DHS Shares “Partnership Quarterly” News

The Partnership Quarterly includes critical infrastructure security and resilience articles, highlights cross-sector initiatives, and identifies training and exercise opportunities, new tools, and resources.  Below are links to this edition’s articles:

Delaware Implements a Coastal Flood Monitoring System

Given the amount of rain and storm intensity that recently has pounded the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states, ASDWA was very encouraged to learn about a new Delaware program that has helped the state to be better prepared for such storms and avoid unnecessary flood damage in coastal areas.

Building on work undertaken by the Delaware Environmental Observing Team and the Delaware Geological Survey, a Coastal Flood Monitoring System (CFMS) is now in place.  The CFMS is a web-based tool and alert system designed to provide emergency managers, planners, and others the information needed regarding upcoming coastal flood events.  It is, in essence, a real time coastal flood monitoring and warning system.

The Monitoring System is comprised of:

  • An early warning system (via emails and/or cell phone text messages that alert subscribers about potential flood events;
  • Flood inundation maps and elevation profiles along primary evacuation routes using the latest LiDAR (a remote sensing technology) data for Delaware;
  • Predicted water level data from NOAA’s hydrodynamic model for up to four days in advance in both graphical and tabular format; and
  • A website and user guide that combines all aspects of this system with links to more real-time information (e.g., NWS weather alerts) for planners and emergency managers to use in advance of and during coastal storm events.

Several Delaware state agencies – Natural Resources & Environmental Control, Emergency Management Agency, and Department of Transportation – have taken advantage of the system’s capabilities…particularly with this recent round of coastal storms…and interest continues to grow within the state’s local and county agencies as well.

If you’d like to know more about Delaware’s program, go to http://coastal-flood.udel.edu/.

EPA Hosts Webinar on Preparedness Resources for Water Utilities

On November 10, join your colleagues in the water community to learn about the Water Security Division’s latest resources for water utilities.

DATE:              November 10, 2015

TIME:               1:00-2:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-free-preparedness-resources-for-water-utilities-webinar-tickets-18722601806

This hour long event will provide information about the latest tools designed specifically for water utilities to use:

   Water Quality Surveillance and Response System: This monitoring system can help detect contamination early and assist in routine distribution system management.

   Water/Wastewater All-Hazards Boot Camp Training:  Learn the basics of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery in this interactive computer-based training.

   Power Resiliency for Water Utilities:  Prepare for power outages using the new Power Resilience Guide.

   Public Awareness Toolkit:  Free resources – brochures, mail inserts, and posters – that utilities can use for public outreach.

Have questions?  Please contact EPA’s Karen Edwards by phone at 202-564-3797 or by email at edwards.karen@epa.gov.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Recognizing the importance of cybersecurity to our nation, President Obama designated October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident. National Cyber Security Awareness Month takes place each October and is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.

What You Can do Now…

Use the National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2015 hashtag #CyberAware in your social media messages.

Join the weekly National Cyber Security Awareness Month Twitter Chat series on Thursdays in October at 3pm EST using #ChatSTC.

See what National Cyber Security Awareness Month activities are taking place in your area.

Find information on how your government, law enforcement, business, school, or organization can take action.

Teach elementary, middle, and high school students about Internet safety and security.

Post cybersecurity tips, news, and resources highlighting National Cyber Security Awareness Month on social media sites.

What You Can Do Throughout the Year…

Americans can follow simple steps to keep themselves, their assets, and their personal information safe online. Here are a few tips all Internet users can leverage to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year:

  • Set strong passwords and don’t share them with anyone.
  • Keep your operating system, browser, and other critical software optimized by installing updates.
  • Maintain an open dialogue with your family, friends, and community about Internet safety.
  • Limit the amount of personal information you post online and use privacy settings to avoid sharing information widely.
  • Be cautious about what you receive or read online—if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

For tips and resources you can use and share throughout the year, visit the DHS Stop.Think.Connect Toolkit and find resources for the following demographics:

Students K-8, 9-12, and Undergraduate        Parents and Educators

Young Professionals                                           Older Americans

Government                                                         Industry

Small Business                                                    Law Enforcement

For more information on how to practice cybersecurity during National Cyber Security Awareness Month and throughout the year, visit Stop.Think.Connect. or contact stopthinkconnect@dhs.gov for more information.

WLA to Host Free Tabletop Exercise Webinar

EPA’s Water Lab Alliance (WLA) is hosting a free tabletop exercise (TTX) webcast for stakeholders in EPA Regions 1, 2 and 3 (Northeast and Mid-Atlantic) that examines coordination of laboratory services in response to a drinking water contamination incident.

