Incident Action Checklist- Hurricane
  The actions in this checklist are divided up into three "rip & run" sections and are examples of activities that water and
  wastewater utilities can take to: prepare for, respond to and recover from hurricanes. For on-the-go convenience, you can
  also populate the "My Contacts" section with critical information that your utility may need during an incident.

Hurricane Impacts on Water and Wastewater Utilities
A hurricane is a severe tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater. Hurricanes and
tropical storms have the potential to cause a great deal of damage to drinking water and wastewater utilities
due to heavy rainfall and inland flooding, coastal storm surge, and high winds. Typical impacts that may lead to
service interruptions include, but are not limited to:
   • Pipe breaks due to washouts, up-rooted trees, etc.,
     which could result in sewage spills or low water pressure
     throughout the service area
   • Loss of power and communication infrastructure due to
     high winds
   • Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) due to flooding
   • Restricted access to facilities and collection and
     distribution system assets due to debris and flood waters
   • Loss of water quality testing capability during the storm
     due to restricted facility and laboratory access and
     damage to utility equipment
The following sections outline actions water and wastewater utilities can take to prepare for, respond to and
recover from hurricanes.

  Examples of Hurricane and Water Sector Impacts and  Response
  Superstorm Sandy Response
  Utilities from Florida to Maine were very active in monitoring and preparing for landfall of Superstorm Sandy
  in October 2012. More than 690 drinking water and wastewater utilities across 11 states and Washington,
  D.C., experienced impacts from the storm. Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) responses
  included significant communication with utilities to assess operational conditions and fulfill resource requests,
  such as the following:

     MAWARN—West Boylston Water District
     provided generator support to Northboro
     Department of Public Works for a sewer
     pump station.
     NJWARN—Coordination of generator
     needs with New Jersey Office of
     Emergency Management (NJOEM) and
     the Emergency Management Assistance
     Compact (EMAC), and notice  of need
     to surrounding WARNs of anticipated
     resource requests.
NYWARN—Beth page Water District provided Mill Neck
Estates Water Supply with chlorination equipment via rowboat,
as no other means of delivery was possible. Onondaga
County Wastewater Agency provided a chainsawcrew
to support New York City Department of Environmental
Protection (NYCDEP) facility access. NYWARN provided
informational support to the  US Army Corp of Engineers
(USAGE), Brooklyn Joint Field Office.
PAWARN—Erie Water Works responded to generator request
from Lehigh County Authority within 13 minutes of request and
unit was operating onsite in  less than 24 hours.
           Source: AWWA "Suoerstorm Sandv After Action Report. 2013."
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                       My  Contacts and Resources
                                         UTILITY/ORGANIZATION NAME
                                                                              PHONE NUMBER

Local EMA
State EMA
State Primacy Agency
WARN Chair
Power Utility


•   Incident monitoring:

   .  National Hurricane Center (National Oceanic and
     Atmospheric Administration [NOAA])

   .  Quantitative Precipitation Forecasts (NOAA)

   .  Excessive Rainfall Forecasts (NOAA)

   .  River Observations. Forecasts, and Experimental
     Long-Range Flook Risk (NOAA)

   .  Flood Inundation Mapper (United States
     Geological Survey [USGS])

   .  WaterNow (USGS)

   .  WaterAlert (USGS)

   .  WaterWatch (USGS)
•   Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale (NOAA)
•   Tropical Cyclones: A Preparedness Guide (NOAA)
•   Map Service  Center to find flood map by address
   (Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA])
•   National Weather Service Weather Alerts (NOAA)
•   Planning for an Emergency Drinking Water Supply
•   All-Hazard Consequence Management Planning
   for the Water Sector (Water Sector Emergency
   Response Critical Infrastructure Partnership Advisory
   Council  [CIPAC] Workgroup)
•   Vulnerability Self Assessment Tool (VSAT) (EPA)
•   Preparing for Extreme Weather Events: Workshop
   Planner for the Water Sector (EPA)
•   Tabletop Exercise Tool for Water Systems:
   Emergency Preparedness. Response, and Climate
   Resiliency (EPA)
•   How to Develop a Multi-Year Training and Exercise
   fT&B Plan (EPA)
•   Make a  Plan (FEMA)

