ASDSO Dam Safety Toolbox

Responding to Emergencies

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"Comprehending potential failure modes for a dam is an important first step to improve dam safety, prevent a dam failure, or minimize the effects of failure. Equally important is understanding the warning signs for particular failure modes and how to effectively respond to them. Performing regular dam inspections is critical for early problem identification and intervention. All personnel responsible for the operation of the dam should be aware of the common failure modes and be able to identify early warning signs for each failure mode. If a problem is detected early, the state dam safety agency can be contacted to recommend and help implement corrective measures. Acting promptly may avoid a possible dam failure." [1]


Learn more about how to intervene if a dam is actively failing at

Learn about the difficulties of responding to swarming dam failures at

Best Practices Resources

Dam Owner Emergency Intervention Toolbox, MT DNRC, 2016


On-Demand Webinar: Responding to Dam Emergencies


Revision ID: 5621
Revision Date: 12/14/2022