Dam owners are liable for loss of life and property should a dam failure occur. As a result, Monitoring & Emergency Action Plan (MEAP) review and approval is an important aspect of the Dam Safety program. Owners of High Hazard (and some Significant Hazard) Potential Dams are required to develop a MEAP. Please note that hazard potential is
not related to the structural integrity of a dam, but strictly to the
potential for downstream flooding.
The monitoring portion of the plan sets forth a frequency of owner inspections that varies according to weather conditions. As heavy rainfall occurs, the inspection frequency increases. If an imminent danger is identified, the emergency action portion of the plan is designed to notify downstream persons to evacuate to safe areas.
Dam Safety provides an example MEAP to dam owners for guidance in developing a plan that will assist in recognizing potential failure conditions and enact an effective warning strategy to protect life and property downstream. Coordination with county authorities is required during plan preparation to gain an understanding of emergency response directives and limitations to the services they are able and willing to provide.