PaWARN is a statewide Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) of “utilities helping utilities” to prepare for the next natural or human-caused emergency, organize response according to established requirements, and share personnel and other resources statewide, by agreement. Click here to learn more.

PA DEP’s Brian Moore selected as the 2022 PaWARN Gold Star Award Honoree

In recognition of his exceptional commitment to emergency response, the Pennsylvania Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (PaWARN) recently presented its Gold Star Award to PA DEP’s Brian Moore signifying his dedication to mutual aid by coordinating the deployment of emergency resources in conjunction with PaWARN during water/wastewater system emergencies.

Brian Moore has been with the Department of Environmental Protection since 2005 and has worked with their Waste Management and Emergency Response programs. He is currently the Director of Environmental Emergency Response for the agency and is responsible for directing six regional emergency response teams, coordinating the emergency roles of the various DEP programs, representing Pennsylvania on the Regional Response Team 3 and being the Lead Agency Representative to the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency for larger incidents and disasters.

The PaWARN Board of Directors sincerely appreciates Brian Moore’s communication and coordination efforts with PaWARN during Water Sector crisis situations.

The PaWARN Gold Star Award is given to an individual who has shown his or her dedication to providing emergency resources to a water/wastewater utility during a crisis or who has worked diligently to further the mission of the mutual aid network.

Warning of Potential for Cyber Attacks Targeting the United States in
the Event of a Russian Invasion of Ukraine

EPA Announces Action Plan to Accelerate Cyber-Resilience for the Water Sector

WASHINGTON (Jan 26, 2022) – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its federal partners announced the Industrial Control Systems Cybersecurity Initiative – Water and Wastewater Sector Action Plan to help protect water systems from cyberattacks. The Action Plan focuses on high-impact activities that can be surged within 100 days to safeguard water resources by improving cybersecurity across the water sector.

The Action Plan is part of President Biden’s Industrial Control Systems (ICS) Initiative, which he established pursuant to National Security Memorandum 5, Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems. The ICS Initiative is a collaborative effort between the federal government and critical infrastructure community to facilitate the deployment of technologies that provide cyber-related threat visibility, indicators, detections, and warnings.

“Cyberattacks represent an increasing threat to water systems and thereby the safety and security of our communities,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “As cyber-threats become more sophisticated, we need a more coordinated and modernized approach to protecting the water systems that support access to clean and safe water in America. EPA is committed to working with our federal partners and using our authorities to support the water sector in detecting, responding to, and recovering from cyber-incidents.”

The Water and Wastewater Sector Action Plan focuses on promoting and supporting the water sector’s adoption of strategies for the early detection of cyber-threats and allow for the rapid sharing of cyber-threat data across the government in order to expedite analysis and action. Actions include:

-Establishing a task force of water sector leaders.
-Implementing pilot projects to demonstrate and accelerate adoption of incident monitoring.
-Improving information sharing and data analysis.
-Providing technical support to water systems.

The Initiative’s goals are outlined in the Action Plan which was developed by the EPA, the National Security Council (NSC), the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Water Sector Coordinating Council and Water Government Coordinating Council (WSCC/GCC).

“Securing our Nation’s critical infrastructure is a top priority for President Biden and his Administration. In the past year, the Administration has worked closely across the U.S. government and critical infrastructure partners to ensure they have our full support in shoring up their cyber defenses,” said Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger. “The action plans for the electric grid and pipelines have already resulted in over 150 electricity utilities serving over 90 million residential customers and multiple critical natural gas pipelines deploying additional cybersecurity technologies. This plan will build on this work and is another example of our focus and determination to use every tool at our disposal to modernize the nation’s cyber defenses, in partnership with private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure”.

“The expansion of the President’s ICS Cybersecurity Initiative to the Water Sector is an important step forward in securing our nation’s water utilities from malicious cyber activity.  The water sector action plan will provide owners and operators of water utilities a roadmap for high-impact actions they can take to improve the cybersecurity of their operations,” said National Cyber Director Chris Inglis. “I commend the Water Sector Coordinating Council and their Federal partners for their continuing efforts to improve the present and future resilience of water utilities on which each American depends.”

