Water Resiliency: Indiana Emergency Response/Recovery Exercise After Action Report

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1 Water Resiliency: Indiana Emergency Response/Recovery Exercise January 29, 2014 Kosciusko County Justice Building Warsaw, Indiana

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS... 2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY... 3 INTRODUCTION... 5 MORNING SUMMARY... 6 TABLETOP EXERCISE SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION TOPICS... 9 RESULTS FROM THE ACTION-PLANNING SESSION...18 SUMMARY OF THE PARTICIPANT EVALUATIONS...20 APPENDIX A: LIST OF PARTICIPANTS...21 APPENDIX B: IMPROVEMENT PLANNING MATRIX /16/2014 2

3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Water Resiliency: Indiana Emergency Response/Recovery Exercise On January 29, 2014, representatives from drinking water and wastewater utilities, healthcare organizations, businesses, local and state departments and agencies, federal agencies, and other partners participated in the Water Resiliency: Indiana Emergency Response/Recovery Exercise. The purpose of the exercise was to enhance the ability of private sector, local, state, and federal stakeholders to prepare for, manage, and respond to a major disaster that affects water or wastewater infrastructure. Additional purposes included: Providing an opportunity to augment drinking water and wastewater utility emergency response planning Developing a list of action items to support refinement of emergency response plans related to water sector emergency response Building relationships between utility, response partners and other interdependent sectors (healthcare, emergency services, and business) Exercise objectives included: Increase awareness of interdependencies between drinking water and wastewater utilities and other sectors, including healthcare, emergency services and business. Increase awareness of the criticality of water/wastewater services and the need for coordinated planning within a state for emergencies that impact drinking water and wastewater utilities. Increase awareness of the roles, responsibilities, authorities, interdependencies, and needs of response partners and other sectors as well as the resources they can provide and their limitations during emergencies. Identify ways to improve coordination/communication among response partners and others. Identify trigger points for requesting aid between the levels of government up to the federal level. Sixty-four representatives attended the event, which featured a morning series of background presentations followed by a Tabletop Exercise (TTX). The exercise explored opportunities for enhancements in emergency preparedness, response and recovery across all the participating agencies. The TTX presented a severe storm and tornado scenario designed to result in infrastructure damages and severe impacts to drinking water and wastewater utilities. The scenario was divided into four distinct phases: (1) Phase 1 explored 24 hours before the probable severe storm and tornado outbreak; (2) Phase 2 explored activities during the first three days after the tornado outbreak; (3) Phase 3 explored 4 days to 2 weeks after the tornado outbreak; and (4) Phase 4 explored 3 months following the disaster. Participants engaged in discussions focused on identifying the strengths and weaknesses of current plans and procedures, as well as options for consideration for improving future water sector-related response and recovery. Key discussion themes included: Communication and Information Management Activation Process and Operations Coordination between Utilities, Response Partners and Interdependent Sectors Resources Management Recovery Planning, Recovery Funding and Challenges with Reimbursement 05/16/2014 3

4 Participants identified a number of options for considerations. Key areas identified included: Enhance planning between utilities, response partners and interdependent sectors Share and enhance existing resources Conduct training and exercises targeting water sector emergency response and recovery Improve communications and information sharing This report summarizes the complete list of options for consideration to address the identified areas, starting on page /16/2014 4

5 INTRODUCTION Water Resiliency: Indiana Emergency Response/Recovery Exercise Exercise: Water Resiliency: Indiana Emergency Response/Recovery Exercise Location: Kosciusko County Justice Building, Warsaw, Indiana Type of Exercise: Tabletop Exercise Focus: Water Sector Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery Exercise Date: January 29, 2014 Exercise Sponsors: Kosciusko County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) Indiana's Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (InWARN) Alliance of Indiana Rural Water (the Alliance) Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) On January 29, 2014, representatives from drinking water and wastewater utilities, healthcare organizations, businesses, local and state departments and agencies, federal agencies, and other partners participated in the Water Resiliency: Indiana Emergency Response/Recovery Exercise. The purpose of the event was to enhance the ability of private sector, local, state, and federal stakeholders to prepare for, manage, and respond to a major disaster that affects water or wastewater infrastructure. Additional purposes included: Providing an opportunity to augment drinking water and wastewater utility emergency response planning Developing a list of action items to support refinement of emergency response plans related to water sector emergency response Building relationships between utility, response partners and other interdependent sectors (healthcare, emergency services, and business) Sixty-four representatives attended the event, which featured a morning series of background presentations followed by a Tabletop Exercise (TTX). The exercise explored opportunities for enhancements in emergency preparedness, response and recovery across all the participating agencies. See Appendix A for the full participant list and contact information. The scenario used to drive discussion was a severe storm and tornado outbreak. The Good Friday Severe Storm and Tornado Outbreak scenario was designed to result in infrastructure damages and severe impacts to the drinking water and wastewater utilities. The exercise scenario drew from historical severe storm and tornado outbreaks and their outcomes. Through the exercise discussions and a facilitated brainstorming or Action-Planning Session following the exercise, participants identified a number of ideas that are summarized in this report. 05/16/2014 5

