Emergency Response + Assistance Practices (Apr 17-18)

Emergency preparedness and business continuity planning is crucial to a timely response in the event of a disaster. This forum allows for open discussion on pressing topics surrounding utility emergency planning and operations. There is also ample time for networking to develop relationships that will prove beneficial to members in an emergency. Many participants of this meeting also attend the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement (WRMAA) each fall.

General Details

  • Program Chair(s)
  • Nancy Sacré, Emergency Management Program Manager, Southern California Edison

    • Program Location
    • Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa
    • 900 Newport Center DriveNewport Beach, California 92660
    • 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 27, 2017. Registration prices include opening reception, breakfast and lunch, and all meeting materials. Guest passes are available for $75 and allows an attendee to bring a personal guest to the opening reception.

    WEI is offering a $200 discount if you register for both the 2017 Operations Conference and the 2017 Emergency Response & Assistance Practices Meeting. To take advantage of this discount, register for the Emergency Response program first and then use the discount code you receive in your confirmation email to register for the Operations Conference.

  • 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 17, 2017

5:00 PM - 5:30 PM

WRMAA Officer's Meeting

Located in the Avalon Room – restricted to WRMAA Officers only.

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Welcome Reception at the Hotel

Sponsored by Ground Control Global Satellite Communications.  Come play with state-of-the-art communications gadgets at a hosted reception with other conference participants.

Location:  Cardiff Patio

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration + Breakfast

Location: Avalon

8:00 AM - 8:15 AM

Welcome + Introductions
Facilitator(s): Nancy Sacré, Emergency Management Program Manager, Southern California Edison

Location: Baycliff

8:15 AM - 9:00 AM

Incident Response: A Case Study in Public/Private Sector Partnerships
Speaker(s): Don Daigler, Director of Business Resiliency, Southern California Edison

Using SCE as an example, Mr. Daigler discusses their approach to implementation of ICS for a utility.

  • Following the FEMA Standards
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • National Standards for Life-cycle

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Resource and Asset Transportation
Speaker(s): Don Boland, Executive Director, California Utilities Emergency Association, Tom Moran, Executive Director, AHC, John Shaner, Emergency Management Consultant, JLShaner Consulting LLC

Topics include transportation within and across borders, credentialing, and invited speakers provide perspectives on the changing landscape.

9:45 AM - 10:15 AM


10:45 AM - 11:45 AM

How to Integrate ICS Operationally at Utilities
Speaker(s): Barron Kelley, Operations Project Manager, Questar Gas

Barron Kelley will share the steps that Questar Gas is taking to integrate ICS at the company. Participants are invited to share their own journey – what went right and what went wrong. We also provide updated survey updated on the way WEI Member Energy Companies are using ICS to manage incidents.

11:45 AM - 12:00 PM

In Case of Crisis App Update
Speaker(s): Nancy Sacré, Emergency Management Program Manager, Southern California Edison

Nancy provides an update on SCE's In Case of Crisis software, including: * Instructions for accessing the app and creating an account * Demonstration of the functionality and capability * Review of the WRMAG toolkit

10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Cyber Security Mutual Assistance Agreements
Speaker(s): Evermary Hickey, Director, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

We discuss how shared practices can support response to cyber attacks.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Location: Avalon

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Panel: Lessons Learned from the 2017 West’s Winter Storms
Moderator(s): Erin Swearingen, Senior Program Manager, Avista Corp.
Panelist(s): Jeff Briggs, Emergency Preparedness Program Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Cecile Pinto, Manager, ICS and Emergency Management, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Jay Jewess, Director, Business Continuity & Emergency Management, Portland General Electric, Mary Hobday, Emergency Planning Manager, Puget Sound Energy

Panelists from impacted utilities from the west's winter storms provide their perspectives on what went well and lessons learned. We will explore how to improve the WRMAA activation and communication.

  • How did the WRMAG respond to the situation and thoughts
  • How did we manage resource requests
  • How was it handed off
  • Whether we had after-action reviews
  • Lessons Learned

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM

Logistics Lessons learned from Hurricane Matthew, October 2016
Speaker(s): Scott Hayes, Business Development, Disaster Resource Group

Issues involving 

  • Manpower
  • Infrastructure
  • Staging Sites


2:15 PM - 2:30 PM

Afternoon Break

2:30 PM - 3:45 PM

Open Roundtable and Future Topics
Facilitator(s): Tom Jacobus, Principal Manager, Southern California Edison

Attendees will may submit topics in advance of the meeting or throughout the day to address during this session.

