Emergency Response + Assistance Practices (Apr 22-23)

Emergency preparedness and business continuity planning is crucial to a timely response to business disruptions - whether they are caused by weather impacts, cyber attacks, or equipment malfunction. This forum provides an open discussion on pressing topics surrounding utility emergency planning and operations. Through this and the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement, leaders develop relationships that will prove beneficial to members in an emergency. The spring ERAP program is open to utilities and service providers, and precedes the WEI Operations Conference.

Register Now

General Details

  • Program Location
  • JW Marriott parq Vancouver
  • 39 Smithe Street
    Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1C1
  • Who Should Attend
    • Operations managers
    • Emergency management coordinators
    • Disaster recovery planners
    • Directors of business continuity planning
    • Emergency preparedness supervisors
    • Managers of emergency services
    • Emergency planning and response specialists
    • Safety specialists
    • Parties to the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement
    • Service company members
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $499 USD
    Regular: $899 USD

    Registration prices increase $100 after March 29, 2019. Registration includes ERAP welcome reception, breakfast and lunch Tuesday, and all meeting materials, as well as attendance at the WEI Operations Conference reception. Guest tickets are available for $50 and allow a personal guest (a spouse or partner who does not work in the energy industry) to accompany a registered attendee at the event. Guest registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • Due to contractual obligations, cancellations received 15 business days prior to the program will receive a full refund. Cancellations received 6 to 14 business days prior to the event will receive a refund, less a $100 administrative fee. No shows and last minute cancellations, 5 business days prior to the event or less, will be responsible for the full registration fee. Substitutions from your organization for the same event are always welcome.
  • Participation Policy
  • Western Energy Institute programs and events are open to energy companies (including gas production and electric generation, gas and electric transmission and gas and electric distribution utilities). Select programs and events are open to energy industry product and service suppliers. Programs and events are closed to all media representatives and to the general public.
  • For more information contact Eric Christenson, Senior Program Manager at (971) 303-2118.


Monday, April 22, 2019

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

WRMAG Executive Committee Meeting

Closed meeting for the WRMAG Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Secretary In-Waiting, and Custodian to the Agreement.

1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Registration + Open Networking

Arrive early to reconnect with others before we officially kick off the 2019 ERAP meeting.

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Introductions + Welcome

2:15 PM - 3:00 PM

AAR #1 - BC Hydro December 2018 Windstorm

On December 20, 2018 a severe windstorm hit B.C.’s South Coast, subsequently becoming  the most damaging storm BC Hydro has experienced. The storm left more than 750,000 customers without power and damaged or destroyed thousands of pieces of electrical equipment. Responding to the storm involved the single biggest mobilization of staff, contractors and resources in BC Hydro’s history.  

Learn from BC Hydro's experience on how they managed restoration and repairs during this major event.

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM


3:15 PM - 4:00 PM

AAR #2 - LDC Gas Response

Southern California Gas Company provides best practices and lessons learned from LDC gas response events.

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM


4:15 PM - 5:00 PM

After Action Report #3 - Industry Case Study

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Welcome Reception at the Hotel

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Catered Breakfast

8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Opening Roundtable - Current Issues Impacting your Organization

Be prepared to share!

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Opening Keynote

9:45 AM - 10:00 AM


10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

Lessons Learned and Best Practices from the Contractor Perspective
Speaker(s): Brian Standish, Business Development, Quanta Services

* The Contractor Emergency Response Structure
* Resources Allocation & the Best Way to Support the Utility
* Mobilizing Crews and Safety Impact
* Non-IOU vs IOU Crews with Mutual Assistance
* Lessons Learned

10:45 AM - 11:15 AM


11:15 AM - 12:00 PM

ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning, A Moment to Act
Speaker(s): Bill Steele, Director of Communications and Outreach, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, University of Washington

ShakeAlert is an earthquake early warning (EEW) system that detects significant earthquakes so quickly that alerts can reach many people before shaking arrives. When an earthquake occurs seismic waves radiate from the epicenter like waves on a pond. It is these waves we feel as earthquake shaking and cause damage to structures. Learn how the technology detects moderate to large earthquakes so quickly that an alert can be sent to locations outside the area where the earthquake begins before strong shaking arrives. Learn more at https://www.shakealert.org/

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Catered Lunch

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Session #3

1:45 PM - 2:00 PM


2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Incident Command System Roundtable

Program participants will be surveyed on their current state in using ICS at their utilities, rollout of initial training programs, and how to maintain proficiency over time. Results of the survey will be shared with the group and then there will be an open discussion on ICS best practices.

2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Session #4

2:45 PM - 3:45 PM

Afternoon Open Roundtable

Attendees will get the opportunity to submit topics throughout the day to address during this session.

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Wrap Up, Next Steps, Action Items

Meeting adjourns

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Operations Conference Opening Reception

Program Participants are invited to attend the Operations Conference Opening Reception.

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please book online or contact the hotel directly at (888) 236-2427 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $299 CAD/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 29, 2019 or until the WEI room block is full. If you have any issues reserving a room online, please contact Eric Christenson at (971) 230-6984 or email christenson@westernenergy.org.

Meet The Speakers

Bill Steele

University of Washington

Director of Communications and Outreach, Pacific Northwest Seismic Network
Learn More

Bill Steele has directed the Educational Outreach and Communications Program for the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN) at the University of Washington, since 1993. He works closely with news reporters and filmmakers to provide hazards information and coordinate scientist involvement in development accurate and interesting news reports and documentaries. Bill also supports interdisciplinary and interagency cooperation between university, government agencies, and private sector organizations to identify earthquake and volcanic hazards, community vulnerabilities, and mitigation opportunities.

Bill has been recently touring the PNW introducing the ShakeAlert, West Coast Earthquake Early Warning Project (EEW) to businesses, utilities and public agencies. He collaborates with companies and public agencies to identify opportunities to implement automated loss reduction actions triggered by ShakeAlerts. Bill manages pilot projects and Technical Assistance Agreements on behalf of the USGS Washington State. He is also seeking to document how EEW can be used to reduce injuries and economic losses during an earthquake and speed recovery. Bill assisted the Whitehouse Office of Science and Technology Policy in the development of the Whitehouse Earthquake Resilience Summit in February 2016 which focused on the promise of the ShakeAlert system.

Bill has also recently helped organize a FEMA Region X volcano risk workshop with the UW Institute Hazard Mitigation and Research and FEMA Region X. This workshop brought together stakeholders from throughout Region X to review new educational materials on volcano hazards and community vulnerabilities and introduced new info sheets on 13 high risk volcanos in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon.

Bill serves on a number of NGO boards including CPARM (Contingency Planners and Recovery Managers), and he is founding member of CREW (the Cascadia Region Earthquake Workgroup). He lives with his wife Mea in the University district where they are tending their gardens and celebrating grandparenthood.

Lanny Sawchuck

BC Hydro

Director, Line Field Operations

Brian Standish

Quanta Services

Business Development
Learn More

Brian Standish is the Vice President of Emergency Response at Quanta Services. In this role he has oversight for Quanta’s restoration efforts on a national level. As North America’s largest contractor Quanta has provided support in the way of thousands of linemen, assessors and equipment to every major storm, most notably Hurricane Irene, Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Matthew, the California Wildfires and most recently Hurricane Harvey & Irma. During Harvey and Irma Quanta provided over 5,000 linemen as well as amphibious track equipment and boats throughout Texas, Florida and Georgia. Since the inception of the EEI National Response Event (NRE) in 2013, Standish has been an active participant in all drills and a contractor representative.