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Emergency Procedures for Dam Failures
A dam failure or levee breach is very serious and can occur without warning.The large quantity of water released when one of these two events occur can cause flash flooding.The flash flooding can happen very quickly and be very dangerous to the surrounding area and can result in loss of life or severe property damage.

The High Risk Areas
  • Buildings downstream from a damDam Failure

Note:If you live in a high hazard area then it means a damn failure or levee breach would most likely result in the loss of life and significant damage to property.Significant hazard areas are areas in which a damn failure may cause property damage or loss of life.A low hazard area is an area where dam failure is would probably not cause loss of life or property damage.

The Causes
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Area landslides
  • Debris(builds up and causes jams)
  • Snow that melts and accumulates (causing extra pressure)
  • Fires
  • Acts of Terrorism
  • Intentional Damage
  • Severe weather (earthquakes, thunderstorms, hurricanes)
Ways to Prepare
  • Prepare and emergency kit.
  • Create a Disaster Preparedness plan for you and your family.Make sure that your family knows where the disaster plan and the emergency kit(s) are located.
  • When a Dam Fails – What do you do?
  • Make sure to pay attention to your local news for updates on the situation.
  • Follow instructions from local law enforcement, emergency, or government personnel.
  • Be prepared to evacuate and if you do evacuate, follow these procedures:
  1. Abide by the evacuation procedures.
  2. Be careful of standing water.Just 6 inches of water can stall a vehicle or cause you to lose control so do not drive through standing water.
  3. Stay clear of moving water because you could get caught in a dangerous situation.
  4. If you have time, turn off gas, water, and electricity, and unplug appliances.
  5. Keep your gas tank at least ½ full at all times.
After the Disaster
  • Do not go into areas that have been evacuated until told to do so.
  • Stay clear of standing water due to possible contamination or dangers.The water may also be much deeper than expected and can be dangerous.
  • Stay clear of buildings that may be unstable, as well as downed power lines.Water and electricity do not mix!

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