Oregon Silver Jackets: a model to the nation

Members of the Oregon Silver Jackets team installed high water mark signs Dec. 12, 2014, at Monteith Riverpark, Albany, Oregon. The inter-agency team plans to post high water mark signs in other Oregon communities to build public awareness of flood risk. The Silver Jackets is a national initiative under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Risk Management Program, which leverages the resources of state and federal agencies to prepare and respond to flood emergencies.

Members of the Oregon Silver Jackets team installed high water mark signs Dec. 12, 2014, at Monteith Riverpark, Albany, Oregon. The inter-agency team plans to post high water mark signs in other Oregon communities to build public awareness of flood risk. The Silver Jackets is a national initiative under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Risk Management Program, which leverages the resources of state and federal agencies to prepare and respond to flood emergencies.

 

The Oregon Silver Jackets, an interagency team that addresses flooding emergencies and flood preparedness within the state, was recently named the national 2015 Silver Jackets Team of the Year.

The Silver Jackets is a national initiative under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Flood Risk Management Program, which leverages the resources of state and federal agencies to prepare and respond to flood emergencies. Silver Jackets partnerships allow agencies to coordinate actions before, during and after a flood event.

Karen Durham-Aguilera, the Director of Contingency Operations and Office of Homeland Security, Headquarters, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, notified Northwestern Division Commander Brig. Gen. Scott Spellmon of the award. She said the Oregon team is an exemplary model of the Silver Jackets program.

Ryan Cahill, Portland District Silver Jackets interim coordinator, installs high water mark signs Dec. 12, 2014, at Monteith Riverpark, Albany, Oregon. The Oregon Silver Jackets team plans to post high water mark signs in other Oregon communities to build public awareness of flood risk.  (Corps of Engineers photo)

Ryan Cahill, Portland District Silver Jackets interim coordinator, installs high water mark signs Dec. 12, 2014, at Monteith Riverpark, Albany, Oregon. The Oregon Silver Jackets team plans to post high water mark signs in other Oregon communities to build public awareness of flood risk. (Corps of Engineers photo)

“I commend this team,” said Durham-Aguilera. “I am extremely pleased that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters has had the opportunity to work together with the Oregon SJ partners to accomplish the team’s goals.”

Durham-Aguilera said the team has made excellent progress in flood risk management in Oregon. Tools developed for prioritizing emergency management activities in the state are so useful they’re being expanded for use in Washington, Idaho and Alaska.

“The partnerships formed within the Silver Jackets program are invaluable,” said Portland District Commander Col. Jose Aguilar. “When we work together we can find new ways to use existing data, information and resources that ultimately help us all better serve our communities and the nation.”

The team’s public outreach efforts were also cited as reasons for the commendation.

“Flood awareness and readiness is key to minimizing risks and damages,” said Ryan Cahill, Portland District Silver Jackets interim coordinator. “Last year we worked with the cities of Albany, Turner and Oregon City to install signs showing high water marks of some of the historical flood events in their communities. The signs serve as monuments that remind the communities of the potential for major flooding.”

The team also developed a flood preparedness and recovery webpage with information and resources for use before, during and after a flood. Current Oregon Silver jackets projects include evaluation of a flash flood warning system in Mitchell, Oregon, a non-structural flood risk assessment of Johnson Creek in Portland, and outreach efforts to communities in Eastern Oregon about the regulatory process.

The Oregon team was selected for the 2015 honor by a vote of their peers: Silver Jackets team members throughout the United States. They will be formally recognized for their accomplishments this fall at the 2015 Flood Risk Management Workshop in Southbridge, Massachusetts.

Oregon Silver Jackets

The Oregon Silver Jackets team was established in 2011 as a subcommittee to the State Interagency Hazard Mitigation Team.

  • Oregon Emergency Management
  • Oregon Dept. of Land, Conservation and Development
  • Oregon Dept. of Geology and Mineral Industries
  • Oregon Water Resources Department
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency Region X
  • National Weather Service’s Northwest River Forecast Center
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District
  • U.S. Geological Survey

Learn more about the award-winning Oregon Silver Jackets at http://silverjackets.nfrmp.us/State-Teams/Oregon.

After heavy snowfall residents in Washington, Oregon, northern California and parts of Nevada and Idaho watched warmer air from the Pacific Ocean cause heavy rainfall. The result was one of the worst floods in the Pacific Northwest records.  Flood preparedness and recovery information is online at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency/Preparedness.aspx. (Corps of Engineers photo)

After heavy snowfall residents in Washington, Oregon, northern California and parts of Nevada and Idaho watched warmer air from the Pacific Ocean cause heavy rainfall. The result was one of the worst floods in the Pacific Northwest records. Flood preparedness and recovery information is online at http://www.nwp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Emergency/Preparedness.aspx. (Corps of Engineers photo)