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  • Concept has seen success in pilot program (Indiana experience)—quote is from State perspective, evidence that team is a service to the state (not an extra meeting to attend!)
  • Within USACE, SJ is supported by and supports NFRMP, focused at the state level. Of the 5 goals of the NFRMP program, SJ can most contribute to those goals in bold.
  • Usually say a bit about each bold word: Continuous: we are project funded, and for that reason, we realize it is often difficult for us to engage in a broad issue over an extended period of time. SJ fills that gap and allows the us to continuously work to reduce flood risk with the state. Collaborative: SJ teams are interagency groups, but no agency is giving up any of their authority. The team works together to find solutions to state prioritized flood issues. Implement or Recommend: Often, solutions can be found within programs, however, there may sometimes be a need to recommend a policy change. SJ teams work to identify gaps or counteracting policies and recommend changes. Life-cycle: The goal of SJ teams is to reduce flood risk. This can be done throughout the flood risk life-cycle. The team focuses on the state’s priorities, the state may identify an area of interest related to planning/mitigation, response or recovery, wherever their need is greatest. Flood Risk Commo: We all recognize that flood risk is not well understood. This is often a state priority. Example of Sacramento experience with FEMA; goal of SJ is to ensure this type of effort—a unified interagency message is clearer and better understood. Also, research shows that people typically trust a more local messenger…SJ teams work to develop unified messages, which are then delivered by all participants, including state and possibly local agencies. While some agencies and local governments have maintained strong partnerships, typically, the planning and implementation of actions to prepare for, respond to and recover from major flood events have been achieved through individual agency processes and procedures. The Silver Jackets Program creates the framework for developing and maintaining interagency partnerships at all levels of government on a continuous basis. A successful Silver Jackets team will continually and strategically address the flood response and flood risk management needs of the state. The team should seek to collaboratively solve issues, improve processes, identify gaps, implement and recommend solutions. The primary goals of the Silver Jackets Program are to: Define a process for interagency communication and ensure continuous collaboration; Leverage available resources and information between agencies; Create or supplement a mechanism to collaboratively solve issues and implement those solutions; Increase and improve flood risk communication and outreach, present a unified interagency message and better advise the public after gaining familiarity with each agency’s processes and programs; Provide assistance in implementing high priority actions identified in states’ mitigation plans; and, Facilitate strategic, life-cycle planning to reduce flood risk.
  • Not a surprise that government agencies don’t always work in unison…often there is disjunction and even counteracting programs. SJ works to better align multiple agencies Patchwork Quilt: no single agency has the 100% solution. Sustainable comprehensive solutions can often be found by piecing together programs from multiple agencies, like piecing together the pieces of a patchwork quilt…the final product will be unique for each community…each community’s needs are different (thick/thin quilt). In this analogy, Silver Jackets is the quilting bee, the forum where multiple agencies can come together to devise a solution.
  • USACE as leading from behind…we may lead the assembly of the agencies, and support the team through meeting planning, meeting minutes recording and distribution, etc, but the STATE leads the process of setting the team’s priorities. Examples are often found in the state hazard mitigation plan. Teams can assist state’s in their mitigation plan updates. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel or duplicate similar efforts. The point here is not to create more work for states and extra meetings. The point IS to be a unified interagency service to the states. Some states have well-functioning teams with similar goals, here the SJ program goal is to support and perhaps supplement the existing teams. Example is Wisconsin. Their state mitigation team is effective, but prior to the SJ effort, participation was limited to state agencies. USACE and FEMA are now attending their meetings and can provide Federal assistance to the state’s efforts.
  • The Silver Jackets Program proposes establishing an interagency team in each state with a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the state National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) coordination office, and the State hazard mitigation office as standing members and lead facilitators. Other agency representatives may vary based on current team focus and activities. Typically, the state NFIP coordinator, the State Hazard Mitigation Officer, FEMA and USACE first meet, discuss the state’s priorities and what other agencies relate to those priorities. Each team decides whether they want to have a limited ‘core’ group sign the team charter or whether a larger group should sign. Selection of the agencies who sign the charter does not limit participation or attendance at team meetings. The team may expand or contract as needed. Indiana as example-core team signed charter, wide range of agencies participating.