6 MORNING SUMMARY Water Resiliency: Indiana Emergency Response/Recovery Exercise Ed Rock (Kosciusko County Emergency Management Agency / LEPC), Mayor Joseph Thallemer (City of Warsaw), Liz Melvin (IDEM Drinking Water Branch) and Kevin Tingley (EPA Headquarters, Office of Water/Water Security Division) provided opening remarks, thanked participants for attending, and commended exercise sponsors for their efforts in organizing the event. Adam Watts (Drinking Water Branch) noted that IDEM would provide CEUs for water and wastewater personnel for attending the exercise. Alfredo Lagos (CSC) addressed administrative details and led the participants through introductions. Kevin Tingley then led an icebreaker exercise in which each participant was assigned a role and asked to form teams based on categories in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Water and Wastewater Mutual Aid & Assistance Resource Typing Manual. The icebreaker was followed by six background presentations covering emergency response and recovery-related activities as well as roles and responsibilities of utilities, water sector mutual aid and assistance, and state and federal government agencies. Gale Gerber, Superintendent, City of Nappanee Water and Sewer Utility Gale Gerber discussed the Nappanee tornado disaster that struck the city in October 2007 and the impacts of the disruption of water and wastewater services to the community. The tornado caused over $80 million of damage to the community, including damage to a water tower and two sewer lift stations. Nappanee issued a boil water advisory as a result of the damage to the drinking water system. Nappanee received no federal aid for disaster recovery but did receive some state aid. Insurance covered most of the damage to the utility. Gale identified a number of lessons learned and suggestions for other utilities as a result of the Nappanee s response and recovery to the storm, including: As part of its storm watch protocol, the utility filled its water towers before the storm arrived, which proved instrumental as Nappanee was able to maintain drinking water supplies needed for response and recovery following the storm Ensure you have your assets properly insured Man treatment plants around the clock Do not rely on the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system as the computer controlled monitoring system could be damaged by the storm Have standby pumps available for bypass pumping Escort outside help to job sites Join InWARN Order repair parts immediately following the storm Contact IDEM Have a utility member in the local Emergency Operations Center (EOC) Shutoff water to damaged homes to prevent residents from returning to unsafe homes Integrate the utility s response plan with the city s plan and review it regularly Encourage water and wastewater treatment plant operators to tour each other s plants in order to become familiar with neighboring facilities and be better prepared to provide support running another community s plant during an emergency Jaimie Foreman, Chair, InWARN Jaimie Foreman presented background information on Indiana s Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (InWARN), a mutual aid and assistance agreement established in 2007 between water and wastewater utilities. Utilities can use InWARN to request personnel and equipment from member utilities throughout the state. The agreement covers compensation and other issues related to providing resources 05/16/2014 6

7 to utilities. Utilities can ask for reimbursement for any assistance provided. InWARN communicates with members through phone calls and blast s. Following the recent West Virginia chemical spill on the Ohio River, InWARN asked its members what resources they could provide to Indiana utilities potentially affected by the spill (though none were actually needed). InWARN also provides a great networking opportunity for members. More information on InWARN, including its brochure, is available at Roger Koelpin, GIS / Critical Infrastructure Planning Section Chief, IDHS Roger Koelpin described IDHS activities during emergency response and recovery. IDHS is the coordinating agency for state resources requested by cities and counties to respond to and recover from disasters. Activities include dedicated support to water and wastewater utilities through Emergency Support Function (ESF) #3, which focuses on public works and engineering. Roger encouraged participants to work with each as well as train and exercise ahead of time as there are always opportunities to improve emergency planning. Liz Melvin, Section Chief, Field Inspection Section, Drinking Water Branch, IDEM Liz Melvin presented an overview of how the IDEM Drinking Water Branch responds to disasters affecting water and wastewater infrastructure. IDEM coordinates all communications and activities through the state EOC via a dedicated liaison in order to maintain chain of command. Following a disaster, the Drinking Water Branch collects data from drinking water utilities to inform the governor of the affected population and operating status of facilities. IDEM staff help utilities collect onsite samples, issue use restriction notices, prioritize customers and get systems back up and running. During the Nappanee tornado disaster, IDEM staff helped the affected utility identify its needs. IDEM s next goals are to ensure that critical care users and non-community water systems have emergency response plans in place and identify access issues related to credentialing. Kevin Tingley, Environmental Engineer, and Patricia Keane, ORISE Fellow, Water Security Division, EPA Headquarters Kevin Tingley noted that utilities can draw on multiple sources of aid during an emergency, including inhouse, other utilities through mutual aid/assistance, county EMA, state EMA, other states through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) and as a last resort the federal government. Kevin described federal government activities in support of water sector emergency response. As part of a Presidentially-declared disaster, a state can request federal resources through FEMA, which then issues mission assignments to the appropriate federal agencies. EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have been working to implement improved coordination procedures during Presidentiallydeclared disasters under ESF #3 of the National Response Framework (NRF). Under ESF #3, federal government activities in support of states and utilities could include: Provision of emergency power Temporary storage and treatment Emergency repairs Delivery of treatment chemicals and supplies EPA has 10 Regional Water Teams that can provide support to states to include assistance with managing the response, providing assessment teams, and providing sample collection and analysis. Kevin noted that while the federal government can provide many resources, it can be slow to arrive, can involve a bureaucratic process and includes a cost sharing requirement for the affected local and state community. Following the 2013 Colorado Flood disaster, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requested assistance from the EPA and USACE to form joint teams to complete onsite assessment of numerous utilities impacted by the floods. 05/16/2014 7