“The Water Sector Coordinating Council appreciates the partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Security Council to advance and mature cybersecurity across the Water and Wastewater Systems Sector. This plan represents a key step towards achieving that goal, and we look forward to continued engagement to support the sector vision of secure and resilient drinking water and wastewater infrastructure,” said Nicholas Santillo Jr., Chair of the Water Sector Coordinating Council.

EPA and its federal partners intend to work with water sector stakeholders to encourage, incentivize, and assist in the rapid deployment of ICS cybersecurity monitoring technologies. By implementing this Action Plan, partners across the government will lay the foundation for supporting enhanced ICS cybersecurity across water systems of all sizes—ensuring improved cyber-preparedness.

This email was provided to state drinking water directors and staff, large and medium water suppliers, WARN chairs, RWA and other industry groups. Due to the size of the email groups, small systems will be sent this separately.

Patti Kay Wisniewski

Drinking Water Preparedness and Resiliency Coordinator

US EPA Region 3

Drinking Water Section (3WD21)

1650 Arch Street

Phila, PA  19103


Cell: 215-514-7893

Email: [email protected]

(note the hyphen appears in email only)

PUC Offers Safety Tips as Remnants of Hurricane Ida Approach

Residents Reminded to Report Outages, Use Caution During Severe Weather and Give Utility Crews Room to Work

HARRISBURG – As the remnants of Hurricane Ida continue to move toward the Mid-Atlantic region – bringing the threat of heavy rain, high winds and potential flooding – the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) reminds households of the steps they can take to prepare for, and recover safely from, storm-related power outages.

 “Severe weather can bring down trees, branches and wires, disrupting utility service,” said PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. “Time spent on planning and preparing before a storm can go a long way toward keeping you and your family safe when severe weather hits.” 

Additionally, the PUC cautions residents to give utility crews ample room to perform their repair work – for your protection as well as theirs – and to use extra care when traveling, watching for utility crews working along streets and roads and slowing down in work areas.

Storm Preparation Tips

The PUC encourages residents to consider the following tips before storm strikes:

  • Know Your Utility Hotlines – Write down, print or save toll-free outage hotlines for your electric utility and/or your natural gas utility, which are listed on your monthly bills and posted on the PUC website.
  • Save Utility Website Address – Your utility’s outage reporting system can provide updates on repair and restoration efforts. Bookmark these electric utility outage sites and natural gas company websites.
  • Keep Your Cell Phone Charged – A well-charged phone will keep you in contact with your utility, other emergency services and family members during any power outage.
  • Secure Supplies – Keep necessary food, medicine and other supplies on-hand, including batteries for flashlights.

Power Outage Tips

Should you lose power during a storm, keep the following points in mind:

  • Call Your Utility Hotline to Report Outages – do not assume that the utility already knows about your outage or that others have already called.
  • Keep Clear of Wires – do NOT touch or approach any fallen lines.
  • Stay Away from Objects or Puddles in contact with downed power lines.
  • Do NOT Try to Remove Trees or Limbs from power lines.
  • Do NOT Call 9-1-1 to Report Power Outages – report those to your utility. Calling 9-1-1 to report non-emergency issues like service outages can take resources away from other emergencies. SPECIAL NOTE: If you see a downed power line, immediately call your electric utility and/or 9-1-1.

Safety While Waiting for Power to be Restored

Households should consider the following tips to help stay safe until power is restored:

  • Use Flashlights or Battery-Operated Lanterns for emergency lighting – do not use candles or other potential fire hazards.
  • Turn Off Lights and Electrical Appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage equipment (leave one light on to alert you that power has been restored).
  • Use Generators Safely – If you use a generator, do NOT run it inside a home or garage or anywhere close to a window or vent. Also, connect the equipment you want to operate directly to the outlets on the generator, not your home’s electrical system, which could shock or injure utility crews working on nearby power lines. Additional generator tips are available here.
  • Check on Elderly Neighbors and those with special needs who might need assistance.