  • INSERT MAP of SJ status across US Green: Silver Jackets core team is developing or has signed a team charter; team is functioning. Ohio and IN are pilot teams, established in 2005 and 2006. Idaho recently signed their charter, in 2009. Amber: Efforts are underway to offer a team. There is a wide range of variability within this category. Some states are still in the initial stages of determining interest and participation. Others are fully functioning teams with an agreed draft charter, while signatures of participating agencies are being obtained. IL is an example (4 subcommittees, non-structural, structural, policy and ILTF follow-up) Blue: USACE has identified the state as an initial state, but no efforts to assemble the team have yet begun. Our Long term goal is to offer a team to every state.
  • More detail on the FY08 and FY09 Pilot Team experiences, USGS description of IN Inundation Study, and Idaho Listening Session materials. Ohio, Indiana and Idaho charters are available upon request. A generic charter was developed as part of the ILTF effort. It is also available Ohio: Mapping: Coordination through the Ohio team has enabled the small community of Marietta to acquire detailed mapping of its community at nominal cost by tapping into an ongoing regional watershed study. Through the same Silver Jackets team, an opportunity was discovered to integrate two different programs by utilizing the USACE Planning Assistance to States (PAS) program to provide resources and FEMA’s Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program to outline the requirements—resulting in the town gaining eligibility for FEMA flood mitigation funds. Ohio Fed/State joint analysis: Recent efforts by the Ohio team include USACE participation with state agencies in the FEMA hazard mitigation funding applications. This partnership was fostered thru the OH Silver Jackets group and remains today. Ohio Web-Based Portal: The team is currently focused on research and development for a portal that will allow all collaborating agencies to contribute data on their "piece of the puzzle". The focus is on studies and construction work completed and ongoing in the state of Ohio. This has the potential to expand to other areas as a Regional Collaborative Architecture for communication. The vision is a web based portal with both public and private permissions. Indiana Inundation Study: By bringing together the agencies, Indiana SJ team was able to pair up technologies normally not used together to identify flood areas and when those areas would be impacted through the use of real time river gage data. The city will have a better idea of how soon to take protective actions and will now be able to identify where and when those actions will be needed. It should also allow the community to be more responsible for their own safety as they will be able to monitor flood progression and plan accordingly. IN****Emphasize increased readiness for the 2008 floods as this group is titled ‘emergency planning’. Take home points are that relationships are bulit through SJ, trust is built, and when the event hits, everyone knows exactly whom to call for what information, and information flows freely as everyone is very familiar with the other agencies’ roles and responsibilities, and trust is high. SJ team formed the core of the JFO. IN quoted improved response and recovery. Indiana Risk Communication: FEMA grant where all the team members have contributed ideas to reach out to children to educate them about flooding and severe weather and the measures they and their families can take to assure personal safety. This project will involve a number of the member agencies in the distribution of the activity book materials and outreach to various groups specifically working with children throughout the State.” Idaho: Joint listening session-public participation for update to flood chapter of hazard mitigation plan. Prioritized high risk watersheds and list of goals to reduce risk. Team will work to develop actions/projects to further those goals. Team considering undertaking inundation study similar to that done in ID.
  • Recap of why we are doing this, what does success look like???


  • 1. Society of American Military Engineers October 2009 Judy Soutiere, PE, CFM Flood Risk Program Manager, Sacramento District for Jennifer Dunn, Silver Jackets Program Manager, USACE-IWR Silver Jackets
  • 2.
