620 Levees
400 Mapping and Regulations

620
Levees

If there are levees in your community, this activity awards points for maintaining and preparing response protocol around them.

622.a
Levee maintenance (LM)

Your community can receive credit for having a levee maintenance program and emergency action plan.

Level of effort = high

Overview

Levee failures pose an extreme threat to communities near them. As such, planning for possible eventualities is very important. This element awards points through two subelements:

  • LM1: You can receive credits for annual inspections and written maintenance procedures that detail maintenance activities, frequencies, and responsible parties.
  • LM2: You can also receive credits for having a written emergency action plan that includes a list of actions, notification procedures, critical locations, periodic levee patrols, responsible parties, and annual equipment inspections.

Considerations

There is no Levee maintenance (LM) credit for levees operated by a federal agency, but you can receive credit for other elements in this activity for those levees. If you are seeking credit for this element you should also have completed the Certification of Compliance with Environmental and Historic Preservation Requirements for Levee Maintenance (CC-620EHP).

For all 620 elements: To get credit, you must have a designed and constructed levee that is operated and maintained by a public agency. You are also required to create a map with the elevation that the levee can be overtopped, the inundation area in the event of overtopping, an inventory of the buildings that could be impacted, and a list of critical facilities that could be impacted. This map can determine inundation areas through an engineering study or by identifying the areas lower than the overtopped elevation. In addition to these requirements, you must have a levee maintenance plan including annual inspections and an emergency action plan. Annual outreach projects to community members in the inundation area should also be implemented.

Documentation

To receive credit for this element, provide:

  • The 620 checklist
  • The map and inventory of buildings
  • For LM1, the maintenance procedures
  • For LM2, the emergency action plan
  • The Certification of Compliance with Environmental and Historic Preservation Requirements for Levee Maintenance (CC-620EHP)

At annual recertification:

  • For LM1, documentation of annual levee inspections and maintenance
  • For LM2, records of the most recent equipment inspection
  • For LM2, records of the most recent test of closures, pumps, etc.
  • The outreach materials

Credit Calculation

Max: 95

Up to 50 credits can be awarded for levee system maintenance (LM1), and up to 45 credits can be awarded for levee system emergency action plans. The impact adjustment for this element is calculated as follows:

Number of buildings in levee maintenance area / Number of buildings impacted by levee failure

622.b
Levee failure threat recognition system (LFR)

Does your community have a system in place for monitoring flood conditions around levees?

Level of effort = high

Overview

Lead time is crucial in reducing losses in levee failures. Because of this, monitoring levee flood conditions can provide valuable insight to protect your community. This element awards points through two subelements:

  • LFR1: You can receive credits if you initiate levee-centric actions (such as patrolling levees or opening an emergency operations center) when flood levels reach a certain height. The flood recognition system should meet the 612.a Flood Threat Recognition system (FTR) criteria and the system should be tested annually. You can receive additional credit for backup warning systems.
  • LFR2: You can also receive credit for patrolling levee conditions on the ground or by air. Monitoring procedures must take place during flood conditions, and include patrol staffing assignments, patrol team activation, conditions to look for, methods of reporting, and plan to notify emergency managers. While this element is separate from 622.a, you should coordinate flood monitoring with the levee maintenance system.

To get credits for this element, you must include the flood recognition procedures in the levee failure warning and response plan.

Considerations

For all 620 elements: To get credit, you must have a designed and constructed levee that is operated and maintained by a public agency. You are also required to create a map with the elevation that the levee can be overtopped, the inundation area in the event of overtopping, an inventory of the buildings that could be impacted, and a list of critical facilities that could be impacted. This map can determine inundation areas through an engineering study or by identifying the areas lower than the overtopped elevation. In addition to these requirements, you must have a levee maintenance plan including annual inspections and an emergency action plan. Annual outreach projects to community members in the inundation area should also be implemented.

Documentation

For this element, provide:

  • Levee failure warning and response plan that includes labeled levee failure threat recognition procedures
  • An impact adjustment map showing the impacted areas

At annual recertification:

  • Records of the annual equipment test
  • A description of the annual exercise

Credit Calculation

Max: 30

Up to 10 credits can be awarded for monitoring flood conditions, with an additional 5 credits if monitoring flood conditions occurs along the levee (LFR1). Up to 15 credits can be awarded for monitoring levee conditions via patrol (LFR2). The impact adjustment for this element is calculated as follows:

Number of buildings in levee threat recognition area / Number of buildings impacted by levee failure

622.c
Levee failure warning (LFW)

Levee failures can result in catastrophic loss and, as such, an adequare failure warning system can both save lives and reduce damage.

Level of effort = high

Overview

Your community can receive credit for warning that are disseminated when a levee failure is expected to occur. This element is separate from 612.b Emergency warning dissemination (EWD), but you should coordinate these elements. It is also separate from 332.a Outreach Projects (OP), but you should coordinate with those messages as well.

Credits are awarded to communities for warning the public about expected flooding and for disseminating information about response actions. You must include the warning procedures in the levee failure warning and response plan. The warnings need to reach community members quickly and efficiently, and you should test specialized warning equipment annually.

Considerations

For all 620 elements: To get credit, you must have a designed and constructed levee that is operated and maintained by a public agency. You are also required to create a map with the elevation that the levee can be overtopped, the inundation area in the event of overtopping, an inventory of the buildings that could be impacted, and a list of critical facilities that could be impacted. This map can determine inundation areas through an engineering study or by identifying the areas lower than the overtopped elevation. In addition to these requirements, you must have a levee maintenance plan including annual inspections and an emergency action plan. Annual outreach projects to community members in the inundation area should also be implemented.

Documentation

For this element, provide:

  • The levee warning and response plan with labeled emergency warning procedures

At annual recertification:

  • Records of the annual equipment test
  • A description of the annual exercise

Credit Calculation

Max: 50

Communities get credit for the following:

LFW Element Credits
LFW1 - Including pre-scripted messages for specific incidents 5
LFW2 - Including information on flood elevation and evacuation 5
LFW3 - Using an outdoor voice or siren system 10
LFW4 - Identifying primary and support agencies for door-to-door warnings, OR 2
LFW4 - Identifying procedures and equipment for door-to-door warnings 10
LFW5 - Using pre-scripted messages over the Emergency Alert System 10
LFW6 - Using telephone warnings 10
LFW7 - Supplying schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and other critical facilities with NOAA Weather Radio receives and a backup for flood warnings 10

The impact adjustment for this element involves dividing the number of buildings in the warning area by the number of buildings that could be impacted by levee failure:

Number of buildings in levee warning area / Number of buildings impacted by levee failure

622.d
Levee failure response operations (LFO)

What operational procedures and resources do you have in place to respond in the event of a levee failure?

Level of effort = high

Overview

Your community can receive credit for levee failure response operations that include scenarios, responsibilities, specific instructions for special needs populations, and other needed resources. This is a separate element, but you should coordinate with the flood response operations plan and the levee maintenance emergency action plan. You must include levee failure response operations in the levee failure warning and response plan. You should also include levee protection operations (including sandbagging and limiting erosion) as well as community protection operations (including evacuation, traffic control, and shelters).

Considerations

For all 620 elements: To get credit, you must have a designed and constructed levee that is operated and maintained by a public agency. You are also required to create a map with the elevation that the levee can be overtopped, the inundation area in the event of overtopping, an inventory of the buildings that could be impacted, and a list of critical facilities that could be impacted. This map can determine inundation areas through an engineering study or by identifying the areas lower than the overtopped elevation. In addition to these requirements, you must have a levee maintenance plan including annual inspections and an emergency action plan. Annual outreach projects to community members in the inundation area should also be implemented.

Documentation

To document this element, you must provide:

  • The levee warning and response plan with labeled levee failure response operations

At annual recertification:

  • A description of the annual exercise

Credit Calculation

Max: 30

You can get credit for the following: | LFO Element | Credits | | ---------- | ---------- | | LFO1 - Developing overtopping scenarios | 10 | | LFO2 - Identifying actions and responsible offices and people | 10| | LFO3 - Maintaining a special needs database for evacuation | 5 | | LFO4 - Including a summary of the staff, equipment, supplies, and time for each action | 5 | | LFO4 - Identifying the sources of the resources | 5 |

The impact adjustment for this element is calculated using the following formula:

Number of buildings in levee failure response operations area / Number of buildings impacted by levee failure

622.e
Levee failure critical facilities planning (LCF)

You can receive credit for considering critical facilities in the levee failure response plan.

Level of effort = high

Overview

Critical facilities are especially vulnerable to levee failures and your community can receive additional CRS credits for considering them in your levee failure response plan. While this is a separate element from 612.d Critical facilities planning (CFP), you should coordinate these two plans. For this element, you must maintain an annually updated list of the critical facilities that could be impacted if a levee fails and contact the facilities to see if they require special warning arrangements. Additional credits are awarded for reviewing levee failure warning and response plans as a service for individual critical facilities.

Considerations

For all 620 elements: To get credit, you must have a designed and constructed levee that is operated and maintained by a public agency. You are also required to create a map with the elevation that the levee can be overtopped, the inundation area in the event of overtopping, an inventory of the buildings that could be impacted, and a list of critical facilities that could be impacted. This map can determine inundation areas through an engineering study or by identifying the areas lower than the overtopped elevation. In addition to these requirements, you must have a levee maintenance plan including annual inspections and an emergency action plan. Annual outreach projects to community members in the inundation area should also be implemented.

Documentation

For element credits, you must provide:

  • The list of impacted critical facilities, with those needing special warning arrangements and those with their own reviewed and accepted plans labeled
  • Contact information for the facility operators

At annual recertification:

  • A page from the list of critical facilities
  • The annual exercise and evaluation report

Credit Calculation

Max: 30

Up to 15 credits for a list of critical facilities (5 credits), contact information (5 credits), and warning arrangements (5 credits)(LCF1). Up to 15 credits for reviewing and accepting levee failure response plans for individual critical facilities (LCF2).

There is no impact adjustment for this element.

This CRS guide was produced by CRS professionals and Certified Floodplain Managers to help you navigate the Community Rating System. It is not meant to replace FEMA's official CRS Coordinator's Manual, nor should it supersede the instructions given by your ISO/CRS Specialist.

For additional resources, visit https://crsresources.org/ .