There is no specific theme for this final week of National Preparedness Month (NPM), but in the waning days of September WaterISAC encourages its members to prepare themselves for potential emergencies or disruptions by learning more about or refreshing themselves on the fundamentals of incident management. As noted on the Ready Campaign’s Incident Management webpage, businesses should abide by an incident management system (IMS), which consists of “the combination of facilities, equipment, personnel, procedures and communications operating within a common organizational structure, designed to aid in the management of resources during incidents.” Beyond just using these principles to manage incidents internally, they can also be applied when coordinating with other organizations as part of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). NIMS is used as the standard emergency management by all public agencies in the U.S. and includes the Incident Command System (ICS). Given utilities inclusion in or interaction with public emergency services, familiarity with NIMS and ICS is essential to managing and stabilizing incidents.
While it’s important to be familiar with the fundamentals of incident management, including NIMS and ICS, WaterISAC also emphasizes to its members the need to have an emergency response plan. This reminder harks back to the theme for the first week of NPM 2020, which was “Make a Plan.” In addition to the resources listed at the time, which included U.S. EPA’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP) templates and instructions, WaterISAC reminds its members of a three part webinar series it conducted in coordination with Arcadis U.S., Inc. The recordings and presentations from Part I, Part II, and Part III have been posted to WaterISAC’s portal for members to access and review.