United States
     Environmental Protection
Water Sector  Mutual Aid and Assistance:
              Utilities  Helping Utilities
           Background: The events of 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and severe flooding in New
           England and the  Midwest in 2007 have shown the need for water and wastewater systems to share
           resources to overcome disasters occurring at a local or regional level. The Water Sector's professional
           associations,  with support from U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA) Water Security Division
           (WSD),  are working to  encourage local utilities  in every State to establish intrastate  mutual aid and
           assistance agreements between both drinking water and wastewater utilities.

           These agreements, formally known as Water/Wastewater Agency Response Networks (WARN), embrace
           a utility-driven model to facilitate an effective and efficient flow of personnel and resources after an
           emergency. By  adopting the WARN approach  to mutual  aid  and assistance,  drinking water and
           wastewater utilities in  each  state are  able to  sign a single agreement  covering  issues such as
           indemnification, workers'  compensation, and  reimbursement.  Unlike existing  statewide mutual aid
           agreements, WARN membership is open to  both public and private utilities. The agreement also  allows
           for utilities to share equipment,  personnel,  and other resources required to respond effectively  to any
           crisis. WARN helps utilities reduce the typical response "gap" between local agreements and activation of
           statewide agreements, as it does not require an emergency declaration prior to activation.

                    WARN Activation Timeline: Reducing the Response "Gap" During Emergencies
                                                  WARN Activation
                                         Mutual Aid/Ast
           Mission:  The mission of WARN is to provide  expedited access to specialized resources needed to
           respond to and recover from natural and human caused events that disrupt public and private drinking
           water and wastewater utilities.

           Purpose: EPA supports the development of WARNs to:
             Promote  the establishment  of  intrastate mutual  aid  and  assistance  agreements  to  enhance
              preparedness, improve incident response, and provide utility resilience in the face of a disaster.
             Support individual WARNs by providing tools and technical  assistance such as tabletop exercise
              materials and guidance on developing WARN implementation protocols.
             Support Department of Homeland Security requirements for compliance with the National Incident
              Management System (NIMS).

           Recognition: Due to the outstanding support EPA and the American Water Works Association (AWWA)
           provided to this grassroots, utility-driven effort, the International Association of Emergency Managers
           (IAEM) awarded them the 2006 "Partners in Preparedness" award. The model agreement implemented by
           WARN is recognized as a "Model Agreement" by the DHS/FEMA National Integration Center (NIC)
           Incident Management Systems Division.
   Water Security Division

     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     Water Sector Mutual Aid  and Assistance: Utilities Helping Utilities
                                                       Page 2
   Utility owner/operators as the key participants
   State water and wastewater primacy agencies participate as advisors and in a supporting role
   State emergency management/homeland security agencies help integrate WARN into state programs
   Water Sector professional associations such as AWWA, NRWA, WEF, AMWA, ASDWA, NACWA,
    NAWC, and ASIWPCA, who in February 2006, signed a joint policy statement on mutual aid and
    assistance titled, "Utilities Helping Utilities," to promote programs such as WARN

EPA Support: EPA is fully committed to the development of WARNs, providing extensive outreach,
facilitation, and technical support through:
   WARN  Workshops  - An EPA  grant  to AWWA  supported  twelve  WARN  Workshops  with
    participation from 48 states and the District of Columbia. Workshop speakers included EPA staff, as
    well as other WARN experts supported through EPA contracts.
   Work Products and Outreach - EPA facilitated the development of the March 2006 "Utilities Helping
    Utilities Action Plan," numerous fact sheets, a Frequently  Asked  Questions document,  and has
    presented the WARN concept at a number of national conferences and meetings.
Next   Steps:   The  number   of
statewide  agreements  has  more
than  tripled in  the  past  year,
leading to  a better prepared and
more  resilient Water Sector. This
success has led  to  a  need  to
exercise    and    validate   the
processes  and  protocols  utilized
during       activation      and
implementation of a WARN. EPA
has responded to that need  by
developing tabletop exercises and
a  protocols guidance  document.
The tabletop exercises will help
WARN members coordinate more
effectively  with  state  and local
emergency management agencies,
state   primacy   agencies,   and
federal  agencies. They will  also
enable participating  utilities and
agencies to  define their roles and
responsibilities   more   precisely
and realistically.
             Mutual Aid and Assistance Activation

              Water Utility:
              -Assesses impact of emergency
              - Determines if resources are sufficient
              - Deploys available resources
              - Identifies need for mutual aid/assistance
Mutual Response
Agreements with
local/neighbor utilities
Agency Response
Network (WARN)
Statewide Mutual Aid
for all resources
WARN includes both public and private drinking water and wastewater
utilities and does not require a formal disaster declaration for activation
While initially focused on intrastate networks, interstate mutual aid and assistance agreements may be
needed  to  share  resources  across state  lines.  EPA  and WARN partners  are  exploring  the  use of
mechanisms, such as the National Emergency Management Agency's (NEMA) Emergency Management
Assistance  Compact (EMAC), to meet this critical objective. EPA has developed an outreach document,
titled "EMAC Tips for the Water Sector," which includes information the Water Sector can apply to
utilize EMAC more effectively when requesting or providing mutual aid and assistance across state lines.

For  Additional  Information:  Visit  www.NationalWARN.org.  or  contact  John  Whitler of  EPA
(whitler j ohn(g),epa. gov).
             Office of Water (4608T)  EPA 817-F-07-015  www.epa.gov/watersecurity  OCTOBER 2007