Emergency Action Planning



Dam Owner Responsibilities

Dam Owner Responsibilities

Getting Help with an IEAP

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

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 Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Water Dams and Levees branch engineers 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 Indiana Department of Homeland Security has posted online a directory of county websites and social media that can be used to reach an EMD.

Another good starting point is the Indiana DNR Division of Water Dams and Levees branch office in Indianapolis, where the state dam safety regulatory team is headquartered and provides several tools to help with IEAPs, including the IEAP template form.

Kenneth E. Smith, P.E.
Assistant Director

IN Dept. of Natural Resources
Division of Water
402 W. Washington St. Rm W264
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317/232-4224
Fax: 317/233-4579 

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 IEAPs 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 IEAP on file.