NRWA and its State Associations annually train for events like hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and other natural disasters. NRWA has focused on improving Rural Water’s emergency response capabilities since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. This training has focused on all aspects of emergency preparedness, from planning and management, to loading and unloading heavy equipment, to connecting emergency generators.
The State Associations will utilize this educational training and previous experience to develop detailed plans and assess potentially impacted areas and systems. Emergency Response teams have already begun preparations by coordinating personnel, equipment and supplies as the storm approaches.
Preparedness for emergency response is not the only consideration for Rural Water. Coordination efforts are a major aspect. Reporting the work done and the help provided in a timely matter is key. As technology moves forward, improvements and support from NRWA are moving forward as well.
National and State Rural Water Associations have established an emergency response network where states impacted by disasters can rely on other State Associations to provide emergency response assistance in the form of manpower and equipment.
State Rural Water Associations have developed mutual aid agreements with multiple agencies and industry partners to facilitate the network of “utilities helping utilities” in responding to and recovering from emergencies.
Mutual Aid and Assistance for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities
A mutual aid and assistance network provides water and wastewater utilities with the means to quickly obtain help in the form of personnel, equipment, materials and associated services from nearby utilities to restore critical operations impacted during any type of emergency.
Becoming a member of a mutual aid and assistance network before an emergency occurs can make all the difference when your community’s water or wastewater system is damaged.
Water and Wastewater Agency Response Networks (WARNs) are comprised of utilities that have agreed to help and share resources with neighboring utilities in the case of an emergency or disaster.
Please visit this link to learn more about EPA’s Mutual Aid and Assistance for Drinking Water and Wastewater Utilities and Water and Wastewater Agency Response Networks (WARNs).
NRWA Disaster Response Unit
NRWA recently purchased a truck and enclosed trailer to utilize in the case of a disaster. NRWA employees will deploy to the site of the disaster to help stabilize the situation and get the utilities back in working condition. Below is a mock-up of the truck and enclosed trailer that will be wrapped this month. Final pictures to follow.