Emergency Preparedness Exercise Held at Rathbun Lake


Officials held an emergency preparedness tabletop exercise at Rathbun Lake in Centerville, Iowa, last Tuesday to showcase the joint emergency preparedness between local, state, and federal agencies in the area.

The tabletop exercise was coordinated and led by the Kansas City District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and focused on communication and coordination efforts during operational releases or an extreme, rare flood event. During the exercise, USACE emphasized that it regularly assesses the conditions and risks associated with Rathbun Dam, along with its other civil works projects.

Assessments of USACE-maintained dams consider the potential of an overtopping of the dam and the risk posed to the population living downstream. The dam safety assessments also assist local emergency management agencies and USACE in coordinating emergency efforts and a communication plan in the event of a dam breach.

Local emergency management agencies are the front lines of emergency preparedness in their communities. To better serve the community, local agencies work closely with USACE and other state and federal partners, according to officials. Tabletop exercises like the one conducted for Rathbun Dam are routine opportunities to identify areas for improvement in the shared responsibility for emergency preparedness.

Additional resources are available to help the public better understand the risks associated with USACE dams, and general dam safety, and include:

National Inventory of Dams: https://nid.sec.usace.army.mil/#/

Kansas City District Dam Safety Website: https://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Dam-Safety-Program/

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