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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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Emergency Operations Planning: Dam Incident Planning Guide

This Dam Incident Planning Guide supports state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency managers in planning for dam incidents and failures by summarizing the concepts that a community should consider when creating dam incident-specific elements of local emergency operations plans. This guide builds on the Comprehensive Preparedness Guide (CPG) 101: Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans.1 It also provides guidance for dam owners and operators on how to engage with emergency managers prior to an incident to ensure a well-coordinated response. Appendix A provides a general template for a community dam incident plan that can be adapted to meet each community’s needs.

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Evaluation and Monitoring of Seepage and Internal Erosion (FEMA P-1032)

Internal erosion occurring at Federal (and non-Federal) embankment dams and levees poses a threat of failure and the potential risk to public safety. This document presents a summary of current Federal practices for monitoring and measuring seepage, identifying potential failure modes (PFMs) related to internal erosion, assessing risk related to internal erosion, and remediating internal erosion. While research continues into these processes, this document attempts to present the best understanding based on current Federal agency practice. Hence, very recent or new, unproven technologies are not discussed.

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Extreme Precipitation and Climate Change: Observations and Projections | Kenneth E. Kunkel

2020 NDSP Technical Seminar Presentation
Extreme Precipitation and Climate Change: Observations and Projections | Kenneth E. Kunkel

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Fact Sheet: Risk Reduction Measures for Dams

Risk reduction measures can be implemented by any entity that may be affected by or is at risk from a dam failure, including state, local, and tribal governments; communities; dam owners and operators; and individual property and business owners. The most effective risk reduction occurs when all parties—from the state government to community agencies to dam owners to at-risk individuals—are aware of each other’s actions and coordinate them effectively. Working together maximizes risk reduction in every phase of the risk reduction.

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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Information Sharing Guidelines | Jeff Holloway - FERC

2019 NDSP Technical Seminar Presentation

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Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety (FEMA Publication No. P-93)

These guidelines encourage strict safety standards in the practices and procedures employed by Federal agencies or required of dam owners regulated by the Federal agencies. The guidelines provide the most complete and authoritative statement available of the desired management practices for promoting dam safety and the welfare of the public. The guidelines apply to Federal practices for dams with a direct federal interest; the guidelines do not attempt to establish technical standards and are not intended to supplant or conflict with state or local government responsibilities for the safety of dams under their jurisdiction.

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Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety Risk Management (FEMA Publication No. P-1025)

This document provides guidelines for implementing risk-informed decision making in a dam safety program. The intended audience is Federal agencies that own or regulate dams. The guidelines could also be applied to non-federally owned or regulated dams that can impact federally owned or regulated facilities; however, this would require the cooperation and involvement of the non-Federal dam owner.

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Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Earthquake Analyses and Design of Dams (FEMA Publication No. P-65)

These guidelines provide the basic framework for the earthquake design and evaluation of dams. The general philosophy and principles for each part of the framework are described in sufficient detail to achieve a reasonable degree of uniform application among the federal agencies involved in the planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and regulation of dams. This document includes general guidelines for specifying design earthquake loadings (for design or safety evaluation) and for performing seismic analyses for the design of new dams (for evaluating the safety of existing dams or modifying existing dams). The guidelines are presented in four parts: selection of design or safety evaluation for earthquakes; characterization of ground motions; seismic analyses of the dams and foundations; and evaluation of structural adequacy for earthquake loading. The CD-ROM, FEMA 93CD, 2005, contains all of the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: FEMA 64; FEMA 65; FEMA 93; FEMA 94; FEMA 148; and FEMA 333.

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Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dams (FEMA P-64)

This document 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).

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Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Glossary of Terms (FEMA P-148)

This glossary provides a common terminology for dam safety for use within and among federal agencies. The terms are generic and applicable to all dams, regardless of size, owner, or location. The CD-ROM, FEMA 93CD, 2005, contains all of the Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: FEMA 64; FEMA 65; FEMA 93; FEMA 94; FEMA 148; and FEMA 333.44.