Calhoun County Emergency Management Division to Participate in International Electric Grid Exercise

South Carolina will be the first state to participate in an exercise focused on measuring the integrity of North America’s electric grid. The Calhoun County Emergency Management Division will participate in this exercise in unison with other counties and state agencies. GridEx IV, Grid Security Exercise IV, will take place November 15 and 16, 2017.

This exercise is conducted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NREC) which is a not-for-profit international electric reliability organization (ERO) whose mission is to ensure the reliability of the bulk power system (BPS) in North America, including the continental United States, Canada, and the northern portion of Baja California, Mexico.

During GridEx IV, various electric utilities; regional (local, state, provincial) and federal law enforcement agencies; first responders; intelligence community agencies; Critical Infrastructure Cross-Sector partners (ISACs and other utilities); and supply chain stakeholder organizations will be measured on their response and recovery from simulated cyber and/or physical security attacks on electric and other critical infrastructures.

Over the course of the two-day exercise, participants will, from their normal work locations, respond to scenarios with simulated internal and external operational activities just as they would during an actual event.

Dave Chojnacki, Emergency Manager, Calhoun County Emergency Management Division (CCEMD), will work with other Calhoun County and state agencies in testing the effectiveness of existing response plans in a grid-down scenario and improving these plans with the lessons learned from the exercise.

A GridEx has been held biennially since 2011 in response to increased security threats to North America’s electric grid. The first three exercises were primarily focused on analyzing the processes of utility providers and federal agencies. GridEx IV will add state and local agencies to the mix and will provide a more comprehensive analysis of our ability to respond and recover.

If interested, you can find the Public Reports for the previous three exercises by visiting the NREC website. Once after action reports are completed for GridEx IV those findings will become available as well.

A critical component in responding to any threat is communication from emergency management agencies to the general population and vice versa.

Stay in touch with Calhoun County Emergency Management Division on their Facebook page @CCEMDSC or by calling the county office at (803) 874-3042.

You can also receive alerts by phone, text, and e-mail through South Carolina Emergency Management Division’s CodeRed Alerts. These notifications are sent out when a major disaster is imminent or has just occurred, when requested by your county emergency manager, and during situations that will require you to take personal protective actions.

Individuals and businesses who haven't enrolled in this service are encouraged to do so. Visit SCEMD's Community Notification Enrollment page for more information or to enroll.

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