Flooding and Electric Power

The threat of flooding from heavy rains is also possible in some parts of Pennsylvania.  The PUC urged homeowners and businesses to consider the following flood-related electric safety tips:

  • Avoid flooded homes or businesses – submerged wires, power outlets or appliances may energize standing water.
  • Do not touch electric panels, outlets or appliances if you are wet or standing in water.
  • If your basement floods, do not enter unless you are sure the water is not in contact with a source of electricity. Call a qualified electrician to disconnect the power before you enter a flooded basement.
  • Utilities will inspect flooded areas and will assess when it is safe to restore service to their systems – but homeowners and businesses should work with licensed electricians regarding repairs to customer-owned lines and appliances.
  • The utility may require you to have your system inspected by a licensed electrician before it restores power if the utility removed your electric meter and cut power to your home due to flooding (contact your utility for any clarification).
  • Do not attempt to plug in or turn on any water-damaged appliances until they have been inspected by a qualified electrician and determined to be safe.
  • Consult professionals regarding the need to repair or replace water-damaged devices.

Natural Gas Safety Tips

Consumers using natural gas appliances can also be impacted by storms:

  • Check Gas Appliances – electric power outages can affect home appliances that operate on natural gas. If they do not function properly when power is restored, call a professional for service.
  • Evacuate if You Smell Natural Gas – get everyone out of the building immediately.
  • Leave the Door Open and Do NOT Use Phones: do NOT switch lights or appliances on or off; and do NOT take any other action while inside the building.
  • Call 9-1-1 from a safe location – after you are safely outside, call 9-1-1 from your cell phone or neighbor’s home.

Flooding and Natural Gas Safety

Natural gas service can also be impacted by flooding, homeowners and businesses are reminded of the following flood-related safety tips for natural gas service:

  • If you are outside a building and you smell gas, do not enter the building – call 9-1-1 and your gas company from a safe location.
  • If you are inside a building and you smell gas, leave immediately – call 9-1-1 and your gas company from a safe location.
  • Contact a licensed professional to clean, repair and test all appliances and pipes if your home or business has flooded and any of your natural gas appliances (including furnaces, boilers, water heaters and dryers) have been affected.
  • Do not attempt to restart natural gas appliances yourself – contact a professional.
  • Contact your gas utility to inspect your gas meter and regulator if flood waters rose above those systems.

During storm emergencies, the PUC continuously monitors utility issues and works closely with the Governor’s Office and the other state agencies involved in Pennsylvania’s coordinated storm response. Across the state, there is extensive behind-the-scenes work when storms are forecast, focused on quickly addressing problems and restoring service as rapidly as possible. Utilities are putting their severe weather plans into motion; crews and equipment are being positioned for quick response to outages; and communication with emergency management coordinators is enhanced.

About the PUC

Visit the PUC’s website at for recent news releases and video of select proceedings. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Search for the “Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission” or “PA PUC” on your favorite social media channel for updates on utility issues and other helpful consumer information.

Attention PA Water Utilities: has been launched! is a collaborative initiative by the federal government to make it easier for stakeholders across the private and public sectors to find free, authoritative information, resources, and tools that can help prevent and mitigate ransomware attacks in the United States. brings together resources from across the federal government into one location, to give organizations, the general public, federal, state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments, and critical infrastructure organizations a one-stop-shop to learn how to reduce their ransomware risk. The content is sourced from agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and other governmental partners. The site is a whole-of-government resource hub.

PUC Issues Cybersecurity Advisory on Threats to Utility Systems

Published on 3/10/2021

Encourages Steps to Address Vulnerabilities Highlighted by Recent Utility Cyber Attack in Florida and Importance of Strong Cyber Hygiene

HARRISBURG –The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has issued a Cybersecurity Advisory to water utilities across Pennsylvania with specific cybersecurity information following a recent cyberattack on a water system in Florida – and continues to encourage all other utilities to maintain good cyber hygiene and remain vigilant.

