How long will it take to restore essential services after a disaster event? What happens if major portions of the health care infrastructures are disabled? Who is responsible for restoring power?

West Virginia University, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon Universityin association with the U.S. Department of Energys National Energy Technology Laboratoryare organizing the Regional Energy Critical Infrastructure Resiliency Conference to address these and other questions Oct. 29-31 in Pittsburgh.

Participants include the National Research Center for Coal and Energy and the Advanced Power Engineering Research Center, both at WVU , as well as the Pittsburgh Regional Business Coalition, Allegheny Conference, Murtha Institute for Homeland Security and Region 13.

Conference speakers include representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Infrastructure Protection Directorate, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Emergency Preparedness and U.S. Department of Energys Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

Participants will explore issues in regional coordination for critical infrastructure resiliency and protection. The program includes a tabletop simulation exercise of a mock security incident that will start with an unknown natural or technological event that causes an interruption of electrical power in the Pittsburgh region.

The exercise, modeled on similar exercises conducted in New York City and Silicon Valley, will be led by a team from Verizon Business with expertise in cyber security and business telecommunications.

Additionally, information will be presented on disaster recovery and restoration operations, and a working session on lessons learned and steps for improving regional collaboration for resilient infrastructures is planned.

Professionals in industry and government from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland and Kentucky are invited to register for the conference and participate in the exercise and discussions.

To register or for more information, visithttp://www.cnp.pitt.edu/CIRconference/.