Information needs for dam safety extend from those in Congress who set national priorities and allocate fiscal resources to those of the dam owner and engineer involved in inspections, operations and maintenance, dam safety modifications, and other day-to-day activities of maintaining safe, economically viable facilities and environmentally responsible structures.
A primary objective of FEMA in its leadership of the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) is to identify, develop, and enhance technology-based tools that can help educate the public and assist decision-makers. These tools include:
- National Inventory of Dams, a computerized database of U.S. dams used to track information on our water control infrastructure, land use management, floodplain management, risk management, and emergency action planning.
- Dam Safety Program Management Tools, an information collection and management system used by Federal and state dam safety program managers to provide as-requested and periodic information on local dam safety information, program needs, and accomplishments within each organization's jurisdiction.
- National Performance of Dams Program, a national effort headquartered at Stanford University to retrieve, archive, and disseminate information on dams and their performance in the United States.
- Federal Guidelines for Emergency Action Planning for Dams (FEMA Publication No. P-64): This document is a refresh of the existing Publication 64, and provides guidance to help dam owners, in coordination with emergency management authorities, effectively develop and exercise Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) for dams. The purpose of the guidance in this document is to meet that need. This document is an update of FEMA 64, Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dam Owners (2004).
- Inundation Guidelines (FEMA Publication No. P-946): The purpose of this document is to provide dam safety professionals with guidance on how to prepare dam breach inundation modeling studies and conduct mapping that can be used for multiple purposes, including dam safety, hazard mitigation, consequence evaluation, and emergency management including developing EAPs. This guidance is intended to provide a consistent approach that can be applied across the country
- National Dam Sarfety Program Startegic Plan (FEMA Publication No. P-916): This Strategic Plan for the National Dam Safety Program (NDSP) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2012 through 2016 was developed to present the goals and objectives established by FEMA and its partners in the NDSP to reduce the hazards from dam failures and demonstrate the benefits of dams in the United States.
- National Dam Safety Program Annual Year in Review 2012 (FEMA Publication No. B-821): This Year-in-Review provides the National Dam Safety Program’s (NDSP’s) progress in 2012 along with important accomplishments that continue across all Program elements, including State assistance, research, training, and the alignment of the Program within the emergency management and resilience frameworks.
- Dam and Levee Safety and Community Resilience: A Vision for Future Practice (2012) : This publication was created by the National Research Council of the National Academies. It describes a tool for assessing stakeholder engagement that can also gauge and document a community’s progress towards greater resilience. Broadening dam and levee safety programs to consider priorities in decision making can help reduce the risk of, and increase community resilience to, potential dam and levee failures.