Western Region Mutual Assistance Agreement (WRMAA) Annual Meeting – Virtual (Nov 02-03)

Nearly 20 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)
  • Erin Swearingen, Senior Program Manager, Enterprise Business Continuity, Avista Corp.

    • Program Location
    • Virtual Event
    • No travel required. All agenda times are in Pacific time. Instructions to access the virtual event will be provided before the program.
    • 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
  • WEI Member: $199 USD
    Regular: $299 USD

    Registration provides full access to conference sessions, meeting materials, and roster.

  • General Cancellation Policy
  • To best serve WEI members and program participants during the COVID-19 pandemic, WEI will be waiving its standard cancellation policy for this program and all virtual programs through July 2021. Registrants can now receive a full refund should they need to cancel their registration up to the day before the program begins. This applies to both new and existing registrations for virtual programs.
  • 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. Recording is not permitted for any portion of the event.
  • For more information contact Beverly Woolf, Program Manager at (503) 688-2790.


All session times are listed in Pacific time.

Monday, November 2, 2020

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Virtual Registration + Helpdesk Open

WEI will host a virtual registration and help desk before the conference begins. Stop in for a visit if you have questions about the agenda or need assistance with the GoToMeeting technology.

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Welcome and Introductions

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Industry Topic

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Response to the Oregon Wildfires
Panelist(s): Brian Taylor, Manager of Gas Operations (Medford, Oregon), Avista Utilities, Kris Aufdermauer, Operations Manager, Tillamook PUD

This year has seen unprecedented wildfires in Oregon. Learn from our panelists how gas and electric utilities big and small are responding to the fires.

3:00 PM - 3:15 PM

Stretch Break

3:15 PM - 4:15 PM

Managing Mutual Assistance and COVID
Speaker(s): Mike Fricke, Sr. Mgr., Incident Response, Entergy Services, Inc., Louie Dabdoub, Incident Response, Entergy Services, Inc.

In response to Hurricane Laura, Entergy set up 18 base camps and serviced a workforce of about 24,000 people. Hear how they handled the challenge of managing Mutual Assistance during a pandemic and what lessons they learned.

4:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Virtual Social Hour

Social distancing doesn’t need to dry up socializing. Grab a beverage and turn on your webcams for a virtual Social Hour! WEI will open a virtual room for people to chat, network, and connect with colleagues and friends.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM

After Action Reports or Other Industry Topics

11:15 AM - 11:30 AM

Stretch Break

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM

WRMAG Business Meeting

• Updates to Charter
• Updates to Operating Procedures
• Election of Executive Committee members for 2021
• Assignment of the Agreement Custodian for 2021

12:30 PM - 12:45 PM

Wrap Up

Meet The Speakers

Brian Taylor

Avista Utilities

Manager of Gas Operations (Medford, Oregon)

Mike Fricke

Entergy Services, Inc.

Sr. Mgr., Incident Response

Louie Dabdoub

Entergy Services, Inc.

Incident Response

Kris Aufdermauer

Tillamook PUD

Operations Manager