Emergency Action Planning


Introduction to EAPs

The Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO), the FEMA National Dam Safety Program and the dam safety community recognize that having effective Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) at all high- and significant-hazard potential dams in the United States is critical to reducing the risks of loss of life and property damage from dam failures. It is especially critical to have an EAP at the high hazard potential dams that have been found to be unsafe or do not meet current accepted dam safety criteria.

There is a consensus in the dam safety community that one of the major reasons for the lack of an EAP at some high- and significant-hazard potential dams is the cost of detailed dam break studies. In addition, it has become increasingly clear that many dam owners do not understand their personal liability for the downstream loss of life and property damage in the event their dam fails.

Dam owners of high- and significant-hazard potential dams are encouraged to contact the dam safety office in their state for further guidance on emergency action planning and the use of the resources below, as well as for additional resources the state dam safety office may have to assist dam owners in the preparation of EAPs. ASDSO provides contact and other information on state dam safety programs at the state program map page.State dam safety regulatory agencies may have specific requirements for EAP development for owners. Please consult with your state’s regulator prior to preparing an EAP. 


Dam Emergency Intervention Toolbox

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Download the File: Dam Emergency Intervention Toolbox (Funded by a grant to Montana and Wyoming by the FEMA National Dam Safety Program)

Watch the ASDSO Webinar for free (registration required): Dam Owner Academy: Emergency Intervention Toolbox Webinar: ON-DEMAND

Guidelines, Fact Sheets and Flyers

FEMA Fact Sheet on Emergency Action Planning (FEMA National Dam Safety Program)

FEMA Fact Sheet on Emergency Operations Planning (FEMA National Dam Safety Program)

FEMA Fact Sheet on Risk Communication for Dams (FEMA National Dam Safety Program)

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ASDSO Fact Sheet on Emergency Action Planning (Association of State Dam Safety Officials)

Emergency Action Planning for Dam Owners (FEMA 64) (FEMA National Dam Safety Program)

Emergency Action Planning  (FEMA National Dam Safety Program)

FERC Emergency Action Plan Program

NRCS Form Fillable EAP Template

To encourage and facilitate development of EAPs at all high and significant hazard potential dams, ASDSO and the EAP Workgroup of the NDSRB have developed simple and low-cost tools for creating and implementing an EAP at their dam(s). One of the resources was a EAP “fillable form” template. This template can be easily edited for specific dams and the needs of local emergency management agencies.

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Fact Sheet 
EAP Template

Simplified Inundation Mapping

In 2009, a task group under the National Dam Safety Program developed the recommendation in the methodology and fact sheet below. The recommendations are provided to assist states and dam owners in developing reduced cost Simplified Inundation Mapping (SIMS) for EAPs. They are not a substitute for engineering judgment nor do they alleviate the need to comply with state
or federal regulatory requirements.

SIMS Fact Sheet
SIMS Methodology           

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