Emergency Action Planning



What is an Incident and Emergency Action Plan?

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PDF document

A plan of action to reduce potential property damage and loss of lives in an area affected by a dam failure. A complete IEAP includes a map of the potential inundation area, procedures and information for warning downstream emergency management authorities, and other crucial information.

An IEAP helps augment an area's Emergency Operations Plan, which may additionally include evacuation routes, and location of shelters and emergency services, as well as list businesses, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, residences, and highways at risk.

An incident is defined as an event which takes place, or a condition which is slowly developing, that is not normally encountered in the routine operation of the dam and reservoir, or necessitates a variation from Standard Operating Procedures. Such events are more common than emergency conditions and often offer time to conduct preplanned responses to the slowly developing situation. If addressed in a timely manner, such events can often be prevented from progressing into a much worse event. An incident requires operations in accordance with Indiana's IEAP form.

An emergency event is defined as an event which takes place, or a condition which develops, that is of a serious nature that may endanger the dam, or endanger persons or property, and demands immediate attention. An emergency event requires immediate operations in accordance with the Indiana IEAP form.

Are you at risk?

In Indiana, dam safety officials categorize dams according to the potential hazard risk to lives and property should the dam fail. A High-Hazard Potential (HHP) dam is one whose failure likely would take lives as well as property. An IEAP may save lives and property damage through timely evacuations of those who live, work, or enjoy recreation near a HHP dam. Timely warnings triggered by an IEAP could help business owners remove key assets necessary to mitigate loss of income and capital investment important to themselves and their employees. In Indiana, only 16% of high-hazard dams have IEAPs to identify and notify people residing below the dam, and to coordinate their evacu­ation. The national average of EAPs for HHP dams is 69%. Indiana’s dams lack the planning to protect all citizens near HHP dams in an emergency..

Are you liable?

In Indiana, the owner of a HHP dam has legal liability and social responsibility to provide an EAP, though it is not required by law in most situations. If you are a dam owner or share ownership with other neighbors, you are responsible and liable for the safety of your dam. Completing an IEAP can demonstrate your actions to mitigate harm to persons and property in case of an incident at your dam.

Do you have a stake in dam safety?

Stakeholders are citizens, business owners, and recreationists in harm's way at times, often without realizing it. Do you like to swim or fish in an Indiana lake? Like to hunt in areas below or near a dam? Like to RV or camp out along the shores of a lake? Enjoy canoeing a stream below a dam? Do you farm land or have livestock in a floodplain? Do you manage a nursing home, hospital, school or motel in an area below a dam? Are you an emergency responder? Do you volunteer for the Red Cross or Salvation Army? Do you regularly need to travel across or have access to an area below a dam?
You have a stake in whether a HHP dam has an IEAP.

What you can do...

Learn more
about IEAPs
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If you are a dam owner,
complete an IEAP
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If you live below a dam,
find out if
it has an IEAP
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If you are a stakeholder,
contact the dam
owner to ask
about an IEAP
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Be a concerned citizen. 
Your life may one day depend on an IEAP.

Questions or comments?

Email us at or call toll-free at 877-410-3551.