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About Alerts
 
As part of its normal course of business, NERC often either discovers, identifies, or is provided with information that is critical to ensuring the reliability of the bulk power system in North America. In order to effectively disseminate this information, NERC utilizes email-based “alerts” designed to provide concise, actionable information to the electricity industry. As defined in its Rules of Procedure, NERC alerts are divided into three distinct levels, as follows: 
  1. Industry Advisory: Purely informational, intended to alert registered entities to issues or potential problems. A response to NERC is not necessary.
  2. Recommendation to Industry: Recommends specific action be taken by registered entities. A response from recipients, as defined in the alert, is required.
  3. Essential Action: Identifies actions deemed to be “essential” to bulk power system reliability and requires NERC Board of Trustees' approval prior to issuance. Like recommendations, essential actions also require recipients to respond as defined in the alert.
Each alert contains specific information including:
  • List of functional entities the alert was distributed to;
  • Reporting requirements and details (if applicable);
  • A set of “primary interest groups” within the receiving organization who may benefit most from the alert;
  • Background information for the genesis of the alert (generally a description of a disturbance event or particular information about a cyber or physical vulnerability);
  • Specific, actionable observations, recommendations, or essential actions;
  • Contact information for the appropriate NERC staff; and 
  • Label indicating the sensitivity of the information contained in the alert.

Generally, NERC distributes alerts broadly to users, owners, and operators of the bulk power system in North America through its Compliance Registry. Entities registered with NERC are required to provide and maintain up-to-date compliance and cybersecurity contacts. Alerts may be targeted to groups of entities based on their registered functions (e.g., Balancing Authorities, Planning Authorities, Generation Owners, etc.)

 

To contact the NERC Alert System, send an email to nerc.alert@nerc.net or call 404.446.9797

 
 

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