Effective and continuous collaboration between state and federal agencies is critical to successfully reducing the risk of flooding and other natural disasters in the United States and enhancing response and recovery efforts when such events do occur. No single agency has all the answers, but often multiple programs can be leveraged to provide a cohesive solution.
The Silver Jackets is an innovative program that provides an opportunity to consistently bring together multiple state, federal, and sometimes tribal and local agencies to learn from one another and apply their knowledge to reduce risk. State agencies, including those of the State Hazard Mitigation Officer and State NFIP Coordinator, come together with the Federal family of agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in a common forum to address the state's flood risk management priorities. Silver Jacket programs are developed at the state level. There are currently 41 active state teams and 9 states developing teams; the ultimate goal is to offer an interagency team in every state.
The program's primary goals are to:
- Create or supplement a mechanism to collaboratively identify, prioritize, and address risk management issues and implement solutions
- Increase and improve risk communication through a unified interagency effort
- Leverage information and resources and provide access to such national programs as FEMA's Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (Risk MAP) program and USACE's Levee Inventory and Assessment Initiative
- Provide focused, coordinated hazard mitigation assistance in implementing high-priority actions such as those identified by state mitigation plans
- Identify gaps among agency programs and/or barriers to implementation, such as conflicting agency policies or authorities, and provide recommendations for addressing these issues.
Why the name Silver Jackets? Traditionally, different agencies wear different colored jackets when responding to emergencies. For example, FEMA personnel wear blue and USACE personnel wear red. The name Silver Jackets is used to underscore the common mission of the diverse agencies involved.
2013 Silver Jackets Webinar Week
Silver Jackets Newsletter
- January 2014 (pdf, 765 KB)
- October 2013 (pdf, 1.12 MB)
- July 2013 (pdf, 879 KB)
- April 2013 (pdf, 836 KB)
- January 2013 (pdf, 1.02 MB)
- October 2012 (pdf, 1.35 MB)
- July 2012 (pdf, 1.68 MB)
- April 2012 (pdf, 1.68 MB)
- January 2012 (pdf, 2.09 MB)
- October 2011 (pdf, 2.37 MB)
- July 2011 (pdf, 1.36 MB)
- April 2011 (pdf, 1.51 MB)
- January 2011 (pdf, 2.60 MB)
- September 2010 (pdf, 1.89 MB)
- March 2010 (pdf, 1.6 MB)
Webinars Supporting Flood Risk Management
- Risk Communication and the Nebraska Silver Jackets Team
— December 2013
- NOAA's National Weather Service Atlas 14 Webinar — October 2013
- Community-based Hydrologic Warning Systems — March 2013
- Natural Hazard Mitigation Association’s Resilient Neighbors Network — February 2013
Revised 3 February 2014
Program leaders for California's new Silver Jackets team Terri Wegener (left), with the California Department of Water Resources, and Judy Soutiere (right), with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, pose with DWR Deputy Director of Integrated Water Management Gary Bardini and Sacramento District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Braden LeMaster after a ceremony celebrating the new team in Sacramento, Calif., Nov. 4, 2013. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Water Resources/Released)
California, the 41st State to Join the National Silver Jackets Program
The California Department of Water Resources and the USACE Sacramento District marked the beginning of California's Silver Jackets program in a signing ceremony in November at the state-federal flood operations center in Sacramento.
"One in five Californians lives in a flood plain," said Gary Bardini, Deputy Director of Integrated Water Management, "so there is risk throughout the state. The state has been earnestly trying to work better on our own to respond to flood events and to recover. Silver Jackets is really what expresses the cooperation and the resourcefulness of agencies working together to promote recovery after a crisis occurs."
The Department of Water Resources will be the lead coordinating agency for the state of California. Other participating agencies include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Weather Service, California Office of Emergency Services, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Central Valley Flood Protection Board.
"Silver Jackets is about each state and other agencies starting discussions before disasters, building relationships, and improving communication, coordination, and collaboration so that we can more effectively respond in an emergency and help recover faster afterward," said Sacramento District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Braden LeMaster.
The signing also marked the beginning of an annual California Flood Preparedness Week that was created to improve awareness of flood risk and community preparedness for flood emergencies. The week featured community events throughout the state, including the unveiling of high water mark signs in Sacramento and Roseville.
Gary Bardini (left), California Department of Water Resources Deputy Director of Integrated Water Management, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Braden LeMaster officially appoint leaders of California's new Silver Jackets program in Sacramento, Calif. (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Water Resources/Released)