DATE:              October 14, 2015

TIME:               10:00AM – Noon (eastern)

REGISTER:      http://www.eventbrite.com/e/wla-rp-tabletop-exercise-for-regions-1-2-and-3-tickets-18581963152

The scenario-based exercise provides state and local governments, utilities, emergency responders, and laboratory personnel with the opportunity to answer questions based on their real-life experiences and knowledge of emergency response practices and procedures contained in the Water Laboratory Alliance Response Plan (WLA-RP). Exercise participants will receive information on Water Sector emergency response “best practices” and water security tools and resources.

More information is available at this flyer link Perfect_Storm_WLA-RP_TTX_Flyer_09172015

DHS to Host “Identification of Cyber Threats and Hazards” Webinar

Next Tuesday, DHS and its cosponsors at InfraGard, the Regional Consortium Coordinating Council (RC3), and the State, Local, Tribal and Territorial Government Coordinating Council (SLTTGCC) will cohost a webinar designed to assist critical infrastructure owners and operators, physical security and information security professionals, risk managers, and local homeland security and emergency management staff in their efforts to enhance the preparation, security, and resilience of their facilities and assets against cyber threats and hazards.

DATE:              Tuesday, September 22, 2015

TIME:               1:30-2:30PM (eastern)

There is no advance registration and no cost to participate

WEB LINK:      https://share.dhs.gov/jcipsept22/

PHONE:           1-888-790-3380/PIN 8112207

Speakers will include Mary Ellen Seale, Deputy Director, DHS Cybersecurity Coordination; Jane Ginn, Co-Founder, Cyber Threat Intelligence Network (CTIN); and Bob Timpany, Idaho Chief of Operations for the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT), an operational division of the department’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC) and the DHS Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C).

If you need further information or have any questions, please email: Sector.Partnership@hq.dhs.gov or call (Evan) at 703-603-5247.

EPA Publishes Homeland Security Research Newsletter

Our colleagues at the EPA Homeland Security Research Program have shared their latest newsletter that includes information of interest to state drinking water programs.  You can download the entire newsletter at September2015.pdf.  Included are technical briefs that cover a range of topics such as computer tools; sampling and analysis; fate, transport & persistency; and decontamination studies.  You are encourage to share this information, as well, with your colleagues in the lab community.



Our colleagues in the Water Security Division have issued their latest electronic news bulletin.  See below for information about the latest in tools and products.

  • Emergency Response Mobile Website Video: Are you ready to respond? Watch and share EPA’s new YouTube video highlighting features of the Water Utility Response On-The-Go mobile website: https://youtu.be/loQqFAjcXNw
  • Checklists for Dangerous Duo: Drought and Wildfire: Print and share the Drought and Wildfire Incident Action Checklists for water and wastewater utilities. These short lists outline preparedness, response and recovery actions, as well as valuable resources on monitoring, forecasting and planning:
  • Webinar on Free Preparedness Tools: On May 13, the Water Security Division of the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water hosted a webinar on free preparedness tools for water utilities. View the webinar: https://epa.connectsolutions.com/p1l2mejz3vx/

NRWA’s Water U Online Offers Free CREAT Webinar

As part of its online curriculum, NRWA’s Water University Online is offering a one hour webinar on EPA’s climate self-assessment tool, Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT).

DATE:              August 27, 2015

TIME:               3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Click here https://nrwa.webex.com/mw0401lsp13/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=nrwa

CREAT is a software tool to assist drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change threats and in assessing the related risks at their individual utilities.  CREAT allows users to evaluate potential impacts of climate change on their utility and to evaluate adaptation options to address these impacts using both traditional risk assessment and scenario-based decision making.

Presenters for this training are Stephen Fries and Elise Tao of CSC, EPA’s support contractor on climate issues.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Recognizing the importance of cybersecurity to our nation, President Obama has designated this October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NSCAM) is designed to engage and educate public and private sector partners through events and initiatives with the goal of raising awareness about cybersecurity and increasing the resiliency of the nation in the event of a cyber incident.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in coordination with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), invites your organization to participate in NCSAM this October. NCSAM 2015 will include a series of events across the country hosted by governments, businesses, nonprofits, and academic organizations to raise cybersecurity awareness and increase the nation’s resiliency in the event of a cyber incident.

NSCAM themes have been developed for each of the five weeks in October.  Weekly themes focus on an aspect of cybersecurity and the reality of our constantly connected lives.

Week 1 (Oct 1-2)      General Cybersecurity Awareness: Celebrating 5 Years of Stop.Think.Connect.™

Week 2 (Oct 5-9)      Creating a Culture of Cybersecurity at Work

Week 3 (Oct 12-16)  Connected Communities: Staying Protected While Always Connected

Week 4 (Oct 19-23)  Your Evolving Digital Life

Week 5 (Oct 26-30)  Building the Next Generation of Cyber Professionals

More information about National Cyber Security Awareness Month is available at this link DHS NCSAM 2015_Themes External_Final .