Inquire about this publication
Project: T122700 #0232

CEATI’s Dam Safety Interest Group (DSIG) outlined a variety of needs in the field of Emergency Management.  One area of particular interest was the organizational, human and technical aspects of activating a dam owner’s emergency plan in the event of a large flood or dam safety incident. 

This study addresses the key components of the emergency plan activation process.  Factors considered include: the organizational structure for a dam owner’s emergency planning function, naming convention for the emergency plan(s), classification codes for hydrologic and dam safety events, notification charts, use and activation of the Incident Command System and building and maintaining of relationships with the municipalities and downstream emergency management agencies through on-going programs of meetings, facility tours, drills and exercises.

The study commenced by interviewing the sponsors in order to to understand their current practice and the needs of their downstream communities.  This phase included the examination of existing standards in Canada and the United States with respect to the activation guidelines.  A factual report, summarizing these findings, was then prepared and distributed to the sponsors.

In the next phase, on June 20th. 2013, dam owners, regulators and municipal representatives participated in a one-day workshop in Toronto, Canada, to review the findings and finalize guidelines related to the organizational, human and technological factors that govern the effective activation of dam safety emergency plans.  This final report, then, incorporates the results of the Toronto workshop, follow-up discussions with the sponsors and general recommended standards.


Emergency Action Plan, Emergency Preparedness Plan, Notification Flowchart, Community Exercises, People, Technology and Organization (PTO).