National Dam Safety Awareness Day
National Dam Safety Awareness Day seeks to encourage and promote individual and community responsibility and best practices for dam safety, as well as what steps can be taken to prevent catastrophic dam failures. The theme for National Dam Safety Awareness Day 2023 on May 31, is, "Dam Safety is a shared responsibility. Know your risk, know your role, know the benefits of dams and take action."
Date: May 31, 2023
Dam Safety Awareness Day on May 31 every year is in memoriam of the 2,220 people who lost their lives in the 1889 South Fork Dam failure near Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The collapse of the South Fork Dam was a tragedy and is not an isolated incident. As we observe and reflect on the South Fork Dam tragedy 133 years later, we encourage you to understand the continued importance of dam safety, the roles various parties play, current issues, and why investment in this infrastructure is urgently needed.
Recent crises following heavy seasonal rains, like the failure of the Oroville Dam spillway in California (2017) or the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams in Michigan (2020), have made major headlines, highlighting the poor condition of many of the nation's dams. Proper maintenance, routine inspection, necessary upgrades, and implementation of an Emergency Action Plan can ensure optimal conditions, protecting public health, safety, and welfare.
National Dam Safety Awareness Day not only commemorates the past, it calls us to action. Dam Safety is a shared responsibility. Know your risk, know your role, know the benefits of dams and take action. Make a difference in your community and join FEMA in support of National Dam Safety Awareness Day on May 31.
- Event planning checklist – A list of things to consider when planning your local dam safety event.
- Key messages – A list of short talking points to help start conversations about dam safety.
- Template news release – A pre-approved news release with standard boilerplate language for use by local champions in promoting National Dam Safety Awareness Day. Also included is guidance for engaging members of the media.
- Web and social media content – Suggested content for promoting local events on your website complemented by sharing your stories and/or photos with us by using the #NDSAD hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
- Activities for kids – FEMA has prepared a list of suggested activities for engaging children, which helps kids to be more risk-aware. It is also a good way to engage their parents and other family members.
Dam Safety with Beaverly: FEMA has created the Dam Safety with Beaverly coloring book to help you and your children or young students learn more about dams and how to stay safe around them.