8 Patricia Keane provided an overview of select EPA projects that support building resilience at utilities. EPA recently released the training video for water and wastewater utility decision makers, Don t Get Soaked: Invest in Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Mitigation (http://goo.gl/7pmjhh). EPA is encouraging utilities to better understand the water and energy nexus in disasters in order to increase the water sector s resilience to power loss and increase the prioritization of the water sector for power restoration. Other efforts include the Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT) (http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/techtools/wheat.cfm), the Community-Based Water Resiliency (CBWR) Initiative (http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/communities/index.cfm), Emergency Response Web Resources (http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/watersecurity/emerplan/index.cfm), and a new flood resiliency project. Patricia Keane, ORISE Fellow, Water Security Division, EPA Headquarters Patricia Keane demonstrated the Web-based tool, Federal Funding for Utilities Water/Wastewater in National Disasters, also known as Fed FUNDS (http://www.epa.gov/fedfunds). Fed FUNDS provides information on federal funding opportunities for reimbursement, recovery and mitigation available to water and wastewater utilities following Presidentially-declared disasters. Patricia described how each of the five areas of Fed FUNDS can help water and wastewater utilities better understand the scope of and prepare for the federal recovery funding programs that are available. 05/16/2014 8

9 TABLETOP EXERCISE SUMMARY AND DISCUSSION TOPICS Following the background presentations, Alfredo Lagos, the exercise co-facilitator, provided the objectives and ground rules for the TTX. The exercise objectives include: Increase awareness of interdependencies between drinking water and wastewater utilities and other sectors, including healthcare, emergency services and business. Increase awareness of the criticality of water/wastewater services and the need for coordinated planning within a state for emergencies that impact drinking water and wastewater utilities. Increase awareness of the roles, responsibilities, authorities, interdependencies, and needs of response partners and other sectors as well as the resources they can provide and their limitations during emergencies. Identify ways to improve coordination/communication among response partners and others. Identify trigger points for requesting aid between the levels of government up to the federal level. Alfredo then presented the scenario: a tornado outbreak on Good Friday that strikes the northern half of Indiana on April 18 th. Tornadoes, high winds, and flooding associated with heavy rainfall lead to widespread damage. More than 2,600 water and wastewater utilities and 3,200,000 people across 43 counties are affected by the disaster. The TTX presented the scenario in four distinct phases: (1) Phase 1 explored 24 hours before the probable severe storm and tornado outbreak; (2) Phase 2 explored activities during the first three days after the tornado outbreak; (3) Phase 3 explored 4 days to 2 weeks after the tornado outbreak; and (4) Phase 4 explored 3 months following the disaster. During the exercise, Kevin Tingley and Alfredo Lagos as the co-facilitators led a group discussion covering topics relevant to the exercise objectives and each scenario phase. Several key themes were identified, including: Communication and Information Management Communication mechanisms Participants noted that communication takes place through a variety of mechanisms, including telephone calls and to and from utilities, calls between utilities, response partners and interdependent sectors, utility radio systems, NOAA weather radio, social media outlets as well as the WebEOC incident management software used by the state. Some utilities have procedures in place for personnel to contact their utility with radios or telephones immediately following the disaster. Participants pointed out that disasters can disrupt regular communication methods (land line and cell phone), and response partners need to identify and provide training for backup communications methods. Alternate communications methods include paper flyers, text messaging, setting up Ham/amateur radio networks at remote locations in coordination with local EOCs, GETS (Government Emergency Telecommunications Service) or WPS (Wireless Priority Service) for priority calling when the landline or wireless networks are congested, and WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) to send emergency messages by alerting authorities through mobile carriers. Participants noted past examples where disasters disrupted voice communications from cell towers but they could still broadcast text messages. Information Management Exercise discussion covered how participating organizations collect, share and manage information. This covered how information flows from the utility to local/county to state to federal levels. Participants agreed on the importance of clear and comprehensive information flow as elected officials rely on it to make decisions. Utilities described their procedures to share information with several response partners, 05/16/2014 9

10 including municipal/county authorities or state agencies. Municipal/county authorities, including county EMAs, collect information on the operational status of utilities and track their resource needs. County EMAs report this information directly to IDHS at the State EOC. Kosciusko EMA stated that it has not done a good job of incorporating utilities in the past and as a result plans to revise its information sharing procedures. Interdependent sectors, such as healthcare and businesses (especially large water users) could also request information on the status of water and wastewater service providers through the county EMA or directly with utilities. One participant noted that their business (a large water user) would share information on the status of water service disruption with shareholders. IDEM inspectors collect information on system operational status, drinking water advisories/notices and system bypasses. The Alliance and InWARN also contact utilities using blast or telephone calls to track this information and to encourage affected utilities to be in contact with IDEM. IDEM maintains situational awareness at the state level. As part of the statewide plan, IDEM passes this information to the Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA), which is responsible for the Indiana ESF #3 (Public Works and Engineering) at the State EOC. IDOA moves information from utilities, IDEM and other sources to the State EOC, where IDHS uses this information to coordinate statewide activities, inform the governor and federal partners, and request state or federal assistance. IDHS also collects information from IDEM inspectors, health departments and other sources. Response partners use a variety of mechanisms to share information, including: Situation Reports IDHS produces these every 2 hours for the governor; every 12 hours a more thorough report is produced WebEOC used by the counties and state agencies to share information Figure 1 shows an overview of the information flow between stakeholders within the state. InWARN Drinking Water / Wastewater Utilities the Alliance IDEM Interdependent sectors Municipal / County EMAs Includes Situation Reports and WebEOC data IDOA IDHS / State EOC Includes telephone calls, or other communication mechanisms Governor Figure 1 Information Flow on the Water Sector to the State EOC 05/16/

