Arlington Water Utilities Conducts Tabletop Exercise to Prepare for Emergency Scenarios
By Susan Schrock
Posted on May 05, 2016, May 05, 2016


The Arlington Water Utilities leadership team, in conjunction with the Arlington Fire Department Office of Emergency Management, recently conducted an Emergency Management Tabletop Exercise to help better plan for disasters and identify and address potential weaknesses.

Arlington Water Utilities utilized subject matter experts from within its department as well as the Environmental Protection Agency's Tabletop Exercise Tool to create an emergency scenario for management. In addition to beneficial engagement of divisional management during a simulated response, the leadership developed an After Action Report and Action Plan to address opportunities for improvement identified during the scenario.

Participants included Andrew McBride, Adam Stark, Mohammad Bayan, Chad McGowan and Emergency Management Coordinator Kwa heri Harris.

"Rarely does a department volunteer to conduct their own exercise because of the amount of work and time it requires," Harris said. "When Andrew asked me to assist him and his planning team I was excited. I had a department wanting to test their emergency plans and policies, prior to an emergency, to ensure they work. The exercise planning team was dedicated to the process and produced a really good, well thought out exercise.


•With the role of public service and safety ever present, City of Arlington staff work diligently to provide superior service daily and prepare for unforeseen disasters, Arlington Water Utilities Director Buzz Pishkur said. A well-developed Emergency Management Program requires substantial participation in both planning for these events and exercising the plans to identify weaknesses, he said.

"The guidance and collaboration provided by our emergency management staff was instrumental in the success of this effort. Our opportunity to make these types of exercises of value is more related to making sure we have timely completion of the action items identified than just participating in the exercise," Pishkur said. "Hats off to the organizing group for a well thought out exercise."


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