2014 Regional Info Sharing Drill – Nov 19

In the fall of 2014, multiple companies and states will be conducting a regional information sharing drill as part of the CATEX Annual Regional Exercise Series.

This multistate “email based drill” is designed to expedite the flow of operational information between public and private sector operations professionals to resolve operational issues in order to expedite power restoration efforts and the regional flow of private sector resources in the electric, fuel, and food sectors.

Over the past seven months, representatives from the private sector and several regional states in the Northeast have been working with the Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (RCPT – NJ-NY-CT-PA) and the All Hazards Consortium’s Fleet Response Working Group in order to identify key operational issues that caused problems during Super Strom Sandy.

The electric, fuel, and food sectors each formed their own small Sector Focused Working Group to identify their top two or three operational issues during response efforts to Sandy.

Through an integrated planning process used by Fleet Response Working Group, the private sector and public sector representatives mutually agreed to:

  1. Sector specific operational regional issues to be addressed:
    1. Electric – mutual assistance, toll stations, and sharing sensitive information w/states
    2. Food – Regional impact awareness, weigh stations, & restoration efforts
    3. Fuel – Waivers, Surge predictions, regional situational awareness
  2. Essential Elements of Information needed to resolve each sector issue
  3. The public and private sector people, agencies and organizations needed to be involved in the information sharing process to resolve each issue
  4. A simple, secure process to move the information and decisions around the region quickly

Drill Basics:

  • Approximately 50 players along with dozens of observers from around the country
  • Follows a simplified format using some of the FEMA HSEEP standards and processes
  • Last for approximately 1 businesses day (8:00am to 5:00pm)
  • Be conducted with all players located at the offices and/or on their cell phones
  • Periodic status calls will be held for players and observers

Players will be involved in an email process designed to move information quickly, explain a problem, get an answer, and get the answer to the right people in the public and private sector quickly.

This same process has already been tested and placed into operation within the electric sector. Over the past 12 months this regional email based information sharing process was used expedite power restoration crews during the 2014 January/February ice storms that impacted the eastern half of the United States.

Simply stated, this annual CATEX information sharing drill will continue to drive the principal forwarded of getting the right people the right information quickly to get the decisions made faster —- benefits everyone involved.

Once the 2014 CATEX drill is complete, and after action report will be generated, and the information from that report will inform each of the Sector Focus Working Groups so they can to continue to develop short-term, mid-term, and long-term solutions for each of these operational problems and potentially explore more operational problems once these initial ones are fixed.