Streamline - Fall 2015 - (Page 17)

Membership is Free, but its Value to your Utility may be Priceless!! BY KENNY REYNOLDS, VRWA TRAINING SPECIALIST would like to take this opportunity to ask each water and wastewater utility to take a few minutes to think about the questions listed below and answer for their utility: We aT vrWa 1. Have we done everything possible as a water or wastewater utility to prepare for the next emergency? 2. If our answer to question #1 was no, then why not? Sometimes trying to prepare for possible emergencies requires budgeting funds for equipment, which may delay the utility's timeframe for preparation. But there are things a utility can do to prepare for that next emergency that doesn't require budgeting funds. For example there are several free programs for completing their Vulnerability Assessment (VA) and Emergency Response Plan (ERP) for their water and wastewater systems. Both SEMS Technology and VSAT offer free software for utilities to complete their water and wastewater VA and ERP. Another resource available to our water and wastewater utilities is free membership in Virginia WARN (VA WARN). VA WARN is a Mutual Aid Response Network for Virginia water and wastewater systems. The rest of this article is going to be devoted to VA WARN and why you should become a member. During this past year we, at VRWA, presented five Emergency Management Training Sessions devoted to preparing our water and wastewater systems for emergencies. In each of these training sessions, we did a presentation on VA WARN. There are WARNs in 49 of our 50 states and one in the national capital region. The last state has signed a WARN agreement and the program is to be determined. In Virginia there are We at VRWA support the VA WARN Program and encourage all water and wastewater utilities to go the VA WARN website and see the benefits of membership to your utility. over 2,000 water systems not including wastewater systems. As of October 2014, the VA WARN website shows only 39 water and wastewater systems that are members. So, if we are not members of VA WARN, then why not? As a water and wastewater utility, do we understand the purpose of VA WARN? This question can best be answered by the mission statement copied directly from the VA WARN website: "The mission of the Virginia Water and Wastewater Agency Response Network (VA WARN) is to provide a method whereby Virginia water and wastewater utilities that have sustained damages from natural or manmade events could obtain emergency assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials and other associated services as necessary from other water and wastewater utilities. The objective is to provide rapid, short term deployment of emergency services to restore the critical operations of the impacted utility." WARN is a network of utilities helping utilities to respond to and recover from emergencies. Even with membership in the WARN Program, participation is voluntary and there is no obligation to respond to a request for assistance. Many water and wastewater utilities often seek assistance from our neighboring utilities for parts, equipment or even personnel in emergency situations. But what if the emergency not only affected our utility but also our neighboring utilities - who would we contact for assistance? Usually it takes three days after 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Fall 2015

From the President: What if the Hokey Pokey Really is What it’s All About?
From the Executive Director: The Value of Membership
VRWA’s 2015 Expo Wrap Up
Membership is Free, but its Value to your Utility may be Priceless!!
How to Prepare for a Lab Audit
Tomorrow’s Leaders: Attracting Young Professionals
Amherst Source Water Protection
USDA Rural Development/Virginia
Comparative Advantage
Keeping Workers Safe During Night-Time Repairs
Affordable Mixers Now Available for Southern Corrosion Engineered Tank Care Customers
When Consolidation Makes cents
NRWA Recap
VRWA Offers New Member Benefits
Throwing My Loop: Another View
Booster Club
e-Learning Benefits
Membership Application
Do you know what your VRWA Benefits are?
Welcoming New Members
Training Calendar
Board of Directors
VRWA Committees
Index to Advertisers/

Streamline - Fall 2015