“A PUC-regulated utility is required to have a cybersecurity plan for their operations, and we have regular conversations with our utility community about cybersecurity and developing cyberthreats,” noted PUC Chair Gladys Brown Dutrieuille, who leads the Committee on Critical Infrastructure for NARUC – the national organization for state utility commissioners – and is also a member of NARUC’s national Task Force on Emergency Preparedness, Recovery and Resiliency.

A great deal of the PUC’s time and attention is focused on information-sharing about developing cyber threats, connecting utilities with cybersecurity resources, and improving communication between different groups of utilities – because a cyberthreat that appears in one sector may be part of a broader effort to penetrate another type of utility or business.

The Commission noted that cyber issues impact every size and type of utility, along with other businesses – further underscoring the importance of strong cybersecurity practices.

Cyber Tips Following Florida Incident

Based on preliminary information about the Florida incident, the PUC’s Office of Cybersecurity Compliance and Oversight has issued a Cybersecurity Advisory – reaching out to regulated water utilities in Pennsylvania about the importance of strong cyber hygiene.

Key recommendations in the PUC Cybersecurity Advisory include:

  • Operating Systems – Update all computers operating software.
  • Passwords – Use strong passwords and multiple-factor authentication.
  • Other Safeguards – Ensure that anti-virus, spam filters and firewalls are updated, properly configured and secure.
  • Training – Users should be trained to identify and report attempts at social engineering.
  • Respond Quickly – Identify and suspend access of users exhibiting unusual activity.
  • Study Risks – Conduct regular physical and cybersecurity risk assessments on critical infrastructure.

Most of these tips are also excellent cyber hygiene practices for every business and every personal computer user, especially with the dramatic increase in remote work since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The larger number of people now working remotely has expanded the number of possible avenues for cyberattacks and further emphasized the need for constant vigilance by everyone.

Cyber Careers at Utilities

As utilities work to address these new potential threats, the Commission encouraged cyber professionals and young people learning about cybersecurity to consider career opportunities in the utility sector.

“There is a massive state, national and global demand for job candidates with strong cybersecurity skills, and we hope that many will explore possible #UtilityCareers,” PUC Chairman Dutrieuille said. “While our utilities can often ‘hide in plain sight,’ – unnoticed by many unless there is a problem with service – the work of ensuring the safety and reliability of these essential community services can be very rewarding.”

For a new generation searching for opportunities to start their careers, as well as other skilled candidates, like our veterans, looking for new possibilities, utilities represent tens-of-thousands of community-oriented jobs, combining good wages with the satisfaction of knowing that you are serving your neighbors.

About the PUC

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

Visit the PUC’s website at for recent news releases and video of select proceedings. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Search for the “Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission” or “PA PUC” on your favorite social media channel for updates on utility issues and other helpful consumer information.

PA Emergency Management Agency recently launched Keystone Mesonet, an internet-based one-stop shop for weather and environmental data. The website provides users with all PA and federally owned weather data in one location.


Subject: PrepareAthon Action #1: Join Your State’s WARN

Become a key part of a network of utilities helping each other respond to and recover from emergencies and the damage they cause.

WARN members provide and receive mutual aid and emergency assistance — personnel, equipment, materials, access to situation reports and associated services.

Whether you anticipate damage or have sustained it, your utility is never alone when it is part of your state’s WARN.


Don’t Get Soaked
The “Don’t Get Soaked” video educates drinking water and wastewater utility managers, board members, elected and appointed officials on the benefits of investing in preparedness, response and recovery activities. It features testimonials from drinking water and wastewater utilities that include information about real world events.

Water/Wastewater Boot Camp Training
EPA’s new computer training — Water/Wastewater All-Hazards Boot Camp — walks utilities through how to incorporate emergency management activities into their programs and build overall resilience to all hazards. Many states have pre-approved the training for CEUs. Download today:

 ———————————————————————————————————————–EPA’s Water/Wastewater All-Hazards Boot Camp Training

U.S. EPA has released their Water/Wastewater All-Hazards Boot Camp Training, a computer-based training for water and wastewater utilities that focuses on emergency planning, response, and recovery activities and how they’re incorporated into a comprehensive all-hazard management program. The interactive training includes testimonials from water utility professionals, as well as links to helpful tools and resources to give utilities a head start on building resilience to all hazards. Many states have already pre-approved the course for continuing education hours for both water and wastewater personnel. 

