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ReliabilityFirst Efforts to Mitigate Coronavirus Impacts
3/13/2020

ReliabilityFirst (RF) continues to actively monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition to upholding our mission to ensure the reliability and security of the electric grid, our top priority is the health and safety of all personnel at RF, our entities, stakeholders, and colleagues across the ERO Enterprise. Due to the dynamic nature of the situation, we will continually reassess our plans and precautionary measures on an ongoing basis.

Out of an abundance of caution, RF leadership has decided to institute our business continuity plan, which includes the closure of RF offices until further notice. This includes the step of switching the following in-person meetings to be conducted via WebEx/conference call:

    • Board Committee Meetings (Compliance; Finance and Audit; Nominating and Governance) on March 18 in Cleveland, OH
    • Board of Directors Meeting on March 19 in Cleveland, OH
    • Reliability Committee Meeting on April 15 in Cleveland, OH
    • Protection Subcommittee Meeting on April 8-9 in Cleveland, OH
    • RF Annual Spring Reliability and CIP Workshop on April 21-23 in Detroit, MI

Guidance on pending audits and any impacts on Compliance is forthcoming, and your cooperation and flexibility are appreciated.

As industry-wide collaboration efforts to mitigate the potential impacts of COVID-19 continue, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has taken on a number of initiatives to inform stakeholders and protect the health of its workforce.

NERC is active with the Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC)* and participates in joint, biweekly ESCC calls with key government partners (Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Department of Health and Human Services) in addressing COVID-19. This effort began last week to provide general situational awareness and share best practices. As part of that effort, NERC worked with trade organizations and other entities to help develop and distribute this guidance document designed to support industry leaders in making informed, localized decisions in response to this evolving global health emergency. 

The document – Assessing and Mitigating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – is posted on the ESCC website, the E-ISAC portal, and shared with other sectors and government partners. The guide will evolve as additional information and recommended practices are identified.

Questions on the guidance document should be directed to secretariat@electricitysubsector.org.

*Background on the ESCC:  The CEO-led Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC) serves as the principal liaison between the federal government and the electric power industry, with the mission of coordinating efforts to prepare for, and respond to, national-level disasters or threats to critical infrastructure. The ESCC focuses on actions and strategies that help protect the energy grid, prevent various threats from disrupting electricity service, and develop capabilities that help the sector quickly respond and recover when major incidents impact the grid.