The US Army Corps of Engineers responds to natural disasters, technological emergencies, national emergencies and terrorism under the National Response Framework as the coordinator for Emergency Support Function #3 “Public Works and Engineering." USACE employees also respond to flood and other water related events under Public Law 84-99.
The Southwestern Division is comprised of four Districts located in Fort Worth, Galveston, Little Rock and Tulsa. Each District provides assistance within their geographic boundaries.
The Corps of Engineers may provide emergency assistance for flood response and post flood response activities to save lives and protect improved property (i.e., public facilities/services) during or following a flood or coastal storm. Assistance to individual homeowners and businesses is not permitted. This includes agricultural lands. Emergency Operations assistance will be undertaken to supplement state and local efforts. Non-Federal interests must commit all available resources. This includes manpower, supplies, equipment, funds, etc. Flood fighting measures are applicable to any flood control structures or other areas that provide public service, regardless of whether it is Federal, public or private. The Corps has no authority under Public Law 84-99 to reimburse local communities for costs of their own emergency activities.
Type of Assistance Provided by the Corps
- Assist in search and rescue operations.
- Furnish technical advice and assistance.
- Provide emergency repairs to levees and other flood control projects.
- Furnish materials such as sandbags, polyethylene sheeting, lumber, pumps, or rock for stabilization when the Corps is actively participating in a flood fight.
- If the Corps is not actively participating in a flood fight, Government supplies may be furnished only if local resources are exhausted or will be exhausted. Under such circumstances, supplies will be replaced in kind or paid for by local interests. All unused stock should be returned or reimbursed by local interests to the Government at replacement cost.
Duration of Assistance
Corps assistance terminates when the emergency is over (i.e., flood waters have receded within top bank or some other predetermined stage).
Post Flood Response
Criteria for Corps of Engineers Assistance
- Assistance must be supplemental to state and local efforts.
- Requires written request from the governor or his authorized representative for specific assistance.
- Corps policy requires local interests to furnish the following items of cooperation and assurances prior to the undertaking of any work: (1) provide without cost to the United States all lands, easements, and rights-of-way necessary; (2) hold and save the United States free of damages due to the authorized work, exclusive of damages due to the fault or negligence of the United States or its contractor; and (3) if feasible, operate and maintain the emergency work or remove temporary work constructed by the Corps.
How to Obtain Help
Contact your local Emergency Management representative officials who in turn will contact the State Office of Emergency Management or equivalent and, if required, the state will contact the Corps of Engineers.