National Preparedness Month – Week 3

 

This week focuses on risk assessment.  Conduct a risk assessment to find out your vulnerabilities…Vulnerability Self-Assessment Tool

Drinking water and wastewater utilities of all sizes can use VSAT to enhance their security and resiliency. Utilities can:

  • Identify the highest risks to mission-critical operations
  • Find the most cost-effective measures to reduce those risks

VSAT Version 6.0 complies with the water sector risk assessment standard and can offer liability protection under the Department of Homeland Security’s Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies (SAFETY) Act program. EPA strongly encourages drinking water and wastewater utility owners and operators to use VSAT 6.0 to conduct or update an all-hazards risk assessment.

For more information on water resilience, visit www.epa/gov/waterresilience

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Resilience Planning for Small Systems

Our Environmental Finance Center Network (EFCN) partners are hosting a webinar titled Resilience:  Planning on Disaster and Preparing for Disruption.  How do you prevent or mitigate the duration of severity of water service interruptions – especially if you’re a small system?

DATE:              Wednesday, September 20

TIME:               2:00-3:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/7020594331405763586

This event will outline a basic framework for small water systems to use in in their resilience planning.  It will also offer various tools and resources to help get plan implementation off the ground.

 

EPA WSD Webinar Opportunities

Our colleagues at the EPA Water Security Division (WSD) are offering to webinar opportunities.

I.  Analytical Preparedness – Full Scale Exercise Toolkit

 DATE:              Thursday, August 24

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

REGISTER:      https://us-epa-ap-fse.eventbrite.com

The Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) toolkit is an interactive resource that can help users to plan and conduct exercises that involve the coordination of analytical support. Water utilities, laboratories and other response partners can use the AP-FSE Toolkit to design exercise that meet their objectives. The toolkit includes scenarios and document templates that can be used as is, or tailored to meet their needs. This training will cover:

  • How participating in an AP-FSE can increase preparedness
  • How the toolkit and its resources can be leveraged to plan and conduct an exercise
  • How to coordinate analytical support and further develop relationships with response partners

 

II.  Decontaminating a Utility After a Contamination Event

DATE:              Wednesday, September 20

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

REGISTER:      https://us-epa-decontamination-strategies.eventbrite.com

Water utilities can face major challenges when responding to all-hazards contamination incidents. These challenges can include isolations, treating contaminated water, and decontaminating water utilities as well as the infrastructure needed to enable recovery and return to service. This webinar will provide a detailed overview of an upcoming decontamination tool that will help utilities be prepared prior to an incident. The tool will cover the three phases of remediation: characterization, decontamination and clearance. In addition, the webinar will address how utilities can contain and dispose of large amounts of contaminated water.

 

EPA Homeland Security Research Webinar on R&D Solutions to Water Emergencies

Our EPA Homeland Security R&D colleagues are hosting a webinar on “Research and Development Solutions to Water Emergencies.”  The webinar will describe tools and strategies that EPA provides water utilities to improve drinking water and wastewater system resiliency to disasters, and to quickly recover from contamination involving chemical, biological, radiological (CBR) agents

DATE:              August 17, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8046096733945995267

 

 

An overview of the following tools and methods will be presented:

  • EPANET-RTX (Real-Time eXtension) which are software libraries to support real-time modeling and real-time analytics of water distribution systems
  • Water Network Tool for Resilience (WNTR) which can be utilized to model and evaluate the resilience of specific water distribution systems
  • Riverine Spill Modeling System (RSMS) that supports emergency response decisions regarding drinking water plants intakes on the Ohio River. There are plans to expand this tool to other river systems
  • Decontamination methods for oil spills that impact water distribution systems, and treatment of contaminated water.

EPA’s Selected Analytical Methods for Environmental Remediation and Recovery, that assists sampling and analytical method selection, also will be featured as will current research on potential exposure pathways related to high consequence pathogens (e.g., Ebola virus, Bacillus anthracis spores) in wastewater.

EPA WSD Hosts Two Late July Training Opportunities

Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit Training

July 25, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET

The Analytical Preparedness Full-Scale Exercise (AP-FSE) Toolkit is an interactive resource that can help users to plan and conduct exercises that involve the coordination of analytical support. This training will cover: how participating in an AP-FSE can increase preparedness, how the toolkit and its resources can be leveraged to plan and conduct an exercise, and how to coordinate analytical support and further develop relationships with response partners.