11 Participants recommended that IDHS grant county EMAs access to WebEOC data that provides the status of drinking water and wastewater utilities. IDHS noted that the next upgrade of WebEOC will allow for access to more organizations and recommended making the system available to federal partners. IDHS pointed out that currently, there is no table (similar to that shown in the exercise Situation Manual) that summarizes the status of the water sector. Participants discussed what information about the water sector is available to the public. IDHS noted that public facing status maps (showing travel advisories, but not water sector information) is available for each county. While discussing how information flows from the utility to county to state to federal levels, participants stressed the importance of ensuring that information be passed back down to utilities. Participants noted that the utility personnel are the experts when it comes to the water sector and as a result should be fully informed, especially when high level decisions are involved that may affect the water sector. Participants emphasized the need for a dedicated utility liaison at the EOC in order to ensure that information gets back to utilities. At the national level, the National Weather Service (NWS) shares forecasts with county, state and federal emergency officials as well as Congress. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) can maintain situational awareness by deploying liaisons to the state EOC or regional operations center and by reaching out to its federal partners (e.g. EPA) or associations (e.g. AWWA) to receive updates on whether local and state organizations are overwhelmed and may need assistance. Participants from the EPA regional office noted that it has an agreement in principal with states in the region to be copied on situational s. The EPA regional office can also contact IDEM directly for information. The regional office uses this information to inform EPA headquarters, USACE, and other federal partners and maintain situational awareness at the national level. The EPA regional office noted it does not have access to WebEOC. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (U.S. DHS), Office of Infrastructure Protection incorporates information it receives on the status of affected utilities into its Special Event and Domestic Incident Tracker Web-based tool to report on disruption of critical infrastructure. U.S. DHS uses the Tracker tool to identify priorities for restoring infrastructure that affect the national level, e.g., infrastructure that support major portions of the energy or defense sector. Activation Process and Operations Pre-disaster Activities Participants described typical utility pre-disaster preparedness activities, including: Monitor weather closely Initiate response plans Check status of equipment Check fuel tanks in vehicles and generators Ensure bypass pumps are ready for use Secure items that could become flying debris Check on staff, determine which specific personnel may be needed, recall staff (from the holiday) Ensure sufficient numbers of personnel are on hand Maintain communication between water and wastewater plants, with municipal/county authorities (e.g., street department, fire, etc.) and the public Participants noted that a utility can complete pre-disaster planning activities over months to years. Longer term activities including designing facilities to better withstand natural disasters. NWS uses an array of methods to provide advance notification to authorities and the public, including social media, chat, blast s, and teleconference calls. Several organizations monitor weather through 05/16/

12 the NWS and relay that information as needed. Warsaw/Wayne Fire Territory communicates with local authorities, including the drinking water utility, in preparation for a severe storm, but normally does not communicate with the wastewater utility. The Fire Territory may communicate with the drinking water utility to request that water be shut off if there is a fire or to report a spill into the water system. The Kosciusko County Hospital (KCH) noted it has agreements in place with water providers to ensure it is considered a high priority customer. KCH may not activate its weather response plans until the county has been impacted. Local EMAs noted that while they would be communicating with local groups, they would not normally be in contact with state agencies before a storm as projected in the scenario. While some organizations contact drinking water or wastewater utilities, others noted that they typically do not communicate with these or other outside organizations in preparation for a severe weather event. Prior to severe weather events, IDEM inspectors may contact utilities to check-in, ensure emergency response plans are in place, and remind them that the agency is available to provide help as needed. IDHS contacts local EMAs through its homeland security districts to send information and ensure they have adequate resources in preparation for a severe weather event (e.g., sand bags). U.S. EPA Regional Water Team leads monitor the situation, but may take no other actions are this point. Initial Activities and Facility/Damage Assessments Initial activities at utilities including activating emergency response plans, contacting and accounting for staff, developing a plan for handling debris, figuring out priorities, checking with critical customers, assessing damage and contacting municipal/county authorities to provide a status update of the system. Utility staff provides the manpower to conduct facility/damage assessments following a disaster. Conducting an assessment of the system is the first step to determining the status of a drinking water or wastewater utility. This helps to determine the extent of damage, top priorities for restoration (e.g., parts of system supporting critical customers such as hospitals or emergency shelters) and resources that are needed to repair damage and restore services. Typically, utilities task available staff to complete damage assessments of their systems by segments. Participants noted that computer controlled SCADA can help staff determine system status by providing information on where problems have occurred. Participants pointed out that SCADA can be rendered inoperable or ineffective if there is power loss, cell phone systems are not operating or equipment is just not working properly (e.g., providing false signals). If SCADA is inoperable or not working properly, a utility will need to send staff to physically inspect the system. This involves inspecting dozens to hundreds of miles of pipes, difficult to access water pump stations and sewer lift stations, and other components. Physically inspecting and repairing such large systems will take time. Utilities also emphasized that they will need more personnel to complete the inspection as many utilities have very few staff members. Staff-levels could be further reduced by the disaster or by the fact that some utility personnel also support other municipal departments (such as public works or street departments). One utility noted that rather than request that available staff come to the treatment plant and then go back out to conduct assessments, they ask staff to coordinate with the plant first in order to conduct assessments in the areas closest to their home. This could reduce the amount of time it takes to complete the assessment of the overall system. Multiple organizations are available to help utilities complete facility/damage assessments including: other utilities the Alliance InWARN IDEM (if requested by the county) IDHS (if requested by the state) 05/16/