•   Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network
   (WARN) (EPA)
•   Community Based Water Resiliency (EPA)

Facility and Service Area
•   Emergency Response  and Preparedness Florida
   WARN Best Management Practices for Water and
   Wastewater Systems (University of Florida Center for
•   What to Do After the Flood (EPA)

Power, Energy and Fuel
•   EPA Region 1  Water/Wastewater System Generator
   Preparedness Brochure (EPA)

Documentation and  Reporting
•   Federal Funding for Utilities In National Disasters
   (Fed FUNDS)  (EPA)

•   Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool
   (GREAT) (EPA)
•   Adaptation Strategies Guide (EPA)
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                Actions to Prepare for Hurricane Season
I	I Review and update your utility's emergency
   response plan (ERP), and ensure all emergency
   contacts are current.

I	I Conduct briefings, training and exercises to
   ensure utility staff is aware of all preparedness,
   response and recovery procedures.

I	| Identify priority water customers (e.g., hospitals),
   obtain their contact information, map their
   locations and develop a plan to restore those
   customers first.

I	| Develop an emergency drinking water supply
   plan and establish contacts (potentially through
   your local emergency management agency
   (EMA) or mutual aid network) to discuss
   procedures, which may include bulk water
   hauling, mobile treatment units or temporary
   supply lines, as well as storage and distribution.

I	| Conduct a hazard vulnerability analysis in which
   you review historical records to understand
   the past frequency and intensity of hurricanes
   and how your utility may have been impacted.
   Consider taking actions to mitigate hurricane
   impacts to the utility, including those provided
   in the "Actions to Recover from a Hurricane:
   Mitigation" section.

I	| Complete pre-disaster activities to help apply
   for federal disaster funding (e.g., contact state/
   local officials with connections to funding, set
   up a system to document damage and costs,
   take photographs of the facility for comparison to
   post-damage photographs).
   Join your state's Water/Wastewater Agency
   Response Network (WARN) or other local
   mutual aid network.

   Coordinate with WARN members and other
   neighboring utilities to discuss:
   Outlining response activities, roles and
   responsibilities and mutual aid procedures
   (e.g., how to request and offer assistance)

   Conducting joint tabletop or full-scale

   Obtaining resources and assistance, such as
   equipment, personnel, technical support or

   Establishing interconnections between
   systems and agreements with  necessary
   approvals to activate this alternate source.
   Equipment, pumping rates and demand on
   the water sources need to be considered and
   addressed in the design and operations

   Establishing communication protocols and
   equipment to reduce misunderstandings
   during the incident

Coordinate with other key response partners,
such as your local EMA, to discuss:

   How restoring system operations may
   have higher priority than establishing an
   alternative water resource

   Potential points of distribution for the delivery
   of emergency water supply (e.g., bottled
   water) to the public, as well as who is
   responsible for distributing the water

Understand how the local and utility emergency
operations center (EOC) will be activated and
what your utility may be called on to do, as
well as how local emergency responders and
the local EOC can support your utility during a
response. If your utility has assets outside of the
county EMA's jurisdiction, consider coordination
or preparedness efforts that should be done in
those areas.

Ensure credentials to allow access will  be valid
during an incident by checking with local law

Sign up for mobile and/or email alerts from your
local EMA, if available.
                                                 3 of 8

          Actions  to  Prepare for Hurricane Season (continued)
Communication with Customers	

I	I Develop outreach materials to provide your
   customers with information they will need during
   a hurricane (e.g., clarification about water
   advisories, instructions for private well and septic
   system maintenance and information about
   hurricane mitigation).
   I Review public information protocols with local
   EMA and public health/primacy agencies.
   These protocols should include developing
   water advisory messages (e.g., boil water,
   warnings that service disruptions are likely) and
   distributing them to customers using appropriate
   mechanisms, such as reverse 911  calling. Keep
   in mind that the notice may need to be delivered
   prior to the storm to be effective.
Facility and Service Area
   Inventory and order extra equipment and
   supplies, as needed:
   • Motors

   • Fuses

   • Chemicals (ensure at least a two week supply)

   • Cellular phones or other wireless
     communications device

   • Emergency Supplies

     •   Tarps/tape/rope

     •   Cots/blankets

        First aid kits

        Foul weather gear



     •   Sandbags (often, sand must be ordered as

     •   Bottled water


        Non-perishable food
  I Ensure communication equipment (e.g., radios,
   satellite phones) works and is fully charged.

