Are You Ready for a Water Emergency?

On August 16, ASDWA participated in the EPA WSD Water and Emergency Services Sectors Coordination Workshop in Richmond, Virginia.  Among the presenters was Mr. Benjamin Ruppert, Coordinator of Emergency Management with Hopewell (VA) Fire & Rescue.  He shared a series of questions that every water system should ask itself about preparedness for water emergencies.  The questions are based on the City of Hopewell’s lessons learned from four separate water emergencies.

Are you ready for a water emergency?  Start by asking the following ten questions of your organization.

  1. Have you considered mitigation projects for critical facilities that are vulnerable to natural hazards? Every jurisdiction is required to have a hazard mitigation plan, and hazard mitigation funds are made available across the state, after presidentially declared disasters inside the state.
  2. Do you have a notification process for incidents of significance to the pertinent players (customers, public safety, etc.)?
  3. Are you and your staff trained in ICS/have you exercised this with local response organizations?
  4. Do you have a hazmat clean-up contractor on contract for use in spill incidents if you have any chemical storage onsite?
  5. Have you trained a PIO, and/or have a good relationship with your Jurisdiction’s PIO?
  6. Do you have a notification system to contact your customers, and/or have a relationship with your local government who may have access to such a system?
  7. Can you set up a call center for citizen inquiry if needed in an incident?
  8. Are you working with your local emergency planning committee (LEPC) so that you have good working relationships with any industry and emergency response personnel in your jurisdiction, as well as DEQ and EPA staff?
  9. Do you have contracts in place to provide timely potable water (bulk and/or bottles) to your customers if your system goes down?
  10. Have you worked with local emergency management to ensure that all of your plans dovetail with theirs, to include notification, spill control, water distribution, etc.?

These are great questions for you to share with your water systems!  Let’s hope they would be able to answer “yes” to each of them.

DHS “Partnership Bulletin”

DHS has just published a new edition of The Partnership Bulletin.  The Bulletin provides a twice monthly  snapshot of upcoming stakeholder and cross-sector training opportunities and exercises, along with major critical infrastructure events and key announcements.  Click the links below to learn more about a host of security and resilience issues.

 

WSD Reminds Us of Two Good Planning Tools

Our colleagues at EPA’s Water Security Division (WSD) remind us that there are quite a few existing tools that water systems should have in their proverbial “hip pocket” when planning for an emergency.  Two of those planning tools are highlighted below.

The first is their own Planning for An Emergency Drinking Water Supply Guide.  The guide provides utilities with the building blocks necessary for considering where to find an alternate water supply. Click https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/water-utility-planning-emergency-drinking-water-supply to download the guide.

The second is a compendium of recent (June 16, 2016) updates to FEMA’s National Planning Frameworks.  The Frameworks – one for each of the five preparedness mission areas – are part of the National Preparedness System.  The Frameworks foster a shared understanding of our roles and responsibilities from the fire house to the White House.

 

 

Infrastructure Protection Training

Looking to enhance your critical infrastructure security and resilience knowledge and skills?  TEEX is offering a series of DHS/FEMA-funded trainings across the nation that can meet your needs and help qualify you for an Infrastructure Protection Certificate.

The Infrastructure Protection Certificate Program provides an understanding and local application of the homeland security infrastructure protection doctrine.  The program includes an in-depth examination of key concepts and practices in capabilities-based and community-focused planning, integrated risk management, private-public partnerships, and whole community resilience strategies.  This link provides more information about the program.  In addition, here is a list of locations for the four Certificate Program trainings:

Infrastructure Protection Courses
Course Number Course Name Date Location
AWR213 Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Awareness 9/6/16 Dallas, TX
MGT310 Jurisdictional Threat & Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment 9/12-13/16 El Paso, TX
AWR213 Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Awareness 9/14/16 Fayetteville, AR
MGT310 Jurisdictional Threat & Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment 9/20-21/16 Arlington, TX
MGT414 Advanced Critical Infrastructure Protection 9/21/16 Miami Beach, FL
MGT315 Critical Asset Risk Management 9/26-27/16 El Paso, TX
MGT310 Jurisdictional Threat & Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment 9/27-28/16 Suffolk, VA
AWR213 Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Awareness 10/4/16 Rancho Cucamonga, CA
MGT414 Advanced Critical Infrastructure Protection 10/4/16 Dallas, TX
AWR213 Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Awareness 10/5/16 Jackson, MS
MGT310 Jurisdictional Threat & Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment 10/6-7/16 Rancho Cucamonga, CA
MGT310 Jurisdictional Threat & Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment 10/11-12/16 Harlan, KY
AWR213 Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Awareness 10/18/16 Sevierville, TN
AWR213 Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Awareness 10/19/16 Gulfport, MS
MGT414 Advanced Critical Infrastructure Protection 10/19/16 Sevierville, TN
MGT310 Jurisdictional Threat & Hazard Identification & Risk Assessment 10/25-26/16 Beaumont, TX