Register:  https://us-epa-ap-fse.eventbrite.com

 

Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) Template Training

July 27, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET

It is imperative that laboratories be able to continue their essential functions when incidents occur that disrupt normal operations. This webinar is designed as an introduction to the WLA COOP template, providing a basic overview of the COOP template contents and a demonstration on how to use the template’s fillable form.

Register:  https://us-epa-wla-coop.eventbrite.com

INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE IN EARTH EX CROSS-SECTOR POWER OUTAGE EXERCISE

 

 

 

 

 

 

Critical infrastructure owners/operators and government agencies have an opportunity to participate in a new exercise designed to let participants evaluate and improve restoration support, preparedness, response and recovery plans for severe hazards, using a long-term, widespread power outage as a test case.  A webinar about the exercise is planned for July 19 and you may register here.

Hosted by the Electric Infrastructure Reliability Council, which recently published a handbook on water sector resilience to long-term power outages, EARTH EX 2017 is a four-hour decentralized, international, multi-sector, self-assessed exercise that will consider the impact of a long-duration power outage on critical infrastructure.  The no cost exercise will take place on Wednesday, August 23.  Private sector and government organizations in the U.S. and around the world interested in participating in EARTH EX 2017 are invited to register online.

In recent years concerns have grown over the potential for severe malicious or natural “Black Sky” hazards that include long duration power outages and which could lead to cascading failures of water supply systems and other interdependent infrastructure.  To prepare for these risks, careful sector-by-sector resilience planning is crucial. Cross-sector exercises are an important component to understanding interdependencies and shared vulnerabilities.  As a “come as you are” exercise, EARTH EX will offer executive and senior level operational decision makers a unique opportunity to examine preparedness, response and restoration postures for severe hazard scenarios – all without extensive pre-exercise preparation.

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

FEMA Releases New Continuity Guidance Circular – Webinar Schedule

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released the draft Continuity Guidance Circular www.fema.gov/continuity-guidance-circular which guides whole community efforts to develop and maintain the capability to ensure continuity of operations, continuity of government, and enduring constitutional government during an emergency that disrupts normal operations.

The draft document is nearing the end of a 30-day National Engagement Period that provides interested parties with an opportunity to comment.  There are three more webinars scheduled to engage interested parties.  Each hour long webinar contains the same information.

DATES:            June 20, 21, and 22, 2017

TIMES:             June 20 – 10:00-11:00AM (eastern)

June 21 – 3:00-4:00PM (eastern)

June 22 – 10:00-11:00AM (eastern)

REGISTER:      June 20 – https://fema.connectsolutions.com/cgc6/

June 21 – https://fema.connectsolutions.com/cgc7/

June 22 – https://fema.connectsolutions.com/cgc8/

AUDIO:             Audio: 800-320-4330 PIN 579861 for all three events.

 

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month

Plan Ahead!

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM), a collaborative effort between DHS, the National Cyber Security Alliance, and other public and private partners to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and individual cyber hygiene.

Each week of NCSAM is dedicated to a specific cybersecurity theme, with related activities and events happening across the country:

  • October 2-6, 2017: Simple Steps to Online Safety. Week 1 will address the top consumer cybersecurity concerns, provide simple steps to protect against these concerns, and help the public understand what to do if they fall victim to cybercrime.
  • October 9-13, 2017: Cybersecurity in the Workplace is Everyone’s Business. Week 2 will showcase how organizations can protect against the most common cyber threats. The week will also look at resources to help organizations strengthen their cyber resilience, including the Cybersecurity Framework.
  • October 16-20, 2017: Today’s Predictions for Tomorrow’s Internet. Week 3 will remind citizens that their sensitive, personal information is the fuel that makes smart devices work. While there are tremendous benefits of this technology, it is critical to understand how to use these cutting-edge innovations in safe and secure ways.
  • October 23-27: The Internet Wants YOU:  Consider a Career is Cybersecurity.  Week 4 will encourage students and other job seekers to explore cybersecurity careers.  Key influencers – like parents, teachers, and state and local officials – will learn more about this growing field and how to engage youth in pursuing cybersecurity careers.
  • October 30-31:  Protecting Critical Infrastructure from Cyber Threats.  Week 5 will look at cybersecurity in relation to keeping our traffic lights, running water, phone lines, and other critical infrastructure secure.

 

What Have Others Done Webinar Now Available

If you were not able to participate in the May 24 EPA webinar that showcased “What Have Others Done” in the emergency services arena, you may now download a recording of the event as well as obtain copies of the presentations.  Click https://www.sendthisfile.com/8HAuEtbhOdt3Ys4E8jZ90W6z.  These materials are available only through June 7.