Flood Risk Management Program


Flood Risk Management for USACE Staff

Information about the USACE Flood Risk Management Program and its nexus with other USACE mission areas, programs and Communities of Practice are highlighted below.


The Corps established the Flood Risk Management Program in May of 2006 for two primary purposes. First, the Program aims to work across Corps programs and policies toward reducing and managing flood risk, including: the appropriate use of levees and floodwalls including resiliency features; promoting alternatives to or replacement of levees and floodwalls when other approaches (e.g., land acquisition, flood proofing, etc.) reduce the risk of loss of life, reduce long-term economic damages to the public and private sector, and improve the natural environment. Second, the Corps is working to convene and facilitate dialogue at all levels of government and with other key interests (e.g. associations, private sector) to develop a national vision for flood risk management.

Specifically, the Corps Flood Risk Management Program:

  • Supports the development of tools and technical assistance to assist decisionmakers in reducing their communities' flood risk.
  • Updates and aligns Corps policies and programs to improve education about flood risk and broaden non-structural approaches to flood risk management.
  • Facilitates dialogue at all levels of government to improve awareness of the existence, nature and level of flood hazard and risk.
  • Works together with other Federal agencies to articulate clear, common messages regarding the nature of flood risk and compare and harmonize and align programs to efficiently reduce flood risk.
  • Serves as a convener and problem solver for flood risk related issues and conflicts inside the Corps and with other entities.

The USACE Flood Risk Management Program is under the executive direction of the Chief, Office of Homeland Security and supported by senior executive oversight by the Chiefs of Planning, Operations and Regulatory, and Engineering and Construction. See attached organizational chart (pdf, 24 KB) for more information.

The FRM Program operates as a matrix organization, providing a facilitative role to other Corps programs and communities of practice in coordinating and aligning activities and initiatives to provide a holistic, synchronized approach to flood risk management supported by the following:

  • Designated Flood Risk Program Managers at the MSC (Division) and District level to assist with coordination of activities internal to the Corps and with local and regional partners.
  • The Silver Jackets Program provides funding to Corps staff to facilitate state-level coordination of Federal agencies and other expertise. The program also encourages the development of state-focused prioritized goals and objectives intent upon leveraging resources and improving efficiency across all levels of government with a focus on recovery and mitigation activities.
  • Regional and watershed partnerships are also an important tool used, especially in responding to and recovering from floods that involve multiple states.
  • USACE Programs
    • The Corps Planning Community of Practice studies and makes recommendations to Congress to address specific water resources problems authorized by Congress, including flood risk management (one of the Corps’ mission areas).
    • Floodplain Management Services Program. Upon request, and without charge, the Corps will furnish to states, tribes, counties, and cities the floodplain information and technical assistance needed in planning for prudent use of land subject to flooding from streams, lakes, and oceans.
    • Planning Assistance to States Program. Upon request, the Corps will cooperate with states in the preparation of plans for the development, utilization, and conservation of water and related land resources located within the boundaries of the state, short of site-specific designs of construction specifications.
    • The Dam Safety Program uses a risk-informed approach to manage the Corps’ portfolio of 694 dams, with public safety the number one priority.
    • Levee Safety Program assesses the integrity and viability of levees and recommend courses of action to make sure that levee systems in Corps programs do not present unacceptable risks to the public, property and environment.
    • The Corps Water Infrastructure Financing Program will provide an innovative approach to project financing through long-term, low cost loans.
  • USACE Centers of Expertise
    • The Flood Risk Management Planning Center of Expertise develops, maintains and applies the best and most appropriate nationally available expertise, science and engineering technology for conducting planning studies and the developing flood risk management projects.
    • The Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Planning Center of Expertise supports the Corps with planning guidance and technical review on coastal storm damage reduction, with emphasis on regional sediment management and ecosystem restoration needs at both the national and international levels.
    • The National Nonstructural Flood Proofing Committee promotes use of measures applied to a structure and/or its contents that prevent or provide resistance to damage from flooding. Nonstructural flood proofing measures differ from structural flood proofing measures in that they focus on reducing the consequences on flooding instead of focusing on reducing the probability of flooding.
    • The Risk Management Center was established in 2009 with a focus on dams and levees to improve management controls over infrastructure decisions, serve as an independent advisor to senior leadership, maintain and develop risk competencies, and ensure consistency in processes, application of criteria and decisionmaking.
    • The Conflict Resolution and Public Participation Center of Expertise develops and expands the application of collaborative tools to improve water resources decision making.
  • Research & Development
    • The laboratories of the Corps’ Engineer Research and Development Center, including the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory , performs ocean, estuarine, riverine, and watershed regional scale systems analyses research support work.
    • The Flood and Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Program develops new and improve existing flood and coastal storm damage reduction technologies to enhance the effectiveness of more than 8,500 miles of levees, 100 shore protection projects, and 383 major lakes and reservoirs.
  • PL84-99 Rehabilitation Program
    • Under P.L. 84-99 (33 USC 701n), USACE has the ability to provide rehabilitation assistance for flood risk management projects damaged during flood events. Through the voluntary Rehabilitation Program, USACE will assist in repairing levee systems and other flood risk management projects after a flood event if the projects meet the required eligibility criteria.
For information on training, please visit the Training page.

For information on communications materials, please visit the Communications page.

Click here for the Flood Risk Management Newsletter.