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Silver Jackets Program Adds State Teams 40 and 41

Published Jan. 17, 2014
Map of Silver Jackets state teams. Green-colored states have active intergovernmental flood risk management teams. Orange-colored states have ongoing efforts to develop a team.

Map of Silver Jackets state teams. Green-colored states have active intergovernmental flood risk management teams. Orange-colored states have ongoing efforts to develop a team.

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA.  Silver Jackets, an intergovernmental partnership dedicated to promoting collaboration among state and federal flood risk management agencies, recently welcomed two new states, Tennessee and California, as the 40th and 41st states to formally establish a state-led team. Facilitated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and other partnering Federal Agencies, state-led teams provide a forum for developing and implementing an interagency approach to planning and implementing flood risk reduction measures. 

Team focal areas vary, as state priorities vary. The intent is not to duplicate existing teams, but to supplement and strengthen current efforts and establish collaborative relationships where they do not yet exist. The USACE program provides financial support only for USACE personnel participation and is managed nationally at the Institute for Water Resources (IWR).

Tennessee Silver Jackets Team

In Tennessee, local, state and federal partners formally kicked off the Silver Jackets team on September 17, 2013 in Nashville at the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) Headquarters.  The federal, state, and local mix of governments had been on the verge of formally beginning a Silver Jackets program as early as 2010. They were informally collaborating on several flood preparedness projects and efforts, such as a flood warning pilot project for the City of Chattanooga. Interagency coordination and collaboration accessed through the new team will assist with the state’s future preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery efforts.

Some of the participants at the kickoff included the following agencies: TEMA, Metro Nashville, Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency, Memphis and Shelby County EMA, Knoxville EMA, City of Knoxville, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, City of Chattanooga, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee Economic and Community Development, USACE Nashville and Memphis Districts, Tennessee Valley Authority, FEMA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

California Silver Jackets Team

The California Department of Water Resources and the USACE Sacramento District marked the beginning of California’s Silver Jackets program in a signing ceremony at the state-federal flood operations center in Sacramento, California on November 4, 2013.

The Department of Water Resources is the lead coordinating agency for the state of California’s Silver Jackets team. Other participating agencies include FEMA, National Weather Service, California Office of Emergency Services, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board.

The California team charter signing also marked the beginning of the second annual California Flood Preparedness Week.  The Silver Jackets team played a role in creating the related events that aimed to improve awareness of flood risk and community preparedness for flood emergencies.