Powering Strong Communities
Disaster Response and Mutual Aid

Mutual Aid Playbook

Updated June 2024

The Mutual Aid Playbook provides a process for coordinating activities, information, and resources across a three-tiered national network. The playbook is intentionally flexible and scalable to enable the successful coordination of mutual aid mobilizations for restoration events resulting from all hazards, including natural and man-made disasters and security or cybersecurity events that result in utility customer outages.

As the public power mutual aid community evolves and advances, state-level coordination continues to be an important function. Designated State Coordinators (DSCs) - individuals at utilities, joint action agencies, and state associations - play a key role in ensuring effective coordination among the responding groups. They work in real-time to make connections between requesting and responding utilities in their state, State Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs), DSCs in other states, and APPA (during national events). 

This process and playbook are managed by the Public Power Mutual Aid Committee (MAC) with support from APPA staff. The MAC meets regularly to test, evaluate, and improve the mutual aid network through the maintenance of a policy manual that governs the MAP, mutual aid role requirements and expectations, and related projects. 

Many thanks to the members of the MAC subcommittee who developed the newly updated (June 2024) edition of the playbook. 

Document downloads (PDF files, unless otherwise noted):

Download the Playbook

Quick Start Guide

Attachment A: National Mutual Aid Agreement

Attachment B: Contact Information

Attachment C: Coordination Meetings and Agendas

Attachment D: Utility Coordinator Job Aid

Attachment E: Designated State Coordinator Job Aid

Attachment F: National Coordinator Job Aid

Attachment G: Response Resources and Best Practices

Attachment H: Example Resource Information Forms - This template checklist is for use by utilities requesting aid to help inform crews working on a restoration effort in their service territory. It outlines the response status and resource requirement information to collect and maintain to help ensure an effectively coordinated mutual aid effort. The Requesting Utility Coordinator is responsible for compiling accurate resource needs and coordinating with their DSC and other utilities.

Mutual Aid Checklist For Responding Utilities (fillable PDF)

Mutual Aid Checklist For Responding Utilities (Word document)

Template Crew Coordination Sheet (Excel spreadsheet)

If you are a utility experiencing widespread disaster-related outages in your area, contact your designated state coordinator. For other inquiries, email us at [email protected].