EPA WSD Releases New Response On-the-Go Mobile App

 

 

  EPA’s Response On-The-Go Mobile Application provides users with real-time access to valuable tools and response information including location-based hazardous weather updates, interactive maps and charts from the National Weather Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and EPA Incident Action Checklists that outline disaster-specific response actions.

During hurricanes, tornadoes, power outages and other emergencies, water utility personnel and first line responders must ensure that they are coordinating closely with stakeholders, maintaining awareness of threats to the water system and surrounding community, and documenting response actions. The App can be downloaded for free for use on a variety mobile devices and tablets. For more information, visit https://www.epa.gov/waterutilityresponse/water-utility-response-go-mobile-application-and-website

Are You Ready for a Tornado?

As part of the month-long PrepareAthon! effort, EPA’s Water Security Division invites you to take a look at their Tornado Incident Action Checklist.  Do take that look.  Don’t presume that just because you don’t live in Tornado Alley that it won’t happen to you.  About two weeks ago, a small tornado tore through Northern Virginia taking down trees and taking off roofs.  This happened less than a mile from the Pentagon.  And, although the Commonwealth of Virginia is well known for many things, tornado activity is not among them!  It happened anyway!

The eight page doc includes links to numerous resources, a step-wise walk through activities related to planning, response and recovery, and thought provoking considerations for how to think about coordination, communication with customers, water system personnel concerns, and power, energy, and fuel needs.  There are also contact and checklists that water systems can complete.  Here’s the link to a downloadable version of the Incident Action Checklist for Tornadoes.  https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-06/documents/tornado.pdf

EPA Shares PrepareAthon! Information and Resources

America’s PrepareAthon! is a grassroots campaign for action to increase community preparedness and resilience.  This year’s PrepareAthon! Takes place throughout the month of April.  This link https://community.fema.gov/news?lang=en_US will take you to more information about preparedness and the PrepareAthon! Initiative.

In support of PrepareAthon!, EPA’s Water Security Division has also been working on preparedness and resiliency for the Water Sector.  Take a look at the materials that they have prepared and shared (including helpful case studies) on flooding, drought, tornadoes, and hurricanes.  The tips found in these materials can be just what a water utility needs to get started or expand an effort that they already have underway to enhance their resiliency.  Click https://www.epa.gov/waterresilience/water-utilities-take-part-americas-prepareathon to learn more about EPA’s resources.  This link also has registration information for the May 3 Route to Resilience webinar for utilities.  You may recall that the state-focused webinar on this subject was held February 28.

EPA’s Regional Water Teams

Did you know that EPA has a dedicated “Water Team” for each Region to provide support to states and utilities in times of emergency?

Regional Water Teams (RWTs) consist of trained EPA Regional staff from the drinking water, wastewater, and emergency response programs. RWT members have a background and specialized training in relevant EPA roles and authorities, drinking water and wastewater systems, the Incident Command System (ICS)/National Incident Management System (NIMS), and field health and safety considerations.  RWTs can serve as a liaison with the state primacy agency and Federal Agencies such as FEMA; assist with sampling and analyses; and conduct needs assessments among a wide array of support tasks.

The list below identifies the Water Team Lead for each of EPA’s 10 Regions (use the arrow keys at the bottom to scroll over to email addresses).

Water Team Leads

Region      Name      Phone      e-mail
1 Jane Downing 617-918-1571 downing.jane@epa.gov
2 Arlene Anderson 212-637-3879 anderson.arlene@epa.gov
3 Patti-Kay Wisniewski 215-814-5668 wisniewski.patti-kay@epa.gov
4 David Apanian 404-562-9477 apanian.david@epa.gov
5 Alicia Brown 312-886-4443 brown.alicia@epa.gov
6 Mark McCasland 214-665-8088 mccasland.mark@epa.gov
7 Ken Deason 913-551-7585 deason.ken@epa.gov
8 Michael Copeland 303-312-6010 copeland.michael@epa.gov
9 Bruce Macler 415 972-3569 macler.bruce@epa.gov
10 Johnny Clark 206-553-6904 clark.johnny@epa.gov

 

Week 4 – National Critical Infrastructure Security & Resilience Month

The theme for the final week of this month-long initiative is TAKE ACTION.  Take action today to help prepare utilities for emergencies.

