Page 14 - Living with Dams

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Living with Dams: Know Your Risk | April 2012
Contact your county
emergency management
coordinator or state dam safety
program office to find out
who owns the dam and which
agencies regulate it. Contact
information for state dam safety
programs is listed at
Ask questions about the
dam’s condition and hazard
State officials and the dam owner should
be able to answer questions such as:
What is the dam’s hazard potential
When was it last inspected?
What is its condition?
Is the owner financially capable of
properly maintaining the dam?
Ask what plans are in place
in the event of a dam failure.
One of the most important questions
to ask state dam safety officials or
dam owners is if there is an updated
Emergency Action Plan (EAP) for the
dam in question. An EAP is a formal
document that identifies potential
emergency conditions at a dam and
specifies actions to reduce property
damage and loss of life, including actions
the dam owner should take to mitigate
problems at the dam and issue warnings
to responsible emergency management
If you live or work in a dam-break
inundation area, find out your evacuation
route so that you can quickly get out
of harm’s way in the event of a dam
incident. To obtain this information,
contact your state and local emergency
management officials, who are generally
responsible for evacuation planning and
Communication with
emergency managers is
key. Points to remember:
Find out if there is an updated
Emergency Action Plan for the dam.
Determine what types of warning
systems are in place to warn
residents of a dam incident.
For example, are there sirens, a
Reverse-911 phone messaging
system, bullhorns, or door-to-door
warning procedures in place?
Always heed warnings to leave.
Find out how to get to a place of
safety and what evacuation routes
will be open.
Ask about the location of
community emergency shelters.
Inform emergency management
officials of family members who are