Develop a Team
Teams are developed and led at the state level with the support of federal partners. At a minimum, each state team includes the state National Flood Insurance Program coordinator, the state hazard mitigation officer, a representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and a representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The state has the leadership role and is encouraged to invite additional participation from all those who may be able to advance the state goals in flood risk management. Additional federal agencies may include EPA, HUD, NRCS, NOAA-NWS, NOAA-Coastal, DOT, DOI, EDA, USGS, DOE, GSA, FERC, etc. Additional state agencies have included the DNR and EPA. Consistent with the state priorities, local representatives may also participate.
Resources for activities associated with the team come through the individual programs of each agency within the constraints of available budgets.
A template of the State Team charter is available for your convenience. Download it now. (doc, 61.8 KB)
Advice from successful teams…
Manuela Johnson advises Silver Jackets leaders to start with small, achievable goals and talk about what the team is doing — people like being part of a successful team. Teams need short-term successes especially in the initial stages. Set attainable goals, build on what is working and take doable 'bites' upfront. Establish a common goal to openly and frankly discuss how to leverage resources and share information. Ask each agency to bring a list of their current projects; when discussing actions in the same communities and counties, opportunities tend to come together. Like a complex jigsaw puzzle, various parts of the picture come together separately, and often on varying timelines, but the ultimate goal is to come together to form a complete picture of managed risk. Small successes can build larger successes.
During a presentation by Stacey Underwood, the Silver Jackets Program Manager for the Baltimore District, and Tom Hughes, the State Hazard Mitigation Officer , at a recent Flood Risk Management and Silver Jackets Workshop, the keys to a successful team were identified based on the Pennsylvania experience. They include:
They also stated that the opportunity to piggyback onto other flood risk management teams, events, or activities, rather than starting from scratch, can be expeditious. Other tips include: monthly webinars are an excellent way to keep in touch; keep the meetings short; and schedule well in advance so team members can reserve the dates. Finally, a signed charter will show support of agency leaders and help guide the team.
In states with an active, established hazard mitigation team, there is no need to try to reinvent the wheel and duplicate effort. The objective of Silver Jackets is to build a collaborative intergovernmental team to address the state's priorities; that structure may already be in place as is the case in Wisconsin. Terry Zien, the USACE team representative for Wisconsin, reflects: "I think that the most important thing Silver Jackets brings to the state's existing flood risk/all hazards management program is a way to get the federal agencies to THEIR table, so to speak. They have a well-established state process, and Silver Jackets allows a more comprehensive suite of programs and personnel resources to be available. It creates the relationships with the federal players that will allow more efficient and seamless planning and response activities."
Learn more about existing state teams.
Contact us about developing a team in your state or to contribute to this "advice" section..
New - From Virginia
There is something reassuring and official about holding a brochure. It provides a lasting impression long after the presentation is over. Each agency has outreach opportunities that Silver Jackets can capitalize on with the right tools. The Virginia Silver Jackets set off to create just such a tool with two goals in mind: Develop an outreach tool to be distributed by team members and their organizations in digital or hard copy form and to develop a model that any Silver Jackets Team could modify and use.
"This brochure clearly explains what the Silver Jackets Team is all about and how we can help communities struggling with repetitive losses due to flooding. I will be happy to distribute it at NWS outreach events." - Patti Wnek, Service Coordination Hydrologist, NOAA, NWS, Middle Atlantic River Forecast Center.
Revised 11 July 2012
The Indiana Silver Jackets team on a field trip to learn about fluvial erosion can be a hazard.
"The Silver Jackets initiative has created a cooperative environment that has brought local, state and Federal interests together to address actions that help communities make themselves less susceptible to the impact of natural disasters."