EPA ORD Tackles Water Security

Registration is now open for EPA’s Small Drinking Water Systems Webinar on Water Security and Resiliency.

DATE:              Tuesday, April 25, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/287664509489298691

The webinar will cover two different new tools designed to meet water utility needs.  The first is the Route to Resilience tool designed to help small and medium sized drinking water utilities learn more about becoming resilient to all hazards.  The second featured tool is the Water Network Tool for Resilience that should be released later this year.  This tool will help water utilities investigate the resilience of their systems to a wide range of hazardous scenarios and evaluate emergency response actions and long term resilience-enhancing strategies.

More information on both of these presentations is available when you click the registration link above.

A Unique Resiliency Webinar Opportunity

Learn more about NIST-funded Center for Risk-Based Community Resilience Planning and how the Center is developing a computational environment to help define the attributes that make communities resilient.

DATE:              Thursday, April 27

TIME:               11:00AM- 1:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyjzCDxcdSA&feature=youtu.be 

The webinar is immediately followed by a Q&A “chat” period.

A Resilient Community is one that is prepared for and can adapt to changing conditions and can withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions to its physical and social infrastructure.  Modeling community resilience comprehensively requires a concerted effort by experts in engineering social sciences and information sciences to explain how physical, economic and social infrastructure systems within a real community interact and affect recover efforts.

Join this information webinar to learn more about the Center’s recent activities. A Center overview will be followed by a session on the Center’s recent Special Issue of Resilient and Sustainable Infrastructure, which features six papers on the virtual community Centerville.  The modeling and analysis theory behind each paper will be explained.

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.

Have an Emergency?  Did You Know…

The National Library of Medicine has decision support tools for emergency responders to help identify chemicals in mass casualty incidents, and once identified, to provide treatment support. These tools are available online and as apps to download on smart devices. Find links to apps here: https://disasterinfo.nlm.nih.gov/dimrc/toolsnlmdimrc.html

Be prepared ahead of time for a chemical spill or toxic chemical attack; familiarize yourself with these tools and incorporate them into drills.  Take a look at:

CHEMM-IST is a prototype decision support tool developed by experts in medicine and emergency response as an aid for identifying the chemical a patient was exposed to in a mass casualty incident. The focus of CHEMM-IST is only on severe cases. CHEMM-IST assumes that the patient has been exposed via the air, with potential toxic effects from inhalation, and also possible toxic effects from deposits on the skin from the air. Go to https://chemm.nlm.nih.gov/chemmist.htm

WISER (Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders) is a system designed to assist emergency responders in hazardous material incidents. The key feature of WISER is the support for identifying an unknown substance. WISER Help Identify can help an emergency responder identify and validate the unknown substance based on the following:

  • signs/symptoms of victims of exposure
  • physical properties of the substance gathered by observation or sensors
  • hazard values from NFPA 704 placards
  • the ability to categorize a substance, such as a substance used in a meth lab, a flammable substance, etc.
  • transportation identification, including DOT placards, type of road trailer, and type of rail car

For more information, go to https://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/

EPA WSD Hosts 3-Part Webinar Series on Improving Response

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a three part webinar series for water and wastewater utilities and emergency management agencies to learn how to increase resilience and improve emergency response efforts.

ASDWA encourages you to participate and also share this learning opportunity with your water systems as well as with your own emergency management counterparts.

Webinar 1: Why should I care about collaboration?

DATE:                  May 10, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar1.eventbrite.com

This webinar will provide an overview of the critical interdependencies between the water and emergency services sectors.  It will include speakers from an emergency management agency and a water utility to discuss how their organizations have benefitted from mutual collaboration.

 

Webinar 2: What have others done?

DATE:                  May 24, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar2.eventbrite.com

This webinar will provide in-depth discussions of how two drinking water and wastewater utilities have worked with their local emergency management agencies, to their mutual benefit.

