Be Prepared and Be Proactive
The involvement and action of citizens can have a positive impact on the California Dam Safety Program and the rate of compliance in creating EAPs on HHP dams. Most people enjoying a day on a lake or floating down a river never give a thought to how they would be notified or evacuated if a dam failed.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers some information and tips to keep in mind before heading out. But beyond observing basic precautions when living, working, traveling through or enjoying recreation on or below a dam, learn more about that dam and whether an EAP exists for it.
FEMA launched an effort under its Risk MAP program to communicate risk of dam failure and to coordinate state and private mitigation and preparedness efforts. Most people living downstream of a dam are unaware of the potential hazards associated with dam failure, have never seen the respective dam failure inundation map, and are unaware of an evacuation plan or an EAP associated with the failure of that dam. This points to the need to include dam failure risk awareness as part of a comprehensive flood risk communication strategy, and to develop a communication strategy that reports on dam failure risk and promotes dam safety. The audience for these strategies includes dam owners/operators, dam regulators, emergency managers, floodplain managers, planners, public and private decision makers – and the population at risk, which might be you, your family, and friends.