AWWA & WARN Partner on Hurricane After Action Report

With the 2018 hurricane season almost upon us, the Water/Wastewater Emergency Response Network (WARN), via AWWA, has released an After-Action Report (AAR) on Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to convey lessons learned and advise policymakers and utilities on preparations for future events.

The AAR identifies actions to be taken by federal, state and utility partners to enhance response efficiency and effectiveness, reduce consequences and increase resilience in the water sector. Recommended actions include:

  • creating a unified water mission under the National Response Framework
  • elevating the priority status of water infrastructure in response and recovery;
  • recognizing the energy and water nexus during response and recovery;
  • improving information sharing among response agencies;
  • further developing intrastate WARN networks;
  • refining interstate mutual aid processes and increasing awareness; and
  • improving documentation to assist in cost recovery.

At least two of the recommendations focus on state primacy agency opportunities for action:

  • EPA and state primacy agency staff in collaboration with WARNs, need to develop a standardized process for capturing and reporting the operational status of water systems.
  • At the state EOC, the water sector should be represented, by primacy agency staff (at a minimum).

For more information on emergency preparedness, please visit the AWWA Emergency Preparedness Resource Community.

Questions about the AAR can be directed to Kevin Morley, AWWA federal relations manager and national WARN liaison.