For at least the past eight years or so, I’ve kept tabs on what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been doing for emergency preparedness for water systems. Their efforts, spearheaded from their Water Security Division, include information on comprehensive emergency management activities – mitigation and resilience, surveillance and response, preparedness, and more. Their website offers a plethora of resources, not only for water utilities and systems operators, but for others as well. These resources include tools and guidance for conducting risk assessments, creating emergency plans, building resilience, developing a training and exercise plan, and conducting exercises. These resources and tools all help to de-mystify emergency management systems and help to build a bridge into the emergency management world. While they provide information on certain hazards, such as flooding or criminal activity, their approach, overall is all-hazards. The EPA includes links to ICS and other FEMA training, as well as other agencies, and encourages water systems to interact with other agencies at the local, state, and federal level.
Back in November of last year, I gave a review of the TEEX course MGT: 342 Strategic Overview of Disaster Management for Water and Wastewater Utilities. Those who work with or for water utilities would certainly benefit from attending this training and reviewing the EPA’s Water Security Division website. Water is an important component of our Critical Infrastructure, with dependencies cascading across all other sectors. These resources strengthen and support our continued preparedness within these sector, while also adding to whole community preparedness.
The EPA Water Security Division provides a quarterly e-newsletter, to which you can subscribe to stay abreast of their tools, resources, and information.
© 2016 – Timothy M. Riecker, CEDP
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