What is ORWARN?

Following the impacts of Hurricane Katrina, it became apparent that even with the extraordinary efforts of utilities, water associations, and state regulatory agencies, the demand for resources and knowing where those resources were available overwhelmed the ability to effectively coordinate the initial response. FEMA demonstrated that it could not effectively assist utilities in a timely manner.

ORWARN is a Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) of utilities helping other utilities to:

  • Participate in a standard omnibus mutual assistance agreement and process for sharing emergency resources among members statewide.
  • Prepare for the next natural or man-made caused emergency
  • Organize emergency response according to establishe FEMA and NIMS requirements
  • Share personnel and other resources statewide under previously arranged agreements and pre-defined liability and insurance provisions
  • Receive mutual aid assistance in smaller localized emergencies, as is currently done by fire departments and other public service agencies

Why do we need such a program?

Past disaster response and lessons learned tell us that:

  • Water and Wastewater operations are very specialized
  • Water and Wastewater Utilities must be self-sufficient and fill the gap between disaster onset and arrival of other government aid
  • Customers can live without power and phone interruptions, not without water
  • Water restoration provides hope for long term recovery

Why Join ORWARN?

Who is more likely to have that specialized pump or valve your system needs to get back on line in a hurry? That’s right, another water or wastewater system. So join your peers in ORWARN and become part of the network dedicated to keeping our communities healthy, sanitary and safe.

Renewed Hope

When water and wastewater service is restored, people have a renewed sense of hope that recovery is forthcoming!

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