 

Join Water Loss Emergency Discussion

 

On September 15, from 3:00-4:00PM (eastern), EPA plans to host a facilitated discussion featuring a water loss emergency in a fictional community.  The scenario will have elements for water and wastewater utilities, public health agencies, hospitals, power utilities, emergency managers, police, fire, restaurants, businesses and others in the community who rely on water services and would benefit from identifying key preparedness actions.  Register to participate in the exercise today!

In addition, EPA’s Water Security Division shares weekly alerts and information updates.  If you would like to subscribe, please sign up for our What’s Going On? Newsletter from the Water Security Division.

 

September is National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month 2016 Infographic-page-001

Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters Webinar

ASDWA and EPA WSD are teaming up to present a webinar that will consider how state primacy agencies can work with both their state hazard mitigation offices and their utilities to promote, fund, and implement hazard mitigation projects.

DATE:              Thursday, September 15, 2016

TIME:               1:00-2:30PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/615897312349016579

The webinar will include examples of successful state agency coordination that results in utilities implementing appropriate mitigation measures.  This will also be states’ first opportunity to view a demonstration of EPA’s newly released tool, Hazard Mitigation for Natural Disasters: A Starter Guide for Water and Wastewater Utilities.

The target audience and discussion focus for this event is state drinking water programs.  Other events are planned to share these materials with other members of the water community.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

View System Requirements

 

New Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) Version 3.0

CREAT assists drinking water, wastewater and stormwater utility owners and operators in understanding potential climate change threats and assessing related risks at their individual utilities.  CREAT version 3.0 is web-based and features a series of intuitive modules to help utilities complete a climate change risk assessment, redesigned from the ground up to provide a more user-friendly experience.

In addition, the tool now provides monetized risk results which promotes a common and mutual understanding of climate change impacts.

With this powerful information, utility owners and operators can make advancements to curtail the impacts of climate change, particularly by implementing no-regret adaption options–those that provide benefits regardless of future climate conditions

This link will take you to CREAT 3.0 https://www.epa.gov/crwu/build-climate-resilience-your-utility

Coinciding with the release of CREAT 3.0, EPA also launched an update to the CREAT Climate Scenarios Projection Map. This map provides easy-to-access scenario-based climate change projections drawn from CREAT.  To access the updated Projection Map, click https://epa.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=2a46a28e18f44a48b8c664487e5b1fe6

Still want to know more?  Click https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-05/documents/creat_3_0_methodology_guide_may_2016.pdf to learn more about the climate science and economic data used in the CREAT 3.0 Methodology Guide.

Public Health Surveillance Design Guidance for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems

Last week, EPA released a new document – Public Health Surveillance Design Guidance for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems – to help leverage ongoing public health surveillance to detect possible drinking water contamination incidents.

Public health surveillance is the ongoing collection and analysis of data, such as emergency department visits and calls to poison control centers, for the purpose of detecting disease and illness in a community.  Public health surveillance is conducted in most cities in the U.S., and can be a powerful tool for the early detection of drinking water contamination incidents.  The guidance also contains an interview form to help drinking water utilities engage their public health partners and learn about ongoing surveillance activities.

Click https://www.epa.gov/waterqualitysurveillance/public-health-surveillance-resources to download the guidance.  States may also wish to share the guidance with their water utilities.

 

Public Health Surveillance Design Guidance for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems

EPA has released a new guidance document as part of the Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems.  Public health surveillance is the ongoing collection and analysis of public health data, such as emergency department visits and calls to poison control centers, for the purpose of detecting disease and illness in a community.  Public health surveillance is conducted in most cities in the U.S., and can be a powerful tool for the early detection of drinking water contamination incidents.

The new document, Public Health Surveillance Design Guidance for Water Quality Surveillance and Response Systems, provides guidance for leveraging ongoing public health surveillance to detect possible drinking water contamination incidents.  It also contains an interview form to help drinking water utilities engage their public health partners and learn about ongoing surveillance activities.

You may download the guidance from EPA’sWater Quality Surveillance and Response System website:  https://www.epa.gov/waterqualitysurveillance/public-health-surveillance-resources.

If you have any questions, please contact Steve Allgeier by phone at 513-569-7131 or email him at Allgeier.Steve@epa.gov.