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USFWS Dam Emergency Action Plans

Detailed, up-to-date emergency action plans and interactive training exercises improve emergency response capabilities.
  • Lamesteer Dam, Montana - Gannett Fleming

    Gannett Fleming prepared and/or updated more than 10 EAPs and SOPs for USFWS dams.

  • Necedah National Wildlife Refuge, Hydrology and Hydraulics Report, 2013 - Gannett Fleming

    Inundation maps in EAPs help dam owners and authorities identify areas and populations at risk.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Nationwide, U.S.

Our Role
Emergency Action Plan, Planning, Exercise Facilitation, Report Preparation, Dam Investigation.

In Progress
In Progress
  • Tabletop and functional exercises facilitate effective responses to emergency situations
  • Inundation maps for sunny day and probable maximum flood help dam owners and authorities identify areas and populations at risk
  • Up-to-date emergency action plans reduce risk to downstream life and property.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) retained Gannett Fleming in 2005 and again in 2011 to provide dam safety services under indefinite delivery contracts for more than 400 dams throughout the United States. The work under these contracts has included expertise in hydrology; hydraulics, with knowledge and experience with applicable computer programs such as HEC-RAS, HEC-HMS, Dambreak, and XPSWMM; and geotechnical; structural; mechanical; electrical; and civil engineering.

Emergency action plans (EAPs) help dam owners respond to emergency conditions and provide guidance on procedures to minimize property damage and loss of life. Recommended EAP maintenance procedures include an annual review with as-needed revisions and periodic testing. The USFWS requires that its EAPs be maintained and exercised on a regular basis.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming is providing dam safety inspection services and emergency action planning services for a large number of dams scattered throughout the United States at National Wildlife Refuges. We have prepared and/or updated more than 10 EAPs and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for USFWS high- and significant-hazard dams. Our firm produced inundation maps for the sunny day and probable maximum flood for inclusion in EAPs to help dam owners and authorities identify areas and populations at risk. In addition, we prepared the SOP used for more than 270 USFWS low-hazard dams.

Our firm also coordinated and conducted 13 EAP functional and tabletop exercises, including one EAP functional exercise in North Dakota that involved participation from Manitoba, Canada, first responders. Participants in the exercises included USFWS personnel and emergency responders from local and state governments. Coordinating with emergency management authorities in advance facilitates a prompt response to actual emergency situations, as EAP exercises familiarize participants with their roles and responsibilities and provide an opportunity for discussion to identify deficiencies and areas for improvement. 

Gannett Fleming's innovations presented during a recent EAP tabletop exercise provided an extra measure of realism to the exercises and received praise from senior USFWS officials who had attended several similar exercises. 

Key Features

  • Emergency action plans and tabletop exercises
  • Standard operating procedures development
  • Value engineering
  • Inspections, studies, and investigations
  • Database development
  • Environmental studies and permitting
  • Dam rehabilitation.

Similar Projects: Water/Wastewater: Dams & Levees, Dams & Levees: Dams Investigation & Design, Dams & Levees: Emergency Action Plans & EAP Exercises, Engineering, Federal, Dams & Levees: Flood Hazard & Risk Assessment, Federal: Water Resources, Water/Wastewater, Engineering: Water/Wastewater