Connecting Water Utilities and	&EPA
Emergency Management Agencies
1. Build Relationships
Water utilities and Emergency Management Agencies
(EMAs) can work together to better respond to
emergencies. Learn how below.
Relationship Building
The Portland Bureau of Emergency Management
(PBEM) and the Portland Water Bureau (Portland
Water) have a strong partnership. They plan and
participate in joint training exercises, including
earthquake exercises and dam safety drills.
Portland Water partners with PBEM to manage
"PublicAlerts". PBEM's Emergency Coordination
Centerand Portland Water's Emergency Operations
Center are co-located in adjacent offices. They
work together daily and during emergencies such
as major snow storms.
Share day-to-day and emergency contact
information. You can also figure out other ways
to communicate. Hand-held radios work well
when phone services are lost.
Benefits: Better communication
Attend each other's events. State and local EMAs
may give training useful to water utilities. Water
utilities and EMAs can include roles for each
other in their exercises. EPA's Training & Exercise
Plan and Tab/etop Exercise tools can help.
Benefits: Information exchange and joint
problem solving
WATER UTILITIES:
Water utilities can give EMA staff tours of their
facilities.
Benefits: EMAs better understand water utilities'
emergency needs
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCIES:
EMAs can give water utilities access to the
Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Water
utilities could staff a "water desk" in the EOC
during emergencies. Or, EMAs could provide
access to a tool like WebEOC to water utilities.
Benefits: Better coordination
operations
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2. Coordinate Planning
Both sectors can share their emergency response
plans (ERPs) and emergency operations plans
(EOPs). Important items to talk about are
emergency water and sanitation services. EMAs
could include water utilities in their city or county's
Hazard Mitigation Plan. EPA's Hazard Mitigation
Guide can help. Water utilities can join their Local
Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC).
Benefits: Save money, identify gaps, receive
funding and meet response partners
Resource Sharing
At an exercise, a Pennsylvania county EMA learned
that a local water utility bottled water. Later, a
private water system at a nursing home failed.
The nursing home called the EMA for alternate
drinking water, and the EMA contacted the local
utility to provide the bottled water.
Funding Through Planning
The Phoenix Wastewater Treatment Plant
was at risk of flooding. The utility and the city
worked with the Maricopa County Department
of Emergency Management and recieved funds
from FEMA's Hazard Mitigation Grant Program to
reduce the threat.
3. Share Emergency Capabilities
The EMA can share information about how to ask
for resources during emergencies. Water utilities
can share information on their back-up generators,
fuel supply, and Water and Wastewater Agency
Response Network (WARN) membership. Both
sectors will find EPA's Resoonse-On-The-Go mobile
website and App helpful.
Benefits: Access to resources and improved response
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Emergency Communication
Rains caused floods that damaged the Upper
Thompson Sanitation District (UTSD) in
Colorado. Public information and emergency
communications were difficult. Larimer County
EMA sent two public information staff to develop
incident Web and Facebook pages. They also
wrote press releases. After, UTSD got a grant for
80QMHz hand-held radios to communicate when
phone services are out.
4. Develop Joint Messages
Water utilities can develop risk communication
plans with EMAs. You can work together to write
water use notices ahead of time. Drinking water
utilities will need to follow the Public NotjficaHon
Rule. Also, both utilities and EMAs could identify
how to share notices with the public. One way is
the Integrated Public Alert & Warn ins System.
Benefits: Better public notification
5. Issue Access Cards
Water utility workers need to get to and repair
their facilities quickly after a disaster. State and
local EMAs could consider issuing responder ID
cards to water utility staff.
Benefit: Quicker community recovery
Utility Access During Emergencies
Water utilities in Utah can issue a common ID card
to staff. This alerts law enforcement and National
Guard staff to let utility workers pass roadblocks.
The Rural Water Association of Utah makes the
ID cards.
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6. Know When to Involve Law Enforcement
Sometimes water utilities may need both law
enforcement and EMA help. You should call local
law enforcement when you notice:
	Unusual or suspicious behavior
	Unusual questions about water facilities
	Tampering of fences, locks or gates
	Abandoned items
	Unknown vehicles
	Facility surveillance
	Cyber attacks
Water utilities can use the activities in this guide
to build their relationship with law enforcement.
They can also plan how to share sensitive
information during investigations.
If you suspect an act of terrorism, notify the local
FBI field office for help.
Resilience Partnerships
Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) in
Chapel Hill, North Carolina experienced a fluoride
overfeed at the water treatment plant. The water
with elevated fluoride wasfullycontainedatthe plant
and the plant was taken off line. OWASA opened its
interconnect with the city of Durham. The next day,
a 12-inch main break led Orange County to activate
its EOC. The Orange County Health Department met
with all key players and issued a "Do Not Use, Do
Not Drink" notice. Customers reduced their water
demand by 37 percent. Key lessons learned include:
	Be prepared for the "what ifs"
	Interconnect drinking water systems
	Know the National Incident Management
System (NIMS)
	Know your response partners
	Be open, honest and transparent
	Use After Action Reviews to improve
future responses
Office of Water (MC 140)	EPA 832-F-18-001	March 2018 https://www.epa.aov/waterresilience
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