13 USACE, EPA and FEMA (if requested by the state) To provide support to the state, FEMA can issue a mission assignment to USACE. As a result, USACE can deploy one of its five teams positioned around the country to provide contracting support and partner with the corresponding EPA regional office. In coordination with the state and USACE, the EPA regional office can deploy to the field its water team to help conduct assessments of affected utilities. The Region 5 regional water team consists of 19 members, which are mobilized based on skills sets required for particular mission assignments (e.g., conducting assessments or taking sampling). The NWS noted that it deploys field staff to determine the storm track and storm intensity and provides the information to emergency officials to use as the basis for determining damage areas. Coordination between Utilities, Response Partners and Interdependent Sectors Participants agreed that coordination between utilities, municipal/county and state authorities as well as interdependent sectors (e.g., healthcare, emergency service and business) is vital for the restoration of water and wastewater services, and admitted that it could be improved in light of the large-scale disaster scenario presented during the exercise. Chain-of-Command To ensure effective coordination, participants stressed that all parties should be familiar with and follow the chain-of-command. This applies to sharing information as well as requesting resources. The chain-ofcommand involves channeling information and requests through the county EMAs up to the state EOC. Participants noted that following the chain-of-command can prevent redundant resource requests and identify the best organization for providing support. Participants felt that emergency management-related training and exercises should reinforce this concept by involving multiple stakeholders. Interdependencies When water and wastewater services are disrupted for a prolonged period, this can have far-reaching effects on interdependent sectors. Participants noted that many emergency services, including hospitals, shelters, firefighting, and EOCs/911 call centers, rely on water and wastewater services to operate. Businesses, especially large water users, are also impacted by prolonged disruptions. Most utilities stressed that they have procedures in place to check-in with critical customers following disasters, especially healthcare providers. Participants discussed the effects of service disruptions on hospitals and what may force them to consider evacuating. KCH noted several factors, including power, fuel supply, water situation, and humidity levels. The hospital relies on an engineering task force to help it decide if it needs to shut down and how. Critical information supporting the decisions would be what areas of the affected water and wastewater utilities would return to service and when. Given the complexity of evacuation, the limited number of ambulances for evacuations and the access issues associated with debris, participants emphasized that it would be better to restore water and wastewater services. Debris Impacts on Transportation, Access Control, and Credentialing Floodwater as well as debris scattered over a wide area by severe weather can block transportation routes. This can complicate access to the geographically distributed components of a water distribution or wastewater collection system. Participants emphasized that roads must be clear in order for utilities to assess the damage to a system. Some utilities rely on response partners to clear debris, including local public works or street departments, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). Participants noted DNR can deploy chainsaw teams through the state EOC to clear debris. With a formal mission assignment from the state EOC, INDOT assesses roads and establishes task forces (debris removal and dump truck) to clear public right of ways. 05/16/

