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Dam Owners: Annual Emergency Action Plan Update

September is National Preparedness Month. This is the third in a series of Ebb and Flow articles encouraging awareness across the state this month.

Many of us recall the state dam safety regulations related to Emergency Action Plans (EAPs) that were passed a few years ago. You may also recall that EAPs must be reviewed annually, and the plan must be updated as necessary. It is recommended to have exercises each year to keep all parties familiar with the plan. Tabletop exercises must also be conducted at least once every five years and include the dam owner, state and local emergency-management officials, and dam engineer, if applicable.

You can use the opportunity of National Preparedness Month to complete your Annual EAP Evaluation Checklist (located in your EAP) and review that the following items in your EAP are up-to-date:

  1. Notification flowchart contact information
  2. Distribution list contact information
  3. Responsibilities for notification, particularly downstream residents
  4. Emergency operation center location
  5. Inundation area
  6. Supplier contact information
  7. Dam inspection results
  8. Log sheet of changes (if revisions were made)
  9. Approval and implementation (if revisions were made)

Note: This is not a comprehensive list and each EAP is unique. Please review your EAPs with their particular needs in mind.

The revised portions of the EAP must be made available to the dam operator, local emergency management coordinator and others on the Distribution List.

The revised portions of the EAP are required to be sent to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), unless the only revisions were for contact information.

If the EAP was reviewed and revisions were not required, the dam owner must submit written notification to TCEQ that no updates to the EAP have been adopted or implemented.

Freese and Nichols has experience developing Emergency Action Plans and facilitating tabletop exercises. Please contact Tina Stanard ( if you need assistance with your Emergency Action Plan.

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