Along with the Boot Camp Training, water utilities may also find EPA’s Don’t Get Soaked YouTube Video valuable, as it educates drinking water and wastewater utility managers, board members, elected and appointed officials on the benefits of investing in preparedness, response and recovery activities.

Patti Kay Wisniewski

Drinking Water Security Coordinator

Drinking Water Branch (3WP21)

US EPA Region 3

1650 Arch Street

Phila, PA 19103


215-514-7893 (cell)

PUC Offers Tips for Residents During Power Outages

HARRISBURG – With Old Man Winter promising ice and a wintry mix for much of the state, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today provided tips for those residents who may lose electrical power.

When the lights go out

  • Call your utility. Don’t expect that others in your neighborhood have already called. Your utility can provide you with the most up-to-date information on when to expect power to be restored.
  • Check on elderly neighbors and those with special needs who might need additional assistance.
  • Use a phone that does not require electricity to work. Remember a cordless phone won’t work without electricity. Cable and VoIP service will not work. However, customers should familiarize themselves with their in-home equipment and locate the battery backup that will allow for a 911 call, if needed.
  • Keep your cellular phones charged. A cellular phone or corded phone on a landline may work if you are using traditional phone service.
  • Turn off lights and electrical appliances except for the refrigerator and freezer. When power comes back on, it may come back with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can damage equipment. After you turn the lights off, turn one lamp on so you will know when power is restored. Wait at least 15 minutes after power is restored before turning on other appliances.
  • Only use a flashlight or battery-operated lanterns for emergency lighting. Do not use candles.
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer. Food can stay cold for a couple of hours if the doors remain closed. For longer outages, plan to place refrigerator and freezer items in coolers with ice. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • If you are going to use a generator, do not run it inside a home or garage. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home’s electrical system. Generators also should not be run near any open windows or other areas where carbon monoxide may travel into the home such as air vents.

Driving during a power outage

  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion. If traffic lights are out, treat all intersections as four-way stops. It’s required by law for safety.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and sagging trees with broken limbs.

Downed power lines

  • Don’t touch or get near any fallen lines.
  • Stay away from objects or puddles in contact with downed power lines.
  • Notify the utility company.
  • Never try to remove trees or limbs from power lines.

Consumers should contact their electric utility if they experience an outage.

  • Met-Ed/Penelec/Penn Power/West Penn Power: 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)
  • PPL: 1-800-342-5775
  • PECO: 1-800-841-4141
  • UGI: 1-800-276-2722
  • Duquesne: 888-393-7000
  • Citizens: 570-524-2231
  • Wellsboro: 570-724-3516
  • Pike County: 570-724-3516

The companies also will be sharing information on social media such as Twitter. You can follow them: @Met_Ed; @Penelec; @penn_power; @W_Penn_Power; @PPLElectric; @UGI_Utilities; @DuquesneLight; @PECOconnect; @ORUconnect and @Citelectric. Consumers should not use social media to report outages or share account information or addresses.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility. “Like” PAPowerSwitch on Facebook for easy access to information on electric shopping.

AWWA National WARN Site

AWWA national WARN information web site.

EPA Incident Action Checklist – Water and Wastewater

EPA checklists for preparing, responding, and recovering from natural disasters. 

Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox

The Drinking Water Advisory Communication Toolbox provides information on how to plan for, develop, implement, and evaluate drinking water advisories.

NOAA’s Weather Site

Search the weather by city/state, or look for hurricane/tropical weather watches.

PA River Flow Forecast

River flow forecast site for the mid-Atlantic region.

WaterISAC Water Security Network

WaterISAC is a community of water sector professionals who share a common purpose: to protect public health and the environment. Our one-of-a-kind resource serves as a clearinghouse for government and private information that helps our subscribers identify risks, prepare for emergencies and secure the nation’s critical water infrastructure.