14 Participants also noted that blocked transportation routes could force utilities to have to conduct analysis in-house if they were not able to transport samples to their contract laboratories. Participants noted that IDEM is aware of the extraordinary circumstances associated with disasters and has procedures in place to deal with emerging issues. For example, IDEM routinely issues emergency permits. Warsaw Police described elements of its access control procedures covering roadways (to ensure that emergency vehicles could safely move throughout the area), facilities (dispatch personnel to guard designated locations), and escorts (personnel that would accompany incoming resources). Counties can request through IDHS District Response Task Forces additional law enforcement officers via WebEOC to help with access control and credentialing. Law enforcement officers can include Indiana State Police, DNR Conversation Officers, and other organizations. IDHS District Coordinators can assist with the request. Participants discussed mechanisms for receiving resources when access to an affected area has been restricted. INDOT described its procedures for using a convoy request form for incoming resources. Participants stressed the importance of coordinating incoming resources through the State EOC, including private vendors or federal teams. Resources Management Exercise discussion covered what resources participants could call on or provide as well as resource limitations. Utilities noted several sources of aid, including: Neighboring Utilities or InWARN fuel, generators and staff augmentation for assessment, repairs or running a system Private Businesses (especially large water users) could provide a variety of resources The Alliance technical and hands-on assistance IDHS fuel and backup generators IDEM sample collection (primary focus on bacteriological testing in order to lift boil-water notices); notifying contract laboratories of needed support, bottled water; issuing advisories through its Public Information Officers; helping with permitting issues Regardless of the type of resource, participants consistently emphasized that requests need to follow the chain-of-command and come up to the State EOC in order to prevent redundant requests. They also emphasized that WebEOC is the primary tool for making and fulfilling resources requests. Counties must use WebEOC to request resources from state response partners. WebEOC can document and track resource requests made statewide. This can help maintain situational awareness at the state level as well as help officials to prioritize the use of state resources. If the incident expands, officials can use WebEOC to determine whether resources from neighboring states or the federal government may be needed. Additionally, WebEOC can be used to document reimbursement. Alternate/Emergency Power and Water Services Most participants indicated that their utility has backup generators in place to provide power to some of the key components of their systems. Smaller utilities noted they do not have any backup generators but rely on agreements in place with vendors to be priority customers. Participants pointed out that several organizations in attendance indicated they too are priority customers with the same vendors. During an actual incident, vendors may not have enough generators for all of the priority customers. Others indicated that they would contact the Alliance or InWARN to access backup generators. IDHS can also draw on generators from across the state, e.g., from a cache in South Bend of 800 generators. Participants noted that some sites at a utility are very difficult to reach (e.g., sewer lift stations along low lying areas) and it may be difficult to get a backup generator to these components. Participants also 05/16/

15 emphasized that knowing how to properly size a generator can save time and reduce the likelihood of sending a piece of equipment that is incompatible. Indiana American Water cited an example of how it used pictures sent by a requesting utility in West Virginia of what was needed following a snow emergency to successfully fulfill the generator request. To prepare utilities, IDEM has previously hosted Generator 101 training. Participants agreed with the importance of pre-identifying connection requirements and understanding classifications for backup generators prior to a disaster. USACE encouraged utilities to use its Emergency Power Facility Assessment Tool (EPFAT) to determine what generator a facility would need. Completing the assessment ahead of time can speed up requests for aid. Along with backup generators, utilities need to provide for adequate fuel supplies to cover use of the equipment (as well as pumps, vehicles, etc.) in the event of a prolonged outage. Utilities noted they store varying amounts of fuel, some for 4 days and others up to a week. Given the potential of wide spread and long-term impact, participants suggested that utilities consider establishing agreements for larger amounts of fuel and/or with vendors that are outside of the immediate geographic area. In addition to securing backup generators and fuel, participants also stressed the need to keep in touch with electric power providers during the disaster. Some indicated they have had problems getting information from power providers in the past and suggested the energy sector be involved in future training and exercises. Participants pointed out several sources of alternate water services. INDOT can repurpose eight 5,000 gallon tankers the Department uses for brine in the winter to provide firefighting water. Warsaw/Wayne Fire Territory noted it could use local lakes as sources for firefighting water. The Indiana National Guard could also provide alternate water resources. Criticality of Wastewater Services While restoring drinking water services can receive a higher priority for resource requests than requests from wastewater utilities, participants acknowledged that they go hand in hand and are of equal importance. One utility noted that used water needs somewhere to go. The wastewater system has to be operational to handle the water. Sustaining the operation of sewer lift stations with backup generators is just as critical as sustaining drinking water pump stations for this reason. Sewage back up into homes can occur when wastewater treatment plants and lift stations are overwhelmed by flood water. During a disaster, sewage back up can worsen an already difficult situation. To avoid the problem, wastewater services must be restored. If services are not restored, a utility may have to bypass treatment thereby discharging untreated wastewater into surface water (rivers or streams). A utility noted that flood water entering unchecked into a wastewater treatment plant can destroy the biological process the system relies on to treat the waste. Restoring the biological process (versus the chemical process used for producing drinking water) can take weeks, which further slows the pace of recovery. For this reason, some participants described the protocols in place to bypass treatment rather than risk having flood water destroy the biological process. Utilities noted that bypassing treatment would be done in coordination with IDEM and local and state public information officials to ensure a coordinated notification to the public. Participants noted that IDEM is aware of the extraordinary circumstances associated with disasters that could result in an unplanned bypass. Mutual Aid and Assistance Participants consistently emphasized that utilities in Indiana are quick to help each other in times of need, no matter how far away the requesting utility. Utilities regularly work together and would contact each other to determine whether they are okay. They also send their resources to help each other repair 05/16/

