Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement (WRMAA) Annual Meeting (Nov 01-03)

Nearly 15 years ago the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement was adopted by many gas and electric utilities throughout Western North America to support one another in the event of emergencies affecting generation, transmission, distribution, or other business operations. Parties involved in the WRMAA twice annually to share best practices, discuss key emergency response issues, and in the fall, review the agreement itself and name the annual custodian.

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General Details

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

    • Program Location
    • The Westin San Diego
    • 400 West Broadway
      San Diego, California 92101
    • Who Should Attend
      • Parties to the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement
      • Emergency management coordinators
      • Disaster recovery planners
      • Directors of business continuity planning
      • Managers of emergency preparedness and response 
      • Safety specialists
  • Registration Options
  • Member: $629 USD
    Regular: $1,259 USD

    Member registration price increases $100 after October 17, 2017. Regular registration price increases $200. Registration includes all meals and receptions, and all program materials. Guest tickets are available for $99 and allow for 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.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Opening Reception

Thursday, November 2, 2017

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM

Registration and Breakfast

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Welcome + Introductions

8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Opening Keynote

9:15 AM - 9:30 AM


9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Lessons Learned from Emergency Events

10:45 AM - 11:00 AM


11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Outage and Damage Prediction Models

Results from the recent survey of operating companies are shared followed by a group discussion on how they use damage prediction models to prepare for weather events.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Catastrophic Events Logistics Discussion

Discussion on utility integration into the public sector emergency management and interdependent lifelines.

2:00 PM - 2:15 PM


2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Southern California Edison's Fire Management Programs

Southern California Edison's fire management officers present information about their program, fire season and the electrical safety training they just rebooted, and how they use internal field craft to supplement monitoring fires and how they may threaten the system.

3:15 PM - 3:30 PM


3:30 PM - 4:00 PM

Ramp Up Tool Demonstration

4:00 PM - 4:15 PM

All Hazards Consortium Fleet Working Group Update
Speaker(s): Jim Nowak, Director of Utility Services, ARCOS LLC, Jason Singer, Director, Resource Management, ARCOS LLC

The Multi-State Fleet Response Working Group (FRWG) is a private sector guided, public/private working group focused on supporting any efforts and organizations that can help expedite the movement of private sector repair and supply chain fleets and resources across multiple state borders in response to disasters. Followers and Members of this working group include both private and public sector individuals who volunteer their time to engage  in  the important efforts to expedite the restoration of power, supply chains and other critical infrastructures.

4:15 PM - 4:30 PM

Day 1 Close

Friday, November 3, 2017

7:00 AM - 8:00 AM


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Annual Business for the Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

WRMAA Activation Exercise Part 1

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Break for Hotel Checkout

10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

WRMAA Activation Exercise Part 2

Part 2 of the Activation Exercise will be an open discussion for process improvements.

11:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Day 2 Close

Hotel + Travel

  • Reservation Instructions
  • Please contact the hotel directly at (888) 627-9033 to reserve your room. Identify yourself as being with Western Energy Institute to receive a special rate of $199 USD/night. This rate is guaranteed until October 17, 2017 or until the WEI room block is full.

    Please note that there is a $20 resort fee per night in addition to the room rate. This fee includes the following amenities: airport shuttle service, guestroom internet access and access to the Westin Snack Hour every day from 5PM – 6PM.

  • Click here to make your reservation now.

Meet The Speakers

James Nowak


Director of Utility Services
Learn More

James D. Nowak, Director of Utility Services joined ARCOS in July 2014 after retiring from American Electric Power (AEP) after 37 years.

Nowak capped his career with AEP by directing their utility’s distribution emergency restoration planning group. Nowak held various positions within AEP including Dist. Engineering Supervisor, Dist. Line Supervisor, Dist. Records Superintendent, Region Operations Manager, Region Dispatching Manager and Dist. Dispatch Support Manager.
As Director of Utility Services Nowak is assisting with new and existing ARCOS Product Management initiatives by working closely with our customers and all internal employees. He also helps with implementing projects that benefit our customers and the electric and gas industries in the areas of day-to-day and emergency operations.

Presently a member of the All Hazard Consortium (AHC) Fleet Response Working Group (FRWG) on the movement of resources during restoration efforts and sits on their steering committee. He previously held positions as Southeastern Electric Exchange’s (SEE) chair for their Mutual Assistance Committee and Distribution Council and vice chair of their Smart Grid Task Force. Jim was one of the original Co-Chair’s for Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) Mutual Assistance Committee and National Mutual Assistance Resource Team and a member of EEI’s National Response Event (NRE) governance and exercise sub-committees. Jim was also a co-founder of the Great Lakes Mutual Assistance Group and active member and leader in the Midwest Mutual Assistance Group and the Texas Mutual Assistance Group and represented AEP on the Business Round Table Disaster Relief Committee.

Jason Singer


Director, Resource Management