 

Webinar 3: Confronting Challenges – Access and Fuel Supply Planning

DATE:                  June 14, 2017

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

REGISTER:        https://epa-water-ess-webinar3.eventbrite.com

In this webinar, speakers from both sectors will discuss how they approached resolving access issues to disaster sites (credentialing) and what efforts they have undertaken to create a more resilient fuel supply.

All three webinars are free but each requires a separate registration in advance of the event.  Webinar links will be shared approximately one week prior to the event.

Public Health Surveillance Webinar

EPA’s Water Security Division is hosting a webinar entitled, “Public Health Surveillance (PHS) for Determining Drinking Water Contamination.  PHS involves the analysis of public health data to detect and increase in disease or illness in a community and an investigation to determine whether the increase in illness may be due to drinking water contamination.

DATE:              April 19, 2017

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

REGISTER:      https://www.eventbrite.com/e/us-epa-public-health-surveillance-for-detecting-drinking-water-contamination-registration-32689843201

During the webinar participants will:

  • Learn about common public health partners and surveillance practices
  • Learn how to work with public health partners to leverage existing public health surveillance capabilities to monitor for possible drinking water contamination
  • Find out where to access resources to learn more about public health surveillance

Attendees may be eligible for one continuing education contact hour.

AWWA Cyber Risk Management Webinar

Our colleagues at AWWA are hosting a webinar to consider impacts and implications of cyber vulnerabilities at water utilities. This is a growing but often overlooked threat to the water community.  According to their webpage…This webinar is intended to alert water utility legal counsel, general managers, and C-Suite members to board/council responsibilities concerning cyber-risk vulnerabilities.  You are encouraged to register to learn more about cyber risks and to share this opportunity with your water utilities.

DATE:              March 30, 2017

TIME:               11:30AM-1:00PM (eastern)

REGISTER:      Register Now!

 

There is a registration fee for AWWA members ($75) and nonmembers ($120).

Microsoft Ending Support for Windows Vista

Editor’s Note:  This information was provided by our colleagues at the WaterISAC.

If you know of any water systems still using the Windows Vista operating system, please let them know about the following ASAP.

“All software products have a lifecycle.  After April 11, 2017, Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Vista operating system.  After this date, this product will no longer receive security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates from Microsoft.  Computers running the Windows Vista operating system will continue to work even after support ends.  However, using unsupported software may increase the risks of viruses and other security threats.  Users and administrators are encouraged to upgrade to a currently supported operating system.  For more information, see Microsoft’s Vista support and product lifecycle articles.”

EPA WSD Shares Two New Products

Build Field Capabilities for Drinking Water Contamination

Be better prepared to perform field response activities in a drinking water contamination emergency. This document provides planning and implementation guidance, templates, customizable report forms, and other documentation for basic and advanced field response activities.

Guidance for Building Field Capabilities to Respond to Drinking Water Contamination

 

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How to Share Resources Across State Lines

 EMAC (the Emergency Management Assistance Compact) provides for assistance during Governor-declared states of emergency that allows states to send personnel, equipment, and commodities to help disaster relief efforts in other states.  EPA has developed a factsheet that provides information on the EMAC process and how water systems can participate.  Click here to access the fact sheet

In addition, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) maintains an EMAC eLearning portal http://www.emacweb.org/index.php/trainingeducation/interested-in-an-elearning-course that provides instruction in a self-paced, independent atmosphere. NEMA also offers training, workshops, and webinars upon reasonable request, if staffing allows.

New Water Resilience Tool Webinar

DATE:              May 3, 2017

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

REGISTER:      Click here to register

Tune in to hear more about EPA’s new tool, the Route to Resilience. The tool helps utilities become more resilient to all-hazards and is built around five stops; assess, plan, train, respond and recover. Join the webinar to hear more about how you can begin your journey on the Route to Resilience.

Water and wastewater operators may receive continuing education credit in some states.