Drinking water and wastewater utilities can take steps to adapt to the increasing frequency and severity of extreme weather events.  One helpful approach is use of the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT).  It is a climate risk assessment and planning application for water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities.  Use CREAT to understand the impacts of climate change, assess adaptation options, and conduct cost-benefit analyses of risk reduction strategies.

Use this link https://www.epa.gov/crwu/build-climate-resilience-your-utility to access CREAT and begin to strengthen your understanding today!  Also, don’t forget to share the 1-minute public service announcement – Be aware, Be prepared, Protect Critical Water Infrastructure –video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWGKHRxzonI.

For more preparedness tools and resources, please go to epa.gov/waterresilience

 

Financing Recovery and Mitigation – A Free Webinar Series

EPA is hosting two new webinars that showcase available funding for both disaster recovery efforts and resilience mitigation projects.

Disaster Recovery Financing

DATE:              November 22

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/disaster-recovery-financing-tickets-28791523221

This event describes how states and communities use SRF, FEMA, and other financing approaches to recover from a disaster. Utility and state speakers will share tips and examples.

Resilience Mitigation Financing

DATE:              December 7

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resilience-mitigation-financing-tickets-28791849196

This event focuses on tools and financing resources to conduct resilience planning and to mitigate impacts before a disaster strikes. Utilities will share stories about investing in resilient infrastructure.

 

November is National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month

Our colleagues at EPA’s Water Security Division invite states and water utilities to take special efforts during National Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month to be better prepared for emergencies.  Each week during November, EPA will share information about a different area of focus for enhanced security and resilience.

This week’s focus is Risk Assessment.  A vital step on the path to resilience is identifying a utility’s vulnerabilities.  Water and wastewater utilities can identify risks using the Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool (VSAT).  VSAT can help utilities identify the highest risks to mission-critical operations and find cost-effective risk reduction strategies.  This link https://www.epa.gov/waterriskassessment/conduct-drinking-water-or-wastewater-utility-risk-assessment will take you to a downloadable version of VSAT.

More information about water security and resilience  is available at https://www.epa.gov/waterresilience/celebrate-national-critical-infrastructure-security-and-resilience-month.  Next week’s focus area will be “Get Ready – Conduct an emergency response exercise.”  Subsequent focus areas will look at community resiliency and risk reduction strategies.

 

 

Financing Recovery and Mitigation Webinars

As part of an ongoing webinar series, our colleagues at EPA are hosting two webinars that explore resource options that can be used for recovery, mitigation, and resilience financing.

Disaster Recovery Financing

 DATE:              November 22

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/disaster-recovery-financing-tickets-28791523221

This webinar will share information on how states and communities use SRFs, FEMA grants, and other financing opportunities to recover from a disaster.

Resilience Mitigation Financing

DATE:              December 7

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/resilience-mitigation-financing-tickets-28791849196

This event will offer insights about financing resources that can be used for resilience planning and hazard mitigation projects.

Please click https://www.epa.gov/waterfinancecenter/financing-disaster-recovery-and-resilience-mitigation-water-and-wastewater for more details about each of these events.

 

Just a Reminder…

EPA’s Water Security Division invites you and your water utilities to attend a webinar to showcase available tools and resources helpful in preparing for, responding to, and recovering from all types of emergencies.

DATE:              November 9

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-free-preparedness-resources-for-water-utilities-webinar-tickets-27410156516

For more information, please refer to our blog of October 3 on this event.

CREAT 3.0 Webinars Coming Soon

Just a reminder, EPA’s Water Security Division invites you to join them for a webinar to introduce you to the new features offered in the Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool (CREAT) version 3.0 and to answer any questions you might have regarding the updated tool or the larger Climate Ready Water Utilities (CRWU) initiative.

CRWU will offer three CREAT 3.0 webinars, each beginning at 1:00PM (eastern) on:

Wednesday, October 19

Wednesday, October 26

Wednesday, November 2

To reserve a space on your preferred date, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-creat-30-update-overview-webinar-registration-27355858108?aff=CRWUnewsletter1

New to the CREAT family?  Click Here to Access CREAT and explore the tool prior to the webinar. The latest version of CREAT is web-based and features a series of easy-to-use modules, a user-friendly interface, updated climate data projections and improved monetized risk results.  For more information on CRWU efforts, please visit www.epa.gov/crwu.

Webinar login and call-in information will be provided after registration.  Any questions can be directed to Zach Rybarczyk at rybarczyk.zachary@epa.gov.