16 damages and restore services. Utilities have provided personnel such as operators and electricians, equipment such as backup generators or vehicles, as well as other supplies. Utilities recognized the need to further strengthen mutual aid and assistance. During the exercise two utilities (Town of Hamilton and Turkey Creek RSD) said they planned on joining InWARN. Utilities also recognized that there is always room for improvement. To ensure effective coordination, participants encouraged utilities to inform the county EMA of their support activities. Informing the county can also help the state and IDHS district coordinators coordinate activities within the affected area. Participants noted that utilities may not necessarily request resources through the state. Who they would call for help depends on the situation. A utility may call its neighbor if they know the neighbor can provide help. Or they could call upon the Alliance, InWARN or other organizations. Participants also stressed the importance of being prepared to request mutual aid and assistance from beyond the usual sources. Given the wide impact area of the scenario, participants noted that reaching out to neighboring states may be the most effective way of quickly receiving critical resources, especially fuel. As a result, utilities and other stakeholders should plan for and leverage existing procedures from IDHS for requesting interstate aid through agreements with out-of-state vendors and mechanisms such as the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC). Recovery Planning, Recovery Funding and Challenges with Reimbursement Participants agreed that planning for recovery should start before the disaster, rather than waiting until days or weeks later. Participants also noted that recovery can take much longer than expected, citing the example of disasters in Nappanee (one year to recover) and Henryville (still recovering two years later). Participants were unfamiliar with the 2011 FEMA National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF), a guide to promote effective disaster recovery for large-scale or catastrophic incidents. The NDRF aligns with the National Response Framework (NRF), which primarily addresses action during disaster response. Activated most recently following the 2013 Colorado Floods, the NDRF defines how federal agencies will organize and operate to promote effective recovery and support other jurisdictions affected by a disaster. IDHS is currently working on the State Disaster Recovery Framework. The Nappanee utility noted it received no federal recovery funding. Local EMAs cited examples of receiving recovery funding, including the FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program to cover the costs associated with rebuilding disaster-damaged infrastructure. IDHS noted that communities need to meet a threshold of damage at the county and state levels to be eligible for federal recovery funding. As noted during the background presentation, some federal recovery funding programs can include a cost sharing requirement or match of 25% by the affected local and state community with the federal government covering 75%. Other federal programs, such as the EPA State Revolving Fund may be used by communities to cover the match for repairing water utility infrastructure. Participants agreed that before a disaster, it is critical to know the documentation requirements for specific state and federal recovery funding programs. Understanding the requirements before a disaster allows utilities to train and equip their staff to correctly follow the paperwork process the first time. EPA s Fed FUNDS website addresses common questions regarding documentation requirements for several federal funding programs. Given that proof of expenses is required for reimbursement, and it is very difficult to capture the required information after the fact, participants stressed that everyone should be prepared to document, document, document. Documentation should cover everything, including expenses, labor and equipment use. Citing the phrase, a picture is worth a thousand words, one participant recommended that utilities also be prepared to take photographs of damage as part of their documentation procedures. EPA s Fed FUNDS website includes an example of a photolog that utilities can use as part of their procedures. Participants reminded the group that documentation should include volunteer work (e.g., help from the Amish community to rebuild) completed for no compensation as it has 05/16/

17 value and as a result can contribute to the cost share under the recovery funding programs. The InWARN mutual aid/assistance agreement covers reimbursement and this can help a utility if it wants to later submit a claim for reimbursement to cover the cost incurred with sending resources. WebEOC can also help utilities as the information entered into the system regarding activities and resources requests can be later used as documentation for reimbursement claims. When completing permanent repair work at their utility following the disaster, participants noted that they would not necessarily rebuild to their pre-disaster state as older utility components may not be up to current standards. In some cases, utilities may not be allowed to build back to the pre-disaster state if doing so does not meet current standards. Participants encouraged utilities to have a capital improvement plan in place in order to maximize their chances at receiving enough funding to replace damaged infrastructure. Participants stressed that utilities take advantage of available recovery funding to implement mitigation projects. Utilities can use mitigation funding to review vulnerabilities highlighted by a disaster and identify projects that can reduce those vulnerabilities. One utility cited the example of improving the design of storage facilities. He noted that some of a utility s more critical equipment is stored in lean-to or other inadequate shelter. Other examples include elevating pump stations and electrical equipment above flood levels, adding generators, or interconnecting water systems. EPA s Fed FUNDS website includes a list from FEMA of similar pre-approved mitigation projects for water and wastewater utilities. Participants noted that demobilization plans, which track de-activated resources, should be completed by utilities and other response partners before sending mutual aid/assistance resources. Additionally, after action reports and other evaluations of the disaster response and recovery should be completed by utilities, municipalities/counties and the state. 05/16/

18 RESULTS FROM THE ACTION-PLANNING SESSION Following the exercise discussion, the facilitator led a brainstorming or Action-Planning Session to highlight key ideas and develop a list of options for consideration drawn from participants. The facilitator requested that each participant share at least one unique idea that their organization, other participating organizations, or the group as a whole could consider implementing based on the topics discussed during the TTX. The options for consideration identified by participants are not official recommendations. This section compiles the options for consideration into the categories of planning, resources, training, and communications. Stakeholders can review the options below against their own goals to determine which to implement. The sample improvement planning matrix (see Appendix B) can help determine priorities and identify resources needed to complete an option. Planning/Policies/Procedures Encourage hospitals to work with EMS ambulance services for evacuation planning; identify options for patient transport through Indiana Fire Chiefs Association and Indiana Mutual Aid Response Plan Inform others of the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water s capabilities Encourage local communities to join InWARN Encourage formation of cohesive, broad-based planning teams (e.g., fire, water, sewer, etc.) Update emergency response plans (ERPs) and ensure plans are easily accessible/on hand Have federal government stakeholders promote adoption of capital improvement plans by utilities Encourage utilities and local/county planning groups to work together more often Work with smaller water systems (e.g., schools and churches; designated emergency shelters) to ensure they have emergency response plans in place Clarify and communicate role of ESF #1 (Transportation) Review and update plan for securing a scene Ensure hospital has mutual aid agreements for generators in place Ensure IDHS better shares its plans on how the department will conduct emergency response Address HazMat issues in ERPs for bringing water and wastewater back online in order to be better aware of hazards in the community Determine how federal resources/teams can receive more intelligence about an ongoing incident prior to deployment Review plans for debris removal in order to access utilities Encourage more active involvement of the National Weather Service in exercises Open a dialogue between Indiana ESF #3 (Public Works and Engineering) and USACE Plan to have a utility representative/liaison in the EOC Share information from today s exercise with small rural water utilities and promote greater communication with local hospitals they provide services to Encourage greater involvement/development of LEPCs in all Indiana counties EPA Headquarters to improve coordination of federal response, including how USACE, FEMA, and other federal resources work together during emergency response 05/16/

19 Resources Make funding available to utilities for backup generators and emergency preparedness activities Determine how to access additional 911 dispatchers, such as from a telecommunicators emergency response team Ensure utilities/communities are protecting critical/expensive equipment from damage through procedural changes and adequate/hardened shelter Emergency Medical Services to obtain maps of and familiarize staff with local areas Identify and utilize alternate communication channels including amateur radio Develop lists of private companies that could provide resources to utilities during an emergency Identify sources of backup generators Obtain small generators that can be taken on work trucks to power hand tools, etc. Establish an equipment team to provide sampling support using an emergency water testing kit for field use Raise awareness of resources available to clear debris, including state resources Resource type all resources listed in utilities ERPs Use GIS to identify location of samples in order to create a map of the results Ensure utilities have resources pre-arranged that they may need for an emergency with potentially prolonged impacts (e.g., adequate fuel for operating equipment) Think outside of the box about where to go for resources in preparation for disaster affecting a wide geographic area Promote the use of the USACE Emergency Power Facility Assessment Tool (http://epfat.swf.usace.army.mil/) Encourage EPA Water Security Division to stay up-to-date on federal funding information related to the water sector Identify ways IDEM can improve its support to utilities as well as how it coordinates with other state offices and their capabilities Establish an ESF #3 committee at the county level and get input from all utilities on the related issues Training Encourage training (and equipment) to provide for worker safety from potential disaster-related hazards Introduce and train stakeholders on U.S. DHS survey tool to assess preparedness Encourage utilities to tour each other s plants and be familiar with their operations Encourage cross training of volunteer firefighters about key points of water operations Implement and conduct training on utility ERPs in order to identify planning limitations Provide more training on the role and procedures of the EOC and how to coordinate resource requests Encourage greater participation of wastewater utilities in training and meetings/exercises Encourage utilities to give tours to local law enforcement and emergency service representative and make their space available for training sessions in order to increase coordination Encourage more training on documentation procedures, especially for training records and 05/16/

20 making resource requests through mutual aid/assistance Ensure utility staff are up to date on NIMS/ICS training Communications Build a mass notification capability to target a given area through voice or text message Promote amateur radio operator resources (in coordination with county EMAs) as an option for emergency communications (http://www.inarrl.org/inares_index.html) IDHS to identify ways it can better share information with counties (e.g., through greater access to WebEOC) SUMMARY OF THE PARTICIPANT EVALUATIONS Twenty-five participants out of twenty-eight who submitted evaluations agreed that the exercise was a valuable use of their time. They rated the training and exercise as good to excellent. Further, all participants agreed that the exercise effectively accomplished the following objectives: Enhance the ability of private sector, local, state and federal stakeholders to prepare for, manage, and respond to water-infrastructure consequences resulting from any emergency or major disaster. Augment drinking water and wastewater utility emergency response planning. Develop a list of action items to support refinement of emergency response plans related to water sector emergency response. Build relationships between utility, response partners and other interdependent sectors (healthcare and business). Increase awareness of interdependencies between drinking water and wastewater utilities and other sectors, including healthcare and emergency services. Increase awareness of the criticality of water/wastewater services and the need for coordinated planning within a state for emergencies that impact drinking water and wastewater utilities. Increase awareness of the roles, responsibilities, authorities, interdependencies, and needs of response partners and other sectors as well as the resources (including limitations) that they can provide during emergencies. Identify ways to improve coordination/communication between response partners. The majority of participants agreed that the exercise achieved the following objective: Identify trigger points for requesting aid between the levels of government up to the federal level. All participants agreed that the exercise facilitators effectively engaged the participants. Participants commented that the exercise was well coordinated and structured. The exercise motivated several to revisit plans and procedures in order to better integrate drinking water and wastewater utilities. Participants felt that the cross section of participants was valuable but the exercise would have benefitted from participation by an electric utility and the Indiana DNR. Participants also felt the exercise would have benefitted from more time for the credentialing issue and how hospitals and emergency services (e.g., the 911 call center) would be impacted. Also, participants wanted a discussion of individual citizen roles and responsibilities and how local police can provide sampling support for drinking water. Others encouraged spreading the discussion topics over two days. Finally, others appreciated the networking opportunity and the team building aspect of the morning ice breaker. 05/16/

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