of conventional power supplies, and offer pilot and incremental funding to implement these activities where appropriate (see chapter 8).
• Recommendation 7 Develop a national inventory of portable generation equipment that can be used to power critical loads during an extended outage. Explore public and private strategies for building and maintaining an adequate inventory of such equipment (see chapter 8).
While the seven recommendations listed above are the committee’s primary recommendations to DHS, other specific recommendations are made in chapters 6 through 9, both to DHS and to other key players. These are reproduced below sorted by responsible actor and ordered approximately in terms of how long the completion of each action will likely require.
There is one other subject on which the committee does not make a recommendation but considers that a comment is in order. chapter 5 notes that the power industry faces a more serious aging-workforce problem than that confronting many U.S. industries. There are growing shortages among both the craft and engineering workforce. This issue is also discussed briefly in the context of graduate education and research in chapter 9. Although the committee makes no specific recommendations on these issues, it is clear that, without significant attention, the problem of inadequate human resources will become increasingly serious and over time could make it more difficult to achieve the various objectives outlined in this report. The industry itself will have to take the lead in addressing the shortage of craft workers, taking steps to persuade new entrants to the job market that a career in power systems is interesting and attractive. DOE, the National Science Foundation, and Congress could all help to address the shortages in the engineering workforce through expanded programs of graduate fellowship and research support. In addition, DHS would be well advised to examine potential restrictions in visa programs that might dissuade students from entering the United States to study power engineering, or staying to work in the U.S. power industry or research universities once they have graduated. Given the imminent shortages of skilled engineers, there are security concerns associated with restrictions that are too tight as well as those that are too loose.
The list below focuses on actions DHS could take, usually in conjunction with DOE. Actions for other agencies and parties follow.
Recommendation 7.4 The Department of Homeland Security and the Edison Electric Institute should jointly develop programs and offer training for key utility personnel to respond to both conventional security threats and potential chemical or biological attacks on the electric infrastructure. The training should use risk assessments to develop increased awareness of the possible threats and should provide specific training for the use of protection equipment, detection and sensor equipment, and emergency decontamination procedures. It is essential that existing drills and restoration procedures be expanded to address potential biological or chemical agents which may be part of an attack launched to disrupt electric operations and infrastructures. Time Scale for Action: 1–3 Years
Recommendation 6.4 Local load-serving entities should work with local private and public sector groups to identify critical customers and plan a series of technical and organizational arrangements that can facilitate restricted service to critical customers during times of system stress. DHS could accelerate this process by initiating and partially funding a few local and regional demonstrations that could provide examples of best practice for other regions across the country. Time Scale for Action: 2 years
Recommendation 8.1 DHS and/or DOE should initiate and fund several model demonstration assessments each at the level of cities, counties, and states. These assessments should examine systematically the region’s vulnerability to extended power outages and develop cost-effective strategies that can be adopted to reduce or, over time, eliminate such vulnerabilities. These model assessments should involve all relevant public and private sector parties providing law enforcement, water, gas, sewerage, health care, communications, transportation, fuel supply, banking, and food supply. These assessments should include a consideration of outages of long duration (> several weeks) and large geographic extent (over several states) because the response required to deal with such outages would differ greatly from those needed to deal with shorter-duration events (hours to a few days). Time Scale for Action: 3–5 years.
Recommendation 8.2 Building on the results of these model assessments, DHS should develop, test, and disseminate guidelines and tools to assist cities, counties, states, and regions to conduct their own assessments, and develop plans to reduce their vulnerabilities to extended power outages. DHS should also develop guidance for individuals to help them understand steps they can take to better prepare for and reduce their vulnerability in the event of extended blackouts. Time Scale for Action: 3–5 years.
Recommendation 8.6 DHS should perform, or assist other federal agencies to perform, additional systematic assessment of the vulnerability of national infrastructure such as