US Army Corps of Engineers
Institute for Water Resources

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Value to the Nation


Value to the Nation: Emergency Operations

Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and other disasters are an unfortunate part of life. It is impossible to completely prevent them. A tornado, hurricane, flood, earthquake or other disaster can tear through our communities in moments destroying homes and businesses, uprooting families and leaving behind a path of destruction and broken dreams.

Emergency Response and Disaster Recovery

Each year, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) sends hundreds of people to respond to disasters around the world. When disasters occur, it is not just a local USACE district or office that responds. Personnel and other resources are mobilized across the country to carry out our response missions. In any disaster, USACE's three top priorities are:

  • Support immediate emergency response priorities
  • Sustain lives with critical commodities, temporary emergency power and other needs
  • Initiate recovery efforts by assessing and restoring critical infrastructure

For more information read our Emergency Management Brochure (pdf, 2.11 MB).

More Information

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  • Critical Public Facility Restoration
  • Debris Management
  • Emergency Infrastructure Assessments
  • Infrastructure System RSF
  • Emergency Power Planning and Response Teams
  • Temporary Housing
  • Temporary Roofing (Operation Blue Roof)
  • Urban Search and Rescue Teams
  • $17.398 billion for disaster recovery
  • Construction: Funding for 60 flood and storm damage reduction projects in 16 states and one territory
  • Investigations: Flood and coastal storm damage reduction studies in 14 states and two territories
  • Mississippi River and Tributaries: Levee and channel improvements and repair damages to 10 projects in seven states
  • Operations and Maintenance: $360 million (of $608 million) to address the highest priority needs identified by USACE at 31 projects in 11 states. The full $608 million will be provided to 69 projects in 18 states and one territory. The funds will be used to repair damages to USACE projects resulting from natural disasters and to perform emergency dredging of shoaled material deposited at USACE navigation projects by natural disasters.
  • Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies: Allocation of approximately $424 million of the $810 million provided to repair damage to 48 locally owned flood risk management projects in 11 states and one territory. In total, USACE will use approximately $645 million of the $810 million to repair damages to 81 locally owned flood risk management projects in 16 states and one territory.

The economic impact of a disaster can be tremendous, destroying or disabling businesses, crippling critical infrastructure, and causing untold property damage. Floods alone are estimated to cause up to $6 billion in damage a year in the United States. USACE disaster preparedness and emergency response efforts help to reduce the effects of disasters on businesses and communities. Read more…

When responding to an emergency situation USACE's first priority is saving lives and property. However, our response teams are also sensitive to the tremendous impact disasters can have on the environment. Many of the steps our teams take during an emergency are designed to lessen this environmental impact including:

  • Preventing contamination of rivers, streams, lakes and other waterways;
  • Protecting against erosion; and
  • Clearing hazardous debris.