The National Flood Risk Management Program, of which Silver Jackets is a component, promotes integrated flood risk management solutions that focus on life-cycle risk reduction and shared responsibility. The USACE Headquarters Office of Homeland Security is the program champion, with the Institute for Water Resources managing national execution of the program.
The National Flood Risk Management Program recently unveiled a new Silver Jackets logo! IWR sits down with Ellen Berggren, USACE National Silver Jackets Program Manager, to ask her a few questions about the program and the messages behind the new logo.
Question: What is Silver Jackets and what do the teams do?
Ellen: (or Ms. Berggren) Silver Jackets are interagency teams that facilitate collaborative solutions to state flood risk priorities. The state-led teams bring together multiple state, Federal, and sometimes Tribal and local agencies to learn from one another and work together to reduce risk from floods and sometimes other natural disasters. By applying their shared knowledge, the teams enhance preparedness, mitigation, and response and recovery efforts. The state or territory sets the priorities, with each agency member supporting the team using its own programs and resources within the constraints of available budgets and agency authorities. USACE funds staff at its local District offices to support each of the established Silver Jackets teams
Question: Where did the concept for Silver Jackets come from? Why ‘silver’ and ‘jackets’?
Ms. Berggren: The Silver Jackets idea originated with USACE who partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to advance the concept of interagency state-led teams that would bring together Federal and state partners dedicated to flood risk management. The idea for the name came from a play on words. During disaster response, FEMA wears blue jackets and USACE wears red; the name ‘Silver Jackets’ was coined to represent the many agencies working together to tackle flooding issues.
Question: Why the new logo?
Ms. Berggren: The first pilot Silver Jackets teams were formed in Ohio in 2005 and Indiana in 2006. Since then, 54 Silver Jackets teams have formed in all 50 states, three territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and US Virgin Islands) and the District of Columbia. Along with the growth in number of teams, Silver Jackets teams have evolved to tackle a wide range of issues and challenges since the development of the original logo in 2009. The timing was right to create a new logo, to freshen and modernize it and to better reflect what Silver Jackets represents.
Question: What is different and significant about the new logo?
Ms. Berggren: As part of the process to develop a new logo, we asked Silver Jackets teams what they liked or disliked about the former logo and what the new logo should communicate. The new logo maintains elements of the former logo that were liked, such as the motto ‘Many Partners, One Team,’ and added new elements to convey concepts that we were told were not clearly conveyed by the former logo, such as teamwork, partnerships, shared responsibility and flooding.
New elements include puzzle pieces joined together, representing ‘many partners’ forming ‘one team’ or fitting together to form a solution. The white outline of the puzzle pieces can also be interpreted to represent team members with arms reaching out to connect and ‘form’ the team symbolized by the Silver Jackets mascot (a yellow jacket wearing a silver Jacket). The mascot has been scaled down in size so that it does not compete with the new elements, while maintaining the reference to the Silver Jackets name. The background includes ‘blue waves’ to represent water. In addition, logos were created for each Silver Jackets team, with the outline of the state or territory replacing the Silver Jackets mascot. This allows each team a unique logo while maintaining continuity in branding and messaging.
The new logo maintains a simple design, but communicates a more complex message than the previous logo. With modern graphics and color scheme, the new logo effectively symbolizes the partnership and teamwork behind Silver Jackets teams and their efforts to manage flood risk.
Please contact Ellen Berggren, National Silver Jackets Program Manager, with any questions about the logo (or Silver Jackets) at IWR.SilverJackets@usace.army.mil. Learn more about Silver Jackets teams in action at https://silverjackets.nfrmp.us/.