Power Outage in Rural Communities

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Session Guidelines. This is not a test. Varying viewpoints, even disagreements, are expected. This is intended to be an open, low-stress environment.This setting is the ideal opportunity to consider different approaches that might be improvements to your current resources, plans and training.Rel

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Power Outage in Rural Communities

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1. Power Outage in Rural Communities Lenora G. Borchardt EPTEC, Inc.

2. Session Guidelines This is not a test. Varying viewpoints, even disagreements, are expected. This is intended to be an open, low-stress environment. This setting is the ideal opportunity to consider different approaches that might be improvements to your current resources, plans and training. Relax and participate/ask questions – you will get out of this what you put into it. Tabletop exercises do not solve problems, they identify issues that should be resolved in another forum.

3. Purpose The purpose of this exercise is to discuss potential activities that might occur in the preparation, response and recovery phases of a power outage in rural communities. Activities might include: Notification and activation Interagency coordination and communication (e.g., ICP, EOC, JIC, hospital) and Public Information Incident/Unified command Resource management (incl. staging) Needs assessment (critical facilities, individuals…) Shelter-in-place/evacuation/reception/sheltering Special needs support

5. Scenario Background It is the week before the Christmas holiday. The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook for three days from now. Snow and sleet are expected. This storm will have dangerously cold temperatures/wind chills associated with it.

6. Activation of a Planning Team What are the risks associated with this storm? Who is responsible for recognizing the potential problems associated with this storm and instigating actions? What agencies should be invited to a meeting to prepare for the upcoming storm? What elements might be included in the plan of action to mitigate the most dangerous/serious of the complications? How are you structuring the management of this incident (multiple ICs, UC?) Is the EOC activated? If so, to what level? What public information is being released? Are you utilizing a JIC? If so, what agencies are being represented?

7. The Storm Strikes… It is the Friday before the Christmas holiday weekend. The storm began at 10:00 am with sleeting and icing of the roads and is expected to end tomorrow afternoon. Dispatch is reporting: Many traffic accidents tying up the first responders Widespread power outages due to lines coming down An electrical substation that powers ½ of your county is down and it is unknown when a replacement will be found and made operational.

8. Schools School is in session today but it is an early dismissal (2:00) day. Most children will be bussed to their homes where their parents will meet them after work. Many of the homes are without power and heat. The Winter Snowflake Dance is scheduled tonight after the basketball game with the conference rivals.

9. Senior Center The Senior Center is open today for lunch and cards but the power has gone out. Many seniors are there but the center director is unsure if it is safe for them to drive home – especially if their houses are without power and heat. The center also provides a “Meals-on-Wheels” service to those with mobility impairments. For many it is their only hot meal. The director is unsure if it is safe to send out drivers but is concerned about the clients, who may also be without power and heat.

10. Health Care The hospital is running on back-up power The generator only powers critical outlets The contracted fuel company is unsure if they will be able to deliver additional diesel The ED is filled with accident patients People are seeking warmth at the hospital Workers are having difficulty getting in to work The local nursing home is without power

11. Government Offices Your EOC is without power; dispatch is on alternate power The rest of the government offices are without power Offices are being closed early and employees are being sent home Several first response vehicles have had accidents or are stuck The jail is without power

12. Public Works/Water The highway crews have been out since the storm hit and are reaching their CDL time limits Several water mains have frozen and broken The fire chief is concerned that there may not be adequate pressure in the system if there is a fire – a common occurrence with Christmas trees and chimneys in use Roads near the breaks are thickly iced Some residents are now also without water

13. Individuals People are reporting that: They have no power/heat They have no water They are looking for late/missing/isolated family members Trees have fallen on their homes, exposing them to the elements Driveways and roadways are blocked with trees or are impassible due to ice

14. Businesses The local stores are out of staples; deliveries are on hold until the roads are cleared and the freezers/refrigerators are out of food and are out of power. The local industrial plant has cancelled shifts because of power and water outages and treacherous roads. Some critical equipment employees must remain at the plant.

16. Your Homework… Remember, the benefits of these exercises are not fully realized until we take the lessons learned and update our plans and training.

17. THANK YOU!!

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