Sector Focused Working Groups



The purpose of this initiative is to form a fuel/petroleum and food “sector focused working groups” for the purposes of designing “information sharing drills” that can be utilized in future tabletop exercises in support of the CATEX 2014 exercise with state and local government in the NJ/NYC region as part of a FEMA sponsored Regional Catastrophic Grant Program. An electric sector working group is also being formed comprised of electric sector members from the Multi-State Fleet Response Working Group and the North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group covering the Northeast and New England regions.



Since 2011, the states and urban areas in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions have been working together on an integrated planning initiative designed to help “business get back to business” following a disaster. As part of this initiative, an annual exercise series was developed called CATEX (Catastrophic Exercise). Part of CATEX 2014 is the built on the formation of sector focused working groups that are small, nimble, and driven by the private sector operations people. These sector working groups identify “operational chokepoints” that they face during the response phase of disasters. Some of these chokepoints involve government and some don’t. Once these chokepoints are identified, a process is facilitated that involves state and local government operations personnel working with the private sector to identify “information sharing solutions” to address these sector specific chokepoints. These solutions will then be tested within the private sector, and if successful, converted to CATEX drills to be conducted during the CATEX exercise in the fall of 2014. These drills normally last between 30 minutes to 4 hours based on the number of parties/organizations/states involved.

As an example, in CATEX 2013, the Electric Sector Working Group (which evolved into the Multi-State Fleet Response WG) used this same unique integrated planning model to create 9 operational products/processes, including a CATEX drill that expedited power restoration efforts across the East Coast. This drill later became a formal operations process (referred to as the Multi-State Fleet Movement Coordination Initiative) which was used during the ice storms in early 2014.

It is the intent of this effort to replicate the successes and lessons learned from the electric sector and apply them to the fuel/petroleum and food sectors to produce operational information sharing products and processes that can expedite business getting back to business.



  1. Form two sector focused working groups comprised of operations personnel in the food and fuel/petroleum sectors.
  2. Identify 6 to 8 private sector operators to participate in each sector working group.
  3. Identify 2 to 3 operational chokepoints for each sector.
  4. Identify and discuss information sharing solutions with several state operational advisors in order to design solutions
  5. Convert information sharing solutions into drills that can be tested during CATEX 2014 in the fall


Participants and Roles

  1. Private Sector
    1. The private sector operations representatives will run the working groups, identify chokepoints, and provide prioritization of chokepoints to be discussed with government operations personnel at the appropriate time.
  2. Public Sector
    1. State and local government operations representatives will serve as advisers once the private sector identifies the sector-specific operational chokepoints.
  3. The All Hazards Consortium/Multi-State Fleet Response Working Group
    1. The AHC and representatives from the electric sector will serve as the facilitators of the conference calls, meetings, etc.



May / June 2014

Conduct Sector Working Group conference calls, 45 minutes each, 2-4 calls per work group, schedule TBD

  • Next Fuel/petroleum Sector Call – May 16, 2pm
  • Next Food Sector Call – May 16, 1pm

Note: Discussions are documented and if a member cannot attend, future meetings will be coordinated

August/September 2014

Planned Workshop in New Jersey/New York region to bring together private and public sector participants for discussion, planning, prioritizing, and gather recommendations for potential solutions

September/October 2014

Conduct Sector Working Group calls to refine solutions, 45 minutes each, 2-4 calls per work group, schedule TBD

October 2014 Conduct drills for each sector as part of fall CATEX 2014 exercise



  1. Electric Sector Working Group (Multi-State Fleet Response WG)
    1. Electric Sector Webpage
    2. Electric Sector Working Group 2013 Annual Report
  2. CATEX Exercise
    1. CATEX 2014 Webpage
    2. CATEX Videos from 2013
  3. All Hazards Consortium Webpage



Contacts for 2014 will be:
Dennis Schrader, email, [email protected] cell (443) 472-5871
Jim Cox, email, [email protected] cell (301) 639-9320