United States
                  Environmental Protection
                  Agency
 Water and Emergency Services
A  Critical Community Interdependency
What are Water Sector Interdependencies?
Many critical emergency services and functions rely on water services to operate. For example, firefighting
capabilities would be jeopardized if water were unavailable. Similarly, the Water Sector (drinking water and
wastewater infrastructure) relies on a number of emergency services to ensure that water infrastructure is
secure in the face of natural disasters and manmade threats. This relationship is considered an inter dependency.
Both Water and Emergency Services have
been designated as Critical Infrastructure/Key
Resources (CIKR) sectors by the U.S. Department
of Homeland Security (DHS). As such, the
protection and security of water and emergency
services infrastructure is a national priority.
Recognizing the infrastructure inter'dependencies
between the Emergency Services Sector (ESS)
and Water Sector, and accounting for them
in emergency planning at the local, state, and
national levels, are critical to mitigating the
negative impacts of water service interruptions, or
interruptions in emergency operations.

Overview of Emergency Services
Infrastructure
ESS is a network of preventative, response, and
recovery services, of which there are five main
functions: Law Enforcement; Fire  and Emergency
Services; Emergency Management; Emergency
Medical Services; and, Public Works.
Additionally, ESS is responsible for specialized
functions, including:  Hazardous Materials
(HazMat), Search and Rescue, Explosive
Ordnance Training, Special Weapons and Tactics
and Tactical Operations, Aviation Units, and
Public Safety Answers Points.
 Examples of Emergency Services
 and Water Sector Dependencies
 Emergency Services Sector Dependencies
 with the Water Sector include:
  Fire and Rescue - Provide water for
   firefighting
  Emergency Medical Services - Sterilize
   on-scene medical equipment and hydrate
   emergency medical technicians (EMTs),
   paramedics, and accident victims
  Emergency Management - Provide
   drinking water and wastewater services for
   emergency shelter operations
 Water Sector Dependencies with Emergency
 Services Sector include:
  Law Enforcement - Protect water infrastructure;
   investigate criminal acts at water utilities sites
   (vandalism, contamination, or trespassing)
  Emergency Medical Services - Respond
   to public health impacts of water service
   interruptions, particularly for consumption  of
   contaminated drinking water
  HazMat Response - Handle and dispose of
   contaminated surface, ground, or drinking water
  Emergency Management - Coordinate water
   emergency response and recovery efforts

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                             Water and Emergency Services: A Critical Community Interdependency  Page 2
Tips for Strengthening Emergency Services Sector Resiliency

 Collaborate with local water utility personnel to incorporate
  alternative water supply strategies into emergency plans
 Identify critical water and wastewater infrastructure for local
  emergency services personnel
 Develop interoperable communications between the sectors
 Standardize equipment to facilitate mutual aid (e.g., fire
  hydrants)
 Include the Water Sector in responder badging and credentialing
  programs
 Conduct emergency exercises in which potable water is limited
  or not available
 Invite the state primacy agency and water utilities to participate
  in exercises and/or ask to participate in exercises conducted by
  the state primacy agency or water utilities in your region
 Designate representatives from the local water utility to work in
  the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or ask for a represen-
  tative to join the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC)
 Train and educate first responders and other emergency service
  personnel on water emergency planning using available tools
  and resources, including:
  - Water-specific Water Sector Incident Command System (ICS)
    and National Incident Management System (NEVIS) training1
  - Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems: Emergency
    Preparedness, Response, and Climate Resiliency
  - A Water Security and Emergency Preparedness Training Workbook for Law Enforcement
  - Water Security Handbook: Planning for and Responding to Drinking Water Contamination Threats
    Incidents
and
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Community-Based Water Resiliency (CBWR) initiative
provides communities with the tools necessary for launching a water resiliency program. This initiative
was implemented to increase the awareness of interdependencies with the Water Sector and provide a
comprehensive approach to water preparedness and community resiliency.
  CONTACT US For more information on Emergency Services and Water Sector
  interdependencies and the CBWR initiative, please contact WSD-Outreach@epa.gov or visit
  us at http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity.
1For information on ICS and NIMS training for the Water Sector, please visit:
http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/emerplan/index.cfmSnims
                Office of Water (4608-T) | EPA817-F-10-018 | December 2010 |  http://water.epa.gov

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