    • Pilot Team Experience
    “ Silver Jackets allows the State and Federal partners to work seamlessly...and anticipate needs during disaster events . The Silver Jackets program maximizes the funding available…throughout the state and allows the team members to work together in a synergistic manner, tapping into one another's needs and capabilities, thus creating…services that otherwise would not be available to the local governmental entities or the citizens. The program allows the partner agencies to look ahead and identify potential challenges and identify solutions to address those challenges before they happen .” Manuela Johnson, Indiana Dept of Homeland Security
  • 3. Silver Jackets – An NFRMP Tool
    • Silver Jackets is the state-level implementation of National Flood Risk Management Program
      • `http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/nfrmp/
    • SJ is a key mechanism for achieving the interagency coordination necessary to fulfill the goals of NFRMP:
      • Provide current and accurate floodplain information to the public and decision makers,
      • Identify and assess flood hazards posed by aging flood damage reduction infrastructure,
      • Improve public awareness and comprehension of flood hazards and risk,
      • Integrate flood damage and flood hazard reduction programs across local, state, and Federal agencies , and
      • Improve capabilities to collaboratively deliver and sustain flood damage reduction and flood hazard mitigation services to the nation.
  • 4. Goals
    • Create or supplement a continuous mechanism to collaboratively solve state-prioritized issues and implement or recommend those solutions
    • Facilitate strategic life-cycle planning to reduce flood risk
    • Improve and increase flood risk communication and outreach; present a unified interagency message
  • 5. Approach
    • Improve processes and identify gaps and counteractive programs
    • Leverage resources and information - Learn about programs and how to combine, “patchwork quilt”
  • 6. Approach
    • Provide Federal assistance in implementing state priorities , such as high priority actions identified in states’ mitigation plans
      • State-led effort, with Federal support
    • Not intended to duplicate similar efforts
      • Supplement successful teams
      • Strengthen existing relationships
      • Establish relationships where they don’t exist
  • 7. Structure
    • Typical Lead Facilitators:
      • USACE District, FEMA Region,
      • State NFIP Coordinator, and State HMO
      • In States with multiple USACE Districts,
        • One District will lead for USACE, responsible for coordinating with other Districts and facilitating their participation.
        • Leads may change or rotate as priorities evolve.
    • Membership may expand or contract as needed to benefit team goals
      • Charter signatories may be core team or broader group
      • Each team will be different and will evolve over time, as state priorities evolve
  • 8.  
  • 9. Team Status and Current Focal Areas
    • Ohio – charter in 2005
      • Flood Risk Mapping
      • Federal/State joint analysis of Hazard Mitigation applications
      • R&D for web-based portal for state-wide data sharing
    • Indiana – charter in 2006
      • Inundation Study
      • Risk Communication
      • Enhanced readiness during 2008 flooding
    • Idaho – charter in 2009
      • Update to State Flood Hazard Mitigation Plan
      • Considering inundation study effort
  • 10. Getting Started-Silver Jackets as Forum
    • First We Need A Quilter – A Community Leader With Vision For Change
      • Silver Jackets is forum, but priorities are the state’s
    • A specific pattern, or plan must be formulated to guide flood risk reduction
    • Piecing together implementation requires significant technical support
    • How do you engage technical support?
    • Where are resources found to bind it all together for long-term strength and endurance?
  • 11. Examples of Corps Technical Assistance
    • PL 84-99 Rehabilitation Assistance of Flood Control Works
    • Section 216 Flood Control Act of 1970
      • Review of completed projects
    • Section 22 WRDA 1974
      • Planning Assistance to States ( PAS )
    • Section 206 Flood Control Act of 1960
      • Flood Plain Management Services ( FPMS )
  • 12. Desired Outcomes
    • Reduced flood risk
    • Agencies better understand and leverage each other’s programs
    • Collaboration between various agencies, coordinated programs, cohesive solutions
    • Multi-agency technical resource for state and local agencies
    • Mechanism for establishing relationships to facilitate integrated solutions post-disaster
  • 13.
    • Questions?