Advance Measures Program
Addressing flood impacts before there’s a flood
Under the Advance Measures Program, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) may provide assistance to non-federal governments, prior to flooding events, to protect life and property. There must be an imminent threat of unusual flooding from adverse conditions. This assistance is limited to those actions necessary to prevent or reduce impacts of floods that (1) pose a significant threat to life and/or public infrastructure, and, (2) the proposed assistance is beyond the capability of local interests and the State to perform in a timely manner. This assistance may be technical or direct.
What is an "imminent threat of unusual flooding"?
The imminent threat of unusual flooding from adverse conditions is a subjective determination that considers the potential for flooding to approach the flood of record, a catastrophic level of flooding, or a greater than 50-year level of flooding for a given location. Adverse conditions include, but are not limited to, record level snow packs, forest fire-burned areas, or the potential failure of a dam. The threat must be established either by the National Weather Service (NWS) or the Corps.
Limits to Advance Measures assistance
Corps emergency and/or disaster assistance is limited to the preservation of life, and public infrastructure. Further:
The threat must be established either by National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts or Corps determination.
Exclusive Direct Assistance to individual homeowners, property owners, or businesses is not permitted.
Exclusive Direct Assistance to a single public or publicly owned facility (e.g., a water treatment plant) is permitted.
All assistance is temporary in nature, must be technically feasible, designed to deal effectively with the specific threat, and capable of construction in time to prevent projected damages.
All projects must be economically feasible, with a favorable benefit-cost ratio (BCR) greater than 1.0 as the key factor.
Permanent work may be considered when it is significantly more cost effective than a temporary solution.
This provides technical review, advice, and/or recommendations to non-federal governments before an anticipated flood event. These are examples of Technical Assistance:
Inspecting existing flood-risk-management projects to identify potential problems and solutions.
Providing hydraulic, hydrologic and/or geotechnical analysis.
Providing information to non-federal governments for use in preparing local evacuation and/or contingency flood plans.
Providing assistance in the preparation of contingency flood plans.
This includes supplies, equipment, and/or contracting for the construction of temporary and/or permanent flood control projects. Direct Assistance may only be provided as part of an approved Advance Measures project, supplemental to state and local resources.
How to request Advance Measures assistance
Establish a threat. The threat must be established either by National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts or by Corps determination of unusual flooding from adverse conditions. The threat must be such that substantial damages will be incurred if preventive/protective action is not taken prior to the forecasted event.
Consider other authorities. Other Corps authorities must also be considered. If any other standing Corps authority is applicable, then Advance Measures will not be undertaken. The authorities of state and other federal agencies will also be considered, especially if the threat involves state or federal lands (e.g., hydrophobic soils due to wildfire).
Identify state and local efforts. Advance Measures assistance is in support of state and local ongoing or planned efforts. All activities will be coordinated with the State Emergency Management or tribe. Non-Federal interests must commit available resources (i.e., work force, supplies, equipment, funds, National Guard forces, etc.).
Request submission. The state submit a written request for assistance to the Commander of Seattle District, as noted below. The request must contain the following information:
o A description of the state and/or local efforts undertaken.
o A statement that the state has committed all available resources.
o The specific location(s) and type of assistance needed (if Direct Assistance, provide a scope of work).
o The name of the project sponsor.
o Additional commitments to be accomplished by the state.
Who requests Advance Measures assistance
Advance Measures requests always come from the state or tribe, as follows:
Direct Assistance requires a written request from the Governor or the tribal executive.
Technical Assistance may be requested by the State emergency management director or the tribal executive.
How to reach us
The Corps is unable to assist private home or property owners. They should contact their local government. Local or county governments can contact Seattle District for assistance by calling 206-764-3406.
When