Hurricanes Katrina and Rita illustrated how difficult it could be for utilities to assist other utilities in recovery efforts. Realizing that utilities needed a different approach, leaders in the water community and state agencies have joined together creating WARN programs nationwide. The idea of “Utilities Helping Utilities” has become a critical element in establishing resiliency for water and wastewater utilities. All disasters are local and can include major weather events or other natural or manmade events. The RIWARN network is available to provide mutual aid whenever a significant service interruption may require assistance beyond a local utility’s immediately available resources. The goal is to assist in the rapid recovery of service for the protection of the public health, the environment and your local community. Joining RIWARN is free and there is never any obligation for utilities to provide mutual aid. We include county and city Emergency Coordinators in the RIWARN system to help utilities better prepare and assist when necessary.
The RIWARN agreement dictates that officers must be elected annually. The current officers are:
- Chair – Dave Aucoin, Safety Compliance Coordinator, Narragansett Bay Commission
- Vice Chair – Gary Marino, Engineer – Project Manager, Providence Water Supply Board
- Secretary – Sue Andrade, Engineering Technician, Bristol County Water Authority