Press Release: Strengthening Emergency Preparedness, Recovery, and Resiliency

April 20, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A team of leading emergency preparedness and resilience experts — Converge Strategies, LLC and Emergency Management Partners — will support the Emergency Preparedness, Recovery, and Resiliency (EPRR) Task Force launched by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) to accelerate the regulatory community’s efforts to protect the reliability of our nation’s utility systems and strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure.

The EPRR Task Force, chaired by Commissioner Kimberly O’Guinn of the Arkansas Public Service Commission, was chartered in April 2020 in response to extreme weather events, natural disasters, and the national emergency from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“NARUC’s partnership with Converge Strategies will tangibly advance the work of the EPRR Task Force. Converge brings a wealth of technical knowledge and experience regarding emergency preparedness and ongoing efforts to enhance the resilience of our critical infrastructure,” said O’Guinn. “We are confident that these projects will better inform NARUC members on vital emergency preparedness topics and create essential tools to assist with disaster planning and recovery.”

The Project Team will leverage its expertise with preparedness, response, and recovery for ‘Black Sky’ hazards and deep experience with joint military-civilian planning to educate the regulatory community on planning and investment efforts across the utility, emergency preparedness, and national security communities.

“I am grateful to work with a team who has pioneered joint military-civilian planning for ‘Black Sky’ events and supported some of the nation’s largest recovery and preparedness efforts across critical infrastructure sectors,” said Jonathon Monken, Principal at Converge Strategies, LLC. “This team has a unique understanding of the nexus of energy resilience and the interdependency of life support infrastructure systems, and the project will undoubtedly have a profound impact on reducing risk to millions of people impacted by disasters and major events.”

There is an intensified focus on the need for access to energy and the importance of ensuring the continued delivery of essential utility services to better respond to future large-scale and catastrophic events. In response to that heightened awareness, the Project Team will work with the EPRR Task Force for the next year to develop and then publish the following:

  1. Black Sky Technical Playbook: The Team is crafting a detailed content outline for a Black Sky Playbook that describes state-level collaborative planning processes to support rapid and effective response to Black Sky events — catastrophic, multi-regional events affecting multiple critical infrastructure sectors.
  2. Resilience Funding Manual and Construction Standards Brief: The Team is providing research on existing federal funding opportunities for pre and post-disaster recovery and resiliency investments, as well as producing an issue brief that details the impact of construction standards on federal funding eligibility.
  3. DCEI White Paper: The Team is drafting a white paper that offers Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure (DCEI) subject matter expertise and suggestions for collaboration among state public utility commissions, relevant stakeholders, and defense communities.

The Project Team is working together closely with EPRR Task Force Subcommittees, comprising a balanced mix of NARUC members, stakeholders, and subject matter experts, to fulfill the Task Force’s objectives.

About Converge Strategies, LLC

Converge Strategies, LLC is a consulting company focused on the intersection of clean energy, resilience, and national security. We build partnerships with the military, civilians, and all levels of government to accelerate resilience and security in the clean energy transformation.

For more information, Converge Strategies LLC.

About NARUC

NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC’s member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of state public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.
For more information, visit National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. 

Media Contact

Adair Douglas

adouglas@convergestrategies.com

315.263.2382