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Water: Fed FUNDS

Train and Exercise on Utility Systems and Procedures

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In addition to the training and exercises that utilities should conduct to prepare for a disaster, they should also train on and practice procedures that could assist with future applications for disaster funding. Disasters can be chaotic, and staff who are trained and prepared will be more thorough in the documentation effort. 

Disaster response staff need to be trained on the procedures to document damage and assess safety. For example, a crucial response task for obtaining federal disaster funds is taking photographing of the damage and establishing the record in a Photolog (PDF). These duties fall within the Operations Section of an Incident Command System (ICS).

Once trained, exercises can be used to practice and test emergency procedures. As part of your regular response/recovery exercises, utilities should also test those procedures that provide documentation to support applications for disaster funding.  Finance, accounting, and procurement staff are not typically incorporated into emergency response/recovery exercises; however, these staff are key in obtaining federal disaster funding. Exercises can build from seminars/workshops to tabletop exercises and full-scale exercises. Being actively engaged in training and exercises will enhance a utility’s preparedness and improve chances for receiving disaster funding.  To learn how to plan and schedule training and exercises at your utility, refer to EPA’s  Multi-Year Training and Exercise Plan (PDF).

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