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Drilling the Plan

All the utilities reported that they held frequent drills to gauge readiness. "Twice a year we conduct mock disaster scenarios," such as floods, earthquakes, civil disturbances, and rolling blackouts, says SBC’s Warnock. "All of that is to help ensure that we’re responding in a timely manner."

Pepco’s Dobkin concurs: "We hold drills [throughout] the year, as if there were a disaster."

Similarly, PG"E has a tabletop emergency test in the autumn, where "we make up an emergency," says Coker. "We all [get] together in a room, and [have] moderators who [say], ’Here’s the scenario. What do you do?’ We make sure we’re all communicating, and if there’s action items or improvements that could be made, we work on those."

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