  I Develop a GIS map of all system components
   and prepare a list of coordinates for each facility.

  I Document pumping requirements and storage
   capabilities, as well as critical treatment
   components and parameters.
Power, Energy and Fuel
   Ask the local power utility to trim tree branches
   near power lines.

   Evaluate condition of electrical panels to accept
   generators; inspect connections and switches.

   Document power requirements of the facility;
   options for doing this may include:
   • Placing a request with the US Army Corps
     of Engineers 249th Engineer Battalion
     (Prime Power): http://www.usace.army.
   • Using the US Army Corps of Engineers on-line
     Emergency Power Facility Assessment Tool
     (EPFAT): http://epfat.swf.usace.army.mil/

   Confirm and document generator connection
   type, capacity load and fuel consumption. Test
   regularly, exercise under load and service
   backup generators.

   Contact fuel vendors and inform them of
   estimated fuel volumes needed if utility is
   impacted. Determine your ability to establish
   emergency contract provisions with vendors
   and your ability to transport fuel if re-fueling
   contractors are not available. Develop a backup
   fueling plan and a prioritization list of which
   generators to fuel in case of a fuel shortage.

   Collaborate with your local power provider and
   EOC to ensure that your water utility is on the
   critical facilities list for priority electrical power
   restoration, generators and emergency fuel.
                                                4 of 8

   Actions to Respond to a Hurricane: Pre-landfall Activities

 J Actively monitor hurricane activity.
Facility and Service Area
  I Secure equipment; move electronics, equipment
   and important data to a water-tight facility or out
   of flood-prone areas. Determine areas outside of
   the floodplain where vehicles/equipment can be

  I Clear storm drains and set up sandbags to
   protect facilities in flood-prone areas. Place
   sandbags on the top of tanks so that backwash
   water is directed away from plant structures.

  I Check that back-up equipment and facility
   systems, such as controls and pumps, are in
   working order, and ensure that the utility has a
   two week supply of all chemicals on hand.

  I Protect exposed lines or pipes that may become
   vulnerable due to streambank erosion.

  I Fill storage tanks to full capacity to maximize
   storage and fill empty chemical storage tanks
   with water if a heavy precipitation  event is
   anticipated,  to prevent floating.

  I Wastewater utilities should empty holding tanks,
   ponds and/or lagoons to prepare for an increase
   in flow and to minimize the chance of a release
   during heavy weather incidents.
   Identify essential personnel and ensure they are
   trained to perform critical duties in an emergency
   (and possibly without communication), including
   the shut down and start up of the system.

   Establish communication procedures with
   essential and non-essential personnel. Ensure
   all personnel are familiar with emergency
   evacuation and shelter in place procedures.

   Pre-identify emergency operations and clean-
   up crews. Establish alternative transportation
   strategies if roads are impassable.

   Consider how evacuations or limited staffing
   due to transportation issues (potentially all
   utility personnel) will impact your response

   Identify possible staging areas for mutual
   aid crews if needed in the response, and the
   availability of local facilities to house the crews.

   Encourage personnel, especially those that
   may be on duty for extended periods of time, to
   develop family emergency plans.
Power, Energy and Fuel
   Fuel vehicles and fill fuel tanks to full capacity
   and ensure that you have the ability to manually
   pump gas in the event of a power outage.
   Ensure this equipment and other hazardous
   stored materials are located in a safe zone.
                                               5 of 8

 Actions to Respond to a Hurricane: Post-landfall Activities
I	I Notify your local EMA and state regulatory/
   primacy agency of system status.

I	I If needed, request or offer assistance (e.g.,
   equipment, personnel) through mutual aid
   networks, such as WARN.

I	I Assign a representative of the utility to the
   incident command post or the EOC for the

Communication with Customers —
   Notify customers of any water advisories
   and consider collaborating with local media
   (television, radio, newspaper, etc.) to distribute
   the message. If emergency water is being
   supplied, provide information on the distribution
Facility and Service Area

   Conduct damage assessments of the utility to
   prioritize repairs and other actions.