  • Solicit agenda items for the fall meeting
  • Discuss about providing crews without equipment

3:45 PM - 4:00 PM

Wrap Up, Next Steps, Action Items
Facilitator(s): Nancy Sacré, Emergency Management Program Manager, Southern California Edison

Meeting adjourns

Hotel + Travel

  • Surround yourself in luxury and convenience at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Enjoy easy access to California's most pristine beaches, affluent areas including Corona del Mar, popular attractions such as Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Balboa Island and premier shopping and dining at Fashion Island. Slumber in style in our Newport Beach hotel's spacious guest rooms and suites featuring sweeping Pacific Ocean views, chic decor, plush furnishings and expansive marble bathrooms. Our unique Newport Beach conference venues are ideal for productive meetings and unforgettable weddings. Treat yourself to tranquility at Pure Blu, our full-service spa offering private cabanas, a saltwater lap pool and state-of-the-art fitness center. Savor exquisite dining at Sam & Harry's, our renowned steakhouse serving fresh seafood, prime filets and an extensive wine list. Indulge in a specialty beverage and fresh pastry from our Starbucks. Experience the authentic SoCal lifestyle at Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.
  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (877) 622-3056 to reserve your room, or complete your reservation online. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $209/night. This rate is guaranteed until March 27, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.


Thank you to our sponsors!


Meet The Speakers

Don Daigler

Southern California Edison

Director of Business Resiliency
Learn More

35+ years of national/homeland security and business resiliency leadership experience. Subject Matter Expert in emergency management, business continuity, risk management and physical/cyber security. Seasoned executive who builds and maintains strong relationships with subordinates, colleagues, and superiors. Excellent communicator with extensive experience in public speaking, facilitation, and writing. Broad experience working at all levels of private and public sector, both domestically and abroad, addressing strategy, policy, planning, and operational issues.

Nancy Sacré

Southern California Edison

Emergency Management Program Manager

Barron Kelley

Questar Gas

Operations Project Manager
Learn More

Barron began his career in Operations working as a dispatcher in the Operation’s Dispatch Department. During that time he became involved with developing the first of a series of applications for managing field service work in a mobile workforce environment. After working in that area for 6 years, he spent 10 years as a business consultant supporting the telecommunications for QGC that included the QGC Call Center, Dispatch applications, Radios, and field service’s applications in the vehicle. Barron also spent 5 years in the IT Department as a network analyst where he implemented and supported WANs/LANs, Firewalls, Web filtering services, and implemented VPNs to support a mobile workforce.

After finishing his MBA, Barron took a position in QGC Operations managing the Dispatch and scheduling Operations for Dominion Energy West Gas Operations, formerly Questar Gas, and is currently managing and supporting that group and other assigned IT projects that involve Operations.

Jay Jewess

Portland General Electric

Director, Business Continuity & Emergency Management
Learn More

Jay is the Manager of Business Continuity & Emergency Management overseeing business continuity and incident management functions while working to build resiliency at Portland General Electric (PGE) in Portland, Oregon. He joined PGE in July 2015. Prior to his current role, he was a FEMA Region IX Incident Management Assist Team Lead responsible for responding to disasters in California, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, and the Pacific Islands. He served 27 years in the United States Coast Guard as an engineer, aviator and in incident management. He serves in the community as an American Red Cross Board Member and makes his home in Oregon City, Oregon with his wife Luci.

Cecile Pinto

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Manager, ICS and Emergency Management

Jeff Briggs

Sacramento Municipal Utility District

Emergency Preparedness Program Manager

Erin Swearingen

Avista Corp.

Senior Program Manager
Learn More

Erin Swearingen is a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) with 20 years of experience in business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency preparedness and management. Erin has designed and implemented business continuity programs for various industries including the financial industry.

Erin has been with Avista for over 5 years and has implemented the Enterprise Business Continuity program which includes business continuity, disaster recovery and emergency operations response.

She has also developed and implemented emergency response and life safety programs, promoting employee safety, personal preparedness and preparedness education.

Tom Jacobus

Southern California Edison

Principal Manager

Don Boland

California Utilities Emergency Association

Executive Director

Mary Hobday

Puget Sound Energy

Emergency Planning Manager

John Shaner

JLShaner Consulting LLC

Emergency Management Consultant

Tom Moran


Executive Director

Scott Hayes

Disaster Resource Group

Business Development