Enhancing Community Readiness for Dambreak Flooding with FEMA

Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s (DCR) Dam Safety and Floodplain Management Division was recently awarded a FEMA grant for Collaborative Technical Assistance (CTA).  It will facilitate aiding communities at risk of dam-related flooding to better understand their risk landscape and the potential consequences of dam-related emergencies. The CTA will include planning for emergencies related to operational discharges or dam-related infrastructure failure.

FEMA describes the process as follows:  “Participants will engage in a facilitated planning process with community stakeholders to build relationships, develop plans, and collaborate with whole community partners to achieve the goal of increased preparedness to dam-related hazards.”  To facilitate the process FEMA offers six sessions including:

  • CTA-0 Summary Sheet Overview
  • CTA-1 Community Needs Scoping and Introduction
  • CTA-2 Dam Risk Consequences/ Lessons Learned
  • CTA-3 Stakeholder Engagement and Communication
  • CTA-4 Plan Development
  • CTA-5 Emergency Action Plan and Emergency Operations Plan Refinement and Approval
  • CTA-6 Plan Implementation and Program Evaluation

This paper will share key messages from FEMA and lessons learned from working with localities in Virginia.