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Emergency Management

Emergency Operations

The Corps of Engineers may provide emergency assistance for flood response and post flood response activities to save lives and protect improved property (i.e., public facilities/services and residential/commercial developments) during or following a flood or coastal storm. Assistance to individual homeowners and businesses is not permitted. This includes agricultural lands.

Emergency Operations assistance will be undertaken to supplement state and local efforts. Non-Federal interests must commit all available resources. This includes manpower, supplies, equipment, funds, etc.

Flood fighting measures are applicable to any flood control structures or other areas that provide public service, regardless of whether it is Federal, public or private.

The Corps has no authority under Public Law 84-99 to reimburse locals for costs of their own emergency activities.

To read frequently asked questions during a flood event click here.


        Type of Assistance Provided by the Corps

        Duration of Assistance

    • Corps assistance terminates when the emergency is over (i.e., flood waters have receded within top bank or some other predetermined stage).

Authority to perform post flood activities immediately after a flood or coastal storm is provided by Public Law 84-99, as amended. Corps assistance must be required immediately and is limited to major flood or coastal storm disasters resulting in life-threatening or property-damaging situations.

        Type of Assistance Provided by the Corps

    • Furnish technical advice and assistance.
    • Clearance of drainage channels, bridge openings, or structures blocked by debris deposited during the event.
    • Clearance of blockages of critical water supply intakes and sewer outfalls.
    • Debris removal necessary to reopen vital transportation routes.
    • Temporary restoration of critical public services or facilities.
    • Identify hazard mitigation opportunities.

        Duration of Assistance

    • Corps of Engineers assistance may only be provided for a maximum of 10 days from the date of receipt of the governor's written request for assistance.

        Criteria for Corps of Engineers Assistance

    • Assistance must be supplemental to state and local efforts.
    • Requires written request from the govenor or his authorized representative for flood response activities.
    • Corps policy requires local interests to furnish the following items of cooperation and assurances prior to the undertaking of any work: (1) provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary; (2) hold and save the United States free of damages due to the authorized work, exclusive of damages due to the fault or negligence of the United States or its contractor; and (3) if feasible, operate and maintain the emergency work or remove temporary work constructed by the Corps.

        How to Obtain Help

    • Contact your local officials who in turn will contact the State Office of Emergency Services or equivalent and, if required, the state will contact the Corps of Engineers.