Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Community Appraisals
Team members of the Entity Engagement Department will conduct an unofficial investigation of a city, village, or township to assess that community’s readiness, preparedness, and resource strength for long-term disruptions to electrical grid-power and other community threats. Investigations typically use resources generally found in the public domain: city and utility websites, public mass-media records, city council meeting transcripts, etc.

Once the primary investigation is complete, that location’s abilities, resources, and plans can be compared to those of neighboring areas. Ultimately, the goal is to assess, evaluate, and improve a community’s ability to organize resources and efficiently survive extended periods without grid power.

Another option is participation in the Community Appraisal Game. Inspired by board-games, the Community Appraisal Game assigns community leadership roles to participants who take turns working together to strengthen community resources against internal and external threats. In addition to being a fun exercise and a team-building event for all members, the game is an interactive and engaging method to learn about ways communities can improve their
organization to better respond to losses in grid power and other threats to community resources.

To submit questions or a request for a Community Appraisal by Entity Engagement, please visit the Contact Us​ page and direct the request or question(s) to the Entity Engagement Department.


RF Community Appraisal Project Frequently Asked Questions

Who is ReliabilityFirst?
ReliabilityFirst (RF) is a non-profit corporation that exists to fulfill the mission of ensuring the reliability, security, and resilience of the electric grid in its region. The RF footprint covers 13 states and the District of Columbia, which stretches from the Atlantic Seaboard to Lake Michigan. To achieve its mission, RF employs a diverse team of experts across numerous disciplines to address the complex and dynamic challenges the grid presents. RF is one of only six companies across North America that is responsible for this important work under Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved delegation agreements with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC).

What is the Community Appraisal Project?
The Community Appraisal Project is a natural extension of RF's work to ensure the reliability, security, and resilience of the electric grid. Much in the same way that RF assists electric utility providers with evaluating and benchmarking their compliance to industry standards, the RF team would like to bring this expertise to communities to help assess your preparedness for a long-term power outage (lasting 7-21 days).

The Project applies a proven systems-engineering appraisal framework to communities in an effort to benchmark current resilience efforts and highlight areas for improvement. The tailoring of this high-tech framework for community resilience was developed by RF, with contributions from Ohio State University Extension, Purdue University Extension, the Community Development Society, and the International Council of System Engineering (INCOSE).

How Can an Appraisal Help Your Community?
In addition to a reliable and secure electric grid being fundamental to our most basic daily routines and needs – our economy, national security and public welfare depend on it. The nation has steadily improved its ability to respond to major disasters and the power outages that often result, but there are new and evolving challenges to protecting the national power grid. From the federal level to the smaller community level, these challenges are best addressed with a deep understanding of the interrelatedness of the infrastructure needed to main our basic needs.

These challenges include both social and technical aspects – whether from severe natural disasters, cyber or physical attacks, electromagnetic events or some combination. An understanding of the risks facing your community, how they are related and where you can improve resilience is key to your community's ability to recover from a catastrophic power outage without considerable economic hardship and social distress.

How is an Appraisal Conducted?
Participants will perform a self-assessment style appraisal through a web-based tool hosted on the cloud. The RF team will prepare the tool, interpret results, and provide a roadmap of initiatives and process improvements to help foster community resilience. Rest assured that all the information you submit via the tool will remain confidential, and RF will not share any information without your prior authorization.

Who is Eligible for an Appraisal?
Any AMP-Ohio member community that owns and operates municipal power and is registered with NERC as a Distribution Provider (DP) and/or Transmission Owner (TO). Additional consideration will be made for collections of communities served by one of the Buckeye Power member Rural Electric Cooperatives (RECs).

What is the Cost of an Appraisal?
The tool is available free of charge to communities that own, or share ownership of, electrical systems that are registered within the RF Region.