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National Dam Safety Program Publications

The National Dam Safety Program provides a variety of publications, including:

  • Research Needs Workshop Reports
  • Technical Manuals, Guides and Reports
  • Technical Advisories
  • Safety Series Fact Sheets
  • Response and Recovery (R&R) Dam Response Operations Matrices
  • Dam Safety & Risk MAP/Flood Mapping Studies Fact Sheet Series
  • DSS-WISE Fact Sheets
  • FEMA P-1015, Technical Manual: Overtopping Protection for Dams (ZIP, 410MB)

Search for Dam Safety Publications

Search for documents below, or view our pages on Federal Guidelines, National Dam Safety Program Information, Resources for the General Public, or Resources for States.

You can order publications from the FEMA Distribution Center.

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Conduits through Embankment Dams Brochure (FEMA L-266) (Text Version)

This brochure provides a summary of the information presented in FEMA 484, Technical Manual: Conduits through Embankment Dams, including the effects of conduits on embankment dams, internal erosion and backward piping erosion, the factors that can lead to embankment dam failure, and best practices for conduits through embankment dams.

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Considering the Residual Risk from Dams in Flood Risk Products

During a flood mapping project, to properly assess and communicate a complete view of the flood risk both upstream and downstream of a dam, it is critical to consider the effects of dams and their associated residual risk. Many large reservoirs are operated with outflow controls that include gates to regulate the flow through outlet structures. Dam outlet control structures can affect flow rates downstream regardless of the dam’s purpose. Even when dams perform as they are designed, there will always be a level of flood risk remaining, or “residual risk.”

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Crisis Communications for Dam Emergencies | John Holdsworth - Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management

2019 NDSP Technical Seminar Presentation

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Crisis Communications for Dam Emergencies | Kyle Pfeiffer - Argonne National Laboratory

2019 NDSP Technical Seminar Presentation

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CTA-0 Summary Sheet Overview

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering a Collaborative Technical Assistance (CTA) series to help 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. This document outlines the proposed concept of operations, schedule, goals, and objectives for a CTA offering.

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CTA-1 Community Needs Scoping and Introduction

This session provides an overview of the following topics: the CTA concept, planning for dam emergencies, stakeholder engagement framework options, and the development of draft goals and objectives.

The session will empower participants to develop risk and data-informed community profiles. Participants will discuss key concepts and methods to improve information collection and gaps and develop a community profile.

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CTA-2 Dam Risk Consequences/ Lessons Learned

This group of sessions provides the basis for developing effective plans. Specifically, it offers the frameworks and tools required to conduct a comprehensive analysis of dam hazards and increase collaboration and coordination. It also provides the opportunity to ensure that the appropriate stakeholders are included in the planning effort. FEMA works collaboratively with communities to set their own goals and objectives. Below are common session outlines and results.

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CTA-3 Stakeholder Engagement and Communication

Stakeholder engagement strategies will be presented. In addition, a workshop will convene the broad stakeholder team that dam emergencies may affect within the county. A goal of the workshop is to engage partners that will support additional analysis and the planning process. The day prior to the workshop, core team members may meet to finalize preparations for the workshop and to tour the dam infrastructure. Additionally, facilitators will help the participants begin to pull together disparate research and analysis into an updated Information Analysis Brief (IAB) that will continue to support planning efforts. This updated IAB can also be used to inform senior leaders and receive their guidance to inform the ongoing planning process.

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CTA-3 Stakeholder Engagment and Communication

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CTA-4 Plan Development

During this session, the participants will build an understanding of how to consider the Rehabilitation of High Hazard Potential Dam Grant Program hazard mitigation and floodplain management plan requirements. Facilitators will share overviews of how to develop a floodplain management plan that identifies how to reduce the impacts of future flood events in the area protected by the grant project. Additionally, they will provide an overview of and guidance on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The participants will also be introduced to best practices in identifying dam risk in a hazard mitigation plan. A subject matter expert, for example from the National Silver Jackets program, will be a guest speaker to provide current best practices and available state and federal resources.