   Check that back-up equipment and facility
   systems, such as controls and pumps, are
   in working order, and ensure that chemical
   containers and feeders are intact.
Drinking Water Utilities

Inspect the utility and service area for damage
due to debris, downed trees and flood waters.
Identify facility components (e.g., valve boxes)
and fire hydrants that have been buried or are

Ensure pressure is maintained throughout the
system and isolate those sections where it is not.

Isolate and control leaks in water transmission
and distribution piping.

Turn off water meters at destroyed homes and

Monitor water quality, develop a sampling plan
and adjust treatment as necessary.

Notify regulatory/primacy agency if operations
and/or water quality or quantity are affected.

Utilize pre-established emergency connections
or setup temporary connections to nearby
communities, as  needed. Alternatively, implement
plans to draw emergency water from pre-
determined tanks or hydrants. Notify employees
of the activated sites.
                                               6 of 8

 Actions to Respond to a Hurricane: Post-landfall Activities
   Wastewater Utilities

   Inspect the utility and service area, including
   lift stations, for damage, downed trees, and
   power availability. Inspect the sewer system for
   debris and assess the operational status of the
   mechanical bar screen. If necessary, run system
   in manual operation.

   Inspect all manholes and pipelines in flood-prone
   areas for inflow and infiltration after water recedes.

   Consider suspending solid waste processing
   during periods of high flow to conserve bacteria
   and prevent it from washing out of the plant.

   Notify regulatory/primacy agency of any changes
   to the operations or required testing parameters.
Documentation and Reporting
   Document all damage assessments, mutual aid
   requests, emergency repair work, equipment
   used, purchases made, staff hours worked and
   contractors used during the response to assist in
   requesting reimbursement and applying for federal
   disaster funds. When possible, take photographs
   of damage at each work site (with time and
   date stamp). Proper documentation is critical to
   requesting reimbursement.

   Work with your local EMA on the required
   paperwork for public assistance requests.
   Account for all personnel and provide emergency
   care, if needed. Caution personnel about known
   hazards resulting from hurricanes.

   Deploy emergency operations and clean-up
   crews. Identify key access points and roads
   for employees to enter the utility and critical
   infrastructure; coordinate the need for debris
   clearance with local emergency management or
   prioritize it for employee operations.
Power, Energy and Fuel
   Use backup generators, as needed, to supply
   power to system components.

   Monitor and plan for additional fuel needs in
   advance; coordinate fuel deliveries to generators.

   Maintain contact with electric provider for power
   outage duration estimates.
r Notes:

                  Actions to Recover from a  Hurricane
I	I Continue work with response partners to obtain
   funding, equipment, etc.

Communication with Customers	
   Assign a utility representative to continue
   to communicate with customers concerning
   a timeline for recovery and other pertinent
Facility and Service Area
   Complete damage assessments.

   Complete permanent repairs, replace depleted
   supplies and return to normal service.
Documentation and Reporting
   Compile damage assessment forms and cost
   documentation into a single report to facilitate
   the sharing of information and the completion
   of state and federal funding applications.
   Visit EPA's web-based tool, Federal Funding
   for Utilities—Water/Wastewater—in National
   Disasters (Fed FUNDS), for tailored information
   and application forms for various federal
   disaster funding programs: http://water.epa.gov/
   Develop a lessons learned document and/or an
   after action report (AAR) to keep a record of your
   response activities. Update your vulnerability
   assessment, ERP and contingency plans.

   Revise budget and asset management plans to
   address increased costs from response-related
   Identify mitigation and long-term adaptation
   measures that can prevent damage and
   increase utility resilience. Consider impacts
   related to the increased frequency of intense
   hurricanes when planning for system upgrades.
   Examples of successful mitigation projects by
   water and wastewater utilities include:

      Provide protection to electrical substation
      and transformers that would be in danger of
      failing during a floods, storm surges and high

      Retrofit sanitary sewer lift stations with
      electrical connections for portable generators
      to maintain operations during  power outages

      Elevate generators, fuel tanks, critical
      controls, motors and blowers to protect
      against coastal storm surges

      Replace existing entry doors with heavy-duty,
      impact-resistant doors and install electric
      roll-down storm window shutters to protect
      against flying debris that is associated with
      hurricane force winds
- Notes:
                                Office of Water (4608-T)  EPA 817-F-15-006 January 2015
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