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Helping Your Utility Respond to and Recover from Disasters — New Tools and Resources from EPA on Planning, Recovery, and Reimbursement

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Wastewater and water utilities are facing a continuing number of disasters - flooding of major rivers, tornados that level significant portions of cities, and earthquakes that damage major portions of a state. To help address these kinds of disasters, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has partnered with the water sector to develop a number of initiatives and tools for utilities for response and recovery in disasters. The planning and response initiatives include an updated tabletop exercise tool, exercises for mutual aid/assistance networks, and expanded training on first responder topics such as Incident Command System (ICS) and National Incident Management System (NIMS). Additionally, EPA is working with the water sector on several initiatives to assist utilities in recovering from disasters. These include developing a brochure specifically on Public Assistance Grants for the water sector and a website tool to assist utilities in understanding and applying for Federal disaster funding. Also, EPA has been involved in the national effort to develop a National Disaster Recovery Framework, which is akin to the National Response Framework. This paper will provide updates on these initiatives.
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Keywords: Response; disaster; emergency; exercises; funding; incident; recovery; resiliency

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2011

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