Silver Jackets: Many Agencies One Solution  - Be Risk Aware
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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 43 active state teams and 7 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.

2014 Workshop

2013 Silver Jackets Webinar Week
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Silver Jackets Newsletter


A Special Edition of the Silver Jackets Newsletter (August 2014) has been prepared to provide a reference of federal agency programs, resources, and training opportunities that interagency Silver Jackets teams can leverage to achieve their flood risk management goals. This consolidated information will be useful and could serve as a catalyst to increase coordination and collaboration among state and federal agencies.

2014 Webinars Supporting Flood Risk Management

  • Mobile Information Collection Application (MICA) System - May 2014


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Revised 30 September 2014

Photo of Silver Jackets Team Leaders

Tennessee Signatories for Silver Jackets Charter

Tennessee Formalizing Silver Jackets Program With Signing Ceremony

On September 23, federal, state, and local agencies formalized an official partnership to promote flood risk reduction by signing the Tennessee Silver Jackets Charter during a ceremony at Metro Nashville's Development Services Center. The charter signing formalizes the relationship between stakeholders that have an interest in reducing the risks associated with flooding and other natural hazards.

Maj. Gen. Terry M. "Max" Haston, adjutant general for the Tennessee National Guard, represented David W. Purkey, Tennessee Emergency Management Agency deputy commissioner and Homeland Security advisor, at the event. The general spoke about the importance of forming the Silver Jackets team after Tennessee's great flood of 2010 and emphasized how the interaction between partners would generate great ideas and facilitate a positive exchange of information.

"We all need each other in an emergency," Haston said. "And just as importantly, we all need to work to help each other get ready for the next emergency before it happens."

State agencies involved in Silver Jackets include TEMA, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee Department of Transportation, Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation, and Geographic Information Systems Servicers. Federal partners include the USACE Nashville District, USACE Memphis District, Tennessee Valley Authority, Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Weather Service.

"With today's signing, the Tennessee Silver Jackets Program is officially recognized by the signatories," said Lt. Col. John L. Hudson, Nashville District commander.
"The state benefits from the collaboration, pooling of resources, and enhanced preparedness. When technical experts share in the responsibility of flood risk management, the interaction stems a greater flow of information and leads to more viable solutions."

Mayor Jim Coppinger of Hamilton County, Mayor Mark Lutrell of Shelby County, Mayor Kim McMillan of Clarksville, Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga, Mayor Madeline Rogero of Knoxville, and Mayor Karl Dean of Nashville represent localities that are also involved with Silver Jackets.

"The charter we're signing today builds on the years of work that teams at the local, state, and federal levels have done to share our collective experiences and ensure that we're doing everything we can to reduce our flood risk," Dean said. "We look forward to active involvement in the Tennessee Silver Jackets team. It's one more thing we can do to keep our city safe, and we welcome the opportunity."