The Delaware Municipal Electric Corporation, in partnership with the American Public Power Association, in September hosted a multi-agency mutual aid workshop.
The goals of the workshop were to equip attendees with knowledge and tools to optimize mutual aid processes, enhance logistical coordination, strengthen incident response capabilities, and fulfill each role effectively during an emergency event.
Attendees learned how to improve multi-agency coordination and how municipal utilities aggregate mutual aid services through their joint action agency (DEMEC) to help identify and foster necessary resources to strengthen recovery efforts, DEMEC said.
Crisis management speakers came from across the East Coast, including the Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, Washington Metro Transit Authority, Delaware Emergency Management Agency, New York Power Authority, and Critical Path Solutions.
“Delaware is located on a peninsula, so we know that it is not a matter of if but when an emergency event will occur. Even as a small state, there are still several moving parts on the local, state, and federal level that need to work together during a crisis,” said Kimberly Schlichting, DEMEC’s President and CEO, “It is always better to be proactive with training and forming effective lines of communications to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.”
DEMEC’s President and CEO serves as the regional network coordinator for the national APPA Mutual Aid Committee.
“The mutual aid workshop is a great example of how public power utilities work with each other, as well as federal and state agency partners, to proactively share best practices related to mutual aid,” said Adrienne Lotto, APPA’s Senior Vice-President for Grid Security, Technical & Operations. “The workshop was particularly timely given that we’re in the middle of hurricane season.”
“DEMEC has supported local mutual aid efforts, as well as mutual aid in Florida, and saw the damaging impacts of storms like Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Dorian, and Hurricane Isaias,” it said.
DEMEC thanked APPA and Critical Path Solutions “for coordinating a dynamic variety of speakers and sessions on mutual aid, as well as the U.S. Department of Energy for providing grant funding that made this workshop possible.”
DEMEC said it was honored to be one of the first three public power entities invited to participate in this federally funded mutual aid workshop.