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Emergency Action Plans (EAPs)

Owners and operators of high hazard dams have a responsibility to develop emergency action plans (EAP)and to keep them current. These plans are developed to reduce the risk to loss of life and property if the dam fails. Many dam owners may not know where to start in developing EAPs or what to include in them.

In 2004, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) launched a joint effort to develop a sample EAP for earthen high hazard dams. A multi-agency work group was formed. This work group gathered good examples of EAPs from various state and federal agencies, solicited “lessons learned” from persons who had experienced activations of their EAPs, and developed a draft sample EAP that was routed for comment to many groups and organizations.

Based upon the information gathered and comments received, NRCS revised agency policy relating to content and format of EAPs and prepared a final sample EAP. An electronic fillable form, template, instructions, and helpful hints to prepare site specific EAPs were also developed.

The electronic fillable form template may be edited as necessary to adapt the format and content as necessary to meet state or local requirements and site specific situations.

The documents that were produced are available below:

 EAP Factsheet August 2016 (PDF; 0.4 MB)

Detailed instructions for completing the EAP fillable form (PDF; 0.4 MB)

Sample EAP developed using fillable form (PDF; 1.58 MB)

 EAP Fillable form (WORD; 0.8 MB)

For more information on developing Emergency Action Plans, contact:

Noller Herbert
Director, Conservation Engineering Division
Washington, DC

Claudia Hoeft
National Hydraulic Engineer
Washington, DC