A plan of action to reduce potential property damage and loss of lives in an area affected by a dam failure. A complete EAP includes a map of the potential inundation area, procedures and information for warning downstream emergency management authorities, and other crucial information.
An EAP helps augment an area's Emergency Operations Plan, which may additionally include evacuation routes, and location of shelters and emergency services, as well as list businesses, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, residences, and highways at risk.
Dam safety officials categorize dams according to the potential hazard risk to lives and property should the dam fail. In Texas, a dam is classified as Significant-Hazard Potential (SHP) if up to six human lives are at risk if the dam fails. A dam is classified as High-Hazard Potential (HHP) if seven or more human lives are at risk.as of October 2013 Texas had 1,773 or more dams that fell into these categories. An EAP may save lives and property damage through timely evacuations of those who live, work, or enjoy recreation downstream from an HHP dam. Timely warnings triggered by an EAP could help business owners remove key assets necessary to mitigate loss of income and capital investment important to themselves and their employees. But the Texas Legislature changed the Texas Water Code effective September 1, 2013 to permanently exempt more than 200 SHP dams from EAP requirements and routine safety inspections unless they later are reclassified as HHP. The exemptions were based on such factors as county population, rural location, private ownership and capacity of the impoundment. While no longer required by law, EAPs still are strongly requested for those dams, and some owners had complied prior to being exempted.
In Texas, the owner of a SHP or HHP dam has the legal and social responsibility to provide an EAP. If you're a dam owner, completing an EAP can demonstrate your actions to mitigate harm to persons and property in case of an incident at your dam. As of October 2013, owners of hundreds of dams were in violation of Texas regulations mandating EAPs or were ignoring requests for voluntary compliance.
Stakeholders are citizens, business owners, and recreationists in harm's way at times, often without realizing it. Do you like to swim or fish in a Texas lake? Like to hunt in areas below or near a dam? Like to RV or camp out along the shores of a lake? Enjoy canoeing a stream below a dam? Do you farm land or have livestock in a floodplain? Do you manage a nursing home, hospital or school in an area below a dam? Are you an emergency responder? Do you volunteer for the Red Cross or Salvation Army? Do you regularly need to travel across or have access to an area below a dam?
You have a stake in whether a SHP or HHP dam has an EAP.
What you can do...
Be a concerned citizen. Your life may one day depend on an
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