On Wednesday, May 28, the Department's Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability hosted Clear Path II, a pre-hurricane season energy sector emergency response forum and exercise, at Energy Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. The purpose of Clear Path II is to assess plans, policies and procedures across all levels of the energy sector in order to identify strengths and weaknesses needed to improve the Energy Department community's response effort. | Video courtesy of the Energy Department.
In preparation for the upcoming hurricane season -- starting June 1 -- the Department of Energy hosted the second annual Clear Path Energy Emergency Response Forum and Exercise focused on disaster preparedness and response on Wednesday, May 28. This successful event, called “Clear Path II,” brought together leaders from the private sector and federal government, as well as state and local governments -- with the common goal to work together to address key challenges.
Clear Path II focused on two critical elements of disaster response: communication and information sharing across the energy sector. During the morning session, Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman and I underscored the Department’s commitment to a robust disaster preparedness and response posture. When emergencies happen, the Department coordinates the energy sector response, working to mitigate disruptions in energy supply, accelerate restoration of infrastructure and reduce the impact of events in affected areas.
A core mission of my office, the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, is emergency preparedness and response -- developing relationships and establishing priorities in advance of an emergency and being ready to respond at a moment’s notice. Our Energy Response Center in Washington, D.C., serves as a hub where industry and government representatives gather to provide real-time situational awareness, conduct analyses and coordinate response and restoration efforts related to energy systems. Additionally, in the event of an emergency, we have a team of expert responders who specialize in energy restoration that can be deployed to the disaster area to work with partners to solve problems and support stabilization of communities.
Over the last year, the Department has worked to increase awareness capabilities through in-house enhancements to technology such as EAGLE-I, a Geographic Information System mapping system with the capability to monitor the nation’s energy infrastructure in near real-time. We are also testing a new mobile application, called Lantern Live, which is under development by a Presidential Innovation Fellow, and will provide useful mapping of electrical outages, available fuel and disaster tips and recommendations.
Through the dialogue of Clear Path II, we have tested new communications processes, reinforced critical relationships and made progress on coordinating the interdependencies across the energy sector as we head into the 2014 hurricane season. Through sustained engagement, the energy sector continues to evolve its capability to enable a more efficient and effective response when the next disaster strikes.
For more information on how to prepare for hurricane season, please check out our community preparedness guide.