(i.e. 8 or 10-figure Grid
reference):
[For linear carriageway enter start and end points of assessment]
Highway Authority Inventory: unique reference
number (URN) for asset [if known]:
Uniclass2015 entity code: [if known, e.g. Code for fixed
bridge: EN_80_94_50]
EN_
Is this an Local Critical Highway Infrastructure [i.e. is it listed in the local authority
LCHI inventory]?
Y/N/Do not know
Is this asset located on the local authority’s Resilient Network?
Y/N/Do not know
Asset description: [Describe asset type, e.g. “One lane single span stone masonry arch bridge over stream”]
Attach images of asset: [The asset and damage should be photographed and labelled systematically from all
points of the compass (N,E,S,W) if safe access is possible. All images of damage should include a reference
scale (e.g. a survey pole)]
Dangerous structures
Are the structure and its surroundings sufficiently safe for a full initial assessment to be
conducted without additional technical support?
Y/N
If No, what elements of the assessment is the assessor unable to carry out?
NB. It is important to understand the effect that technical support will be needed to achieve. For example,
understanding the assessor cannot carry out an assessment of a bridge pier’s foundations for scour (i.e. the
effect), allows the RIA coordination team to consider all available options for achieving that effect (e.g. civilian
or military divers, sonar, cameras)
35
Stage 3 (cont’d) Damage Assessment:
Record the most significant damage [tick box]
[Damage assessment: provide free text description]
Complete collapse deck structure
1
Partial collapse deck structure
2
Complete collapse retaining wall/parapet
3
Partial collapse retaining wall/parapet
4
Carriageway surface failure/instability
5
Foundation damage (e.g. scour)
6
Mass movement: landslide
7
Non-structural debris (e.g. fallen tree,
lines)
8
Damage to adjacent structure presenting
risk to carriageway
9
Drainage: outfall blockage / debris
Pipe/culvert +1.2m diameter
10
Pipe/culvert -1.2m diameter
11
Traffic Signal: damage/failure
12
Other: [describe]
13
14
Damage to aligned networks
Damage to / exposure of aligned services (Mark all relevant boxes)
Damaged/
Exposed (Tick)
Image
attached
(Y/N)
Owner/operator
Owner/operator
informed (Y/N)
Date/Time
Rail
1
Gas
2
Electric: Buried
3
Electric: overhead
4
Water - Main
5
Water - Foul
6
Water - Surface
7
Telecom/Fibre:
buried
8
Telecom/Fibre:
overhead
9
Other:
10
36
Stage 3 (cont’d): Initial Visible Damage Rating (VDR)
Initial Asset status assessment:
Consider: Damage to this asset only
NB. If conditions suggest there may be
invisible damage (e.g. significant scour to
bridge foundations) a RED rating should be
applied, and expert technical advice
sought.
Complete loss of structural integrity
(collapse) and/or danger from damaged
aligned services
RED
Damaged but structural integrity retained
AMBER
Asset appears undamaged
GREEN
Assessment completed by [Print name]:
Signed:
Time/Date
37
Stage 4: Technical Damage assessment
RIA inspection URN [Task-area_asset number]:
Specialist technical assessment
Has a secondary technical assessment of this asset been carried out
Y/N
Type
Carried out by
Time/date
Report Attached
Y/N
Aerial
Photographic/visual
1
LiDAR
2
Geo-technical
Radar/Sonar/DGPS
3
Vehicle-deployed
damage analysis
4
Other geo-tech:
5
Structural
Qualified Expert [e.g.
bridge inspector]
6
Other:
7
Asset Residual Capability
Considering the findings of the initial and any secondary assessment, is the highway safe to be used by the
public at this asset location? (Y/N or tick)
Asset is safe for unrestricted use by all permitted traffic
Y/N
1
If No: can asset be used by the public with safety/stabilisation measures in place:
2
Measures taken/required: [e.g. further technical inspection; weight limit; lane closure; “landslip taped and
coned off”]
No: the asset cannot be used by the public due to damage
3
If No: Is the highway usable by Emergency Responders (Blue/Yellow light), if necessary, with
safety/stabilisation measures in place?
Y/N
4
Measures taken/required: [e.g. further technical inspection; weight limit; lane closure; “landslip taped and
coned off”]
Current Status of Asset
Current status of asset [delete as appropriate]:
1
Open to all permitted traffic
Open to emergency responders only
Closed awaiting safety/stabilisation measures
Closed to all traffic
2
3
4
Secondary assessment and status update
completed by [Print name]:
Signed:
Time/Date
38
Stage 5: ‘Asset within network’ impact assessment
RIA inspection URN [Task-area_asset number]:
This form is to be completed if asset has not been assessed as safe for all permitted traffic following initial and/or
secondary assessments
Diversion route
Is a local diversion route available?
Y/N
If YES: estimated length of proposed diversion (km)
km
Has the diversion route been risk-assessed?
For public use
1
Y/N
For emergency responders’ use
2
Y/N
Diversion route risk assessment is
required
3
Y/N
Describe diversion route, including limitations (e.g. any known weight/width restrictions) [attach map and route
risk assessment if available]:
Consequence Assessment
Describe the effect that the damaged asset may have on the functionality of the wider network as a community
resource [e.g. Is it on the local authority’s Resilient Network? Is this the sole access route for a community (i.e. a
community ‘lifeline’)? Does it carry or provide access to critical infrastructure, is this a Local Critical Highway
Infrastructure asset (LCHI)? Does closure of this asset necessitate a long diversion?]
39
Impact Matrix [Consider damage and consequences and produce ‘asset-within-network’ impact status by placing
mark in matrix]
Consequences for
community resilience
of damage to this
asset
5
Extreme
4
Significant
3
Moderate
2
Limited
1
Minor
1 None-visible
or suspected
2 Limited
3 Moderate
4 Severe
5 Total failure
Damage to Asset
Initial Visible Damage Rating
‘Asset within network’ Impact-rating
Repair task (Tick)
Simple: discrete-asset repair possible
1
Complex: asset-within-network repair programme required
2
Asset within network status:
Use Damage x Consequences matrix
Repair of asset is critical for community
recovery (requires expedited repair and
focussed management and community
support)
RED
Repair is important for community
recovery, but managed temporary
options are acceptable in short/medium
term.
AMBER
Repair can be dependent on broader
recovery programme; this asset should
not be prioritised above business as
usual
GREEN
Post RIA status
Post RIA status is derived from Stage 4 (above). Revised status updates to be completed following any subsequent
inspections/works.
Open to all permitted traffic (with/without measures)
Open to emergency responders only (with/without measures)
Closed awaiting safety/stabilisation measures
Closed to all traffic
1
2
3
4
‘Asset within network’ assessment and status update
completed by: [Print name]
Signed:
Time/date:
©HD Research Ltd. (2020)
40
Stage 5 (cont’d) Asset status updates
Status
Signed:
Time/date:
Open to all permitted traffic (with/without measures)
Open to emergency responders only (with/without
measures)
Closed awaiting safety/stabilisation measures
Closed to all traffic
1
2
3
4
Open to all permitted traffic (with/without measures)
Open to emergency responders only (with/without
measures)
Closed awaiting safety/stabilisation measures
Closed to all traffic
1
2
3
4
Open to all permitted traffic (with/without measures)
Open to emergency responders only (with/without
measures)
Closed awaiting safety/stabilisation measures
Closed to all traffic
1
2
3
4
Open to all permitted traffic (with/without measures)
Open to emergency responders only (with/without
measures)
Closed awaiting safety/stabilisation measures
Closed to all traffic
1
2
3
4
41
Appendix 3: UNICLASS 2015 - Highway specific entities
Extracted from full list available at: https://www.thenbs.com/our-tools/uniclass-2015
En Entities - 30 October 2019 - v1.14 - *extracted Highways specific entities
only*
Code
Group
Sub-group
Section
Object
Title
En_20_85_30
20
85
30
Security fences
En_32_40_20
32
40
20
Cuttings
En_32_40_26
32
40
26
Embankments
En_32_40_30
32
40
30
False cuttings
En_32_85_30
32
85
30
Flood prevention structures
En_32_85_80
32
85
80
Sluices
En_32_85_82
32
85
82
Spillways
En_32_85_84
32
85
84
Stilling basins
En_32_85_96
32
85
96
Water retaining structures
En_32_85_97
32
85
97
Weirs
En_32_95
32
95
Waterways
En_32_95_14
32
95
14
Channels
En_32_95_16
32
95
16
Complex culverts
En_32_95_23
32
95
23
Ditches
En_32_95_59
32
95
59
Open channels
En_32_95_80
32
95
80
Simple culverts
En_32_95_85
32
95
85
Surface water channels
En_32_95_86
32
95
86
Swales
En_55_15_20
55
15
20
Water extraction pipelines
En_55_20_60
55
20
60
Gas distribution pipelines
En_55_70_18
55
70
18
Water distribution pipelines
En_70_30_18
70
30
18
Electricity transmission pylons and lines
En_70_30_90
70
30
90
Underground electricity transmission
lines
En_75_10_16
75
10
16
Broadcast communications masts and
towers
En_80_35
80
35
Road entities
En_80_35_01
80
35
01
Access roads
En_80_35_05
80
35
05
Bus lanes
En_80_35_07
80
35
07
Bus maintenance depots
En_80_35_09
80
35
09
Bus and coach stations
En_80_35_34
80
35
34
Guided bus lanes
En_80_35_56
80
35
56
Motorways
En_80_35_67
80
35
67
Private roads
En_80_35_74
80
35
74
Roads
En_80_35_77
80
35
77
Service area buildings
En_80_35_88
80
35
88
Tollgates
En_80_35_89
80
35
89
Tracks
En_80_40
80
40
Pathways
En_80_40_08
80
40
08
Bridleways
En_80_40_10
80
40
10
Byways
En_80_40_20
80
40
20
Cycle pathways
42
En_80_40_30
80
40
30
Footpaths
En_80_40_37
80
40
37
Hiking paths
En_80_40_66
80
40
66
Promenades
En_80_40_70
80
40
70
Rambler ways
En_80_40_90
80
40
90
Trails
En_80_45_08
80
45
08
Bus parks
En_80_45_17
80
45
17
Coach parks
En_80_45_55
80
45
55
Multi-storey vehicle parks
En_80_45_85
80
45
85
Surface vehicle parks
En_80_45_89
80
45
89
Truck parks
En_80_45_92
80
45
92
Underground vehicle parks
En_80_50_62
80
50
62
Rack railways track entities
En_80_94
80
94
Bridges
En_80_94_30
80
94
30
Fixed bridges
En_80_94_50
80
94
50
Moveable bridges
En_80_96
80
96
Tunnels and shafts
En_80_96_20
80
96
20
Drift tunnels
En_80_96_46
80
96
46
Lined drift tunnels
En_80_96_49
80
96
49
Lined tunnels
En_80_96_80
80
96
80
Shafts
En_80_96_90
80
96
90
Tunnels
En_80_96_91
80
96
91
Tunnel portals
En_80_96_92
80
96
92
Underpasses
En_90_10_02
90
10
02
Access stairways and walkways
En_90_10_62
90
10
62
Pedestrianized areas
En_90_90_11
90
90
11
Cable routes
43
A report prepared by:
HD Research Ltd., Bentham, N. Yorks, LA2 7DL
https://www.hdresearch.uk/
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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