Emergency Action Planning



dam owner responsibilities

Dam Owner Responsibilities

Getting Help with an EAP

There are many resources available to dam owners to help them pull together the extensive information required for a thorough EAP.

Use EAP Resources

Contact the Safe Dams Program:
Tom Woosley
Program Manager
GA Department of Natural Resources
Safe Dams Program
200 Piedmont Ave., S.W., Suite 418
Atlanta, GA 30334

Tel: 404/651-8488
After-Hours Emergency Number: 800-241-4113

Online EAP Forms and Guidelines

The Georgia Safe Dams Program does not have a state-specific template for dam owners and emergency managers to use in developing EAPs for HHP dams. A nearby state that has developed an EAP template is North Carolina. Their new EAP template (form) can be adapted for use in Georgia for any size dam. In designing the template, North Carolina relied on EAP forms and formats from several states and from federal agencies, along with lessons learned from actual emergencies at dams. For example, the template draws on some elements from Federal Guidelines for Dam Safety: Emergency Action Planning for Dam Owners (an update of the document FEMA 64). The Georgia Safe Dams Program suggests using this document as a guide for many elements of a comprehensive EAP. Although the North Carolina template is 68 pages in length, several pages contain explanations of terminology and others are most appropriate for larger dams. The North Carolina template is meant to be user friendly and the resulting EAP may be shorter, depending on the characteristics of the dam and its inundation zone.

The Georgia Safe Dams Program also recommends the possible use of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) EAP template. A fact sheet of information on that template, directions on how to obtain it, and a copy of it are in the Use EAP Resources box on this page of the website.

Lists of Georgia County Emergency Managers

The best way for a dam owner to begin is by drawing on the expertise of state and county officials who will be part of the EAP team. Locally, this is the city or county Emergency Management Director or Coordinator (EMD). While the Safe Dams Program can provide much technical data about the dam based on its licensing and inspections, the EMD will know how and where to gather much of the emergency contact information needed.

The EMD will know other professionals who can be called upon for help, and precisely which details are most important to gather first. Priorities can be established, and a reasonable timetable for completion of the EAP can be developed. The county courthouse or city hall will have the name and contact information for the EMD. The Georgia Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security has posted a directory of Emergency Management Agencies. The Emergency Management Association of Georgia also has posted a directory of Emergency Managers of Georgia by County.

At the national level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) provide educational materials for dam owners. The ASDSO provides several documents helpful to dam owners in understanding and working on EAPs. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service also provides help with EAPs for dams that included NRCS (or its predecessor Soil Conservation Service) funds or involvement.

When it comes time to sit down and create the EAP, there often will be no better partner than the county or city Emergency Management Director. EMDs are the key local contact in the event of an emergency, have immediate access to emergency response personnel and resources, and they must have a copy of the EAP on file.