National Dam Safety Awareness Day
Observed each year on May 31, National Dam Safety Awareness Day commemorates the tragic failure of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1889, which took more than 2,200 lives and was the worst dam failure in the history of the United States. Founded and sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Dam Safety Awareness Day seeks to encourage and promote individual and community responsibility and best practices for dam safety, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent future catastrophic dam failures.
The Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management encourages and promotes individual and community responsibility and best practices for dam safety, and strives to highlight the steps people can take to prevent future catastrophic dam failures or lessen the impact of a potential failure. Dams are a vital part of the American infrastructure and provide economic, environmental, and social benefits. Anyone who has enjoyed an artificial lake knows some of these social benefits firsthand. The benefits of dams, however, can be countered by the risks they sometimes present. The failure of even a small dam is capable of causing significant property and environmental damage, as well as the loss of life. Be alert for the warning signs of rising water:
· Increased or changed wildlife activity
· Louder sound of rushing water
· Previously exposed rocks or snags are covered with water
· Clear water quickly becomes cloudy
· Suddenly faster water currents
Visit www.fema.gov/protecting-our-communities/dam-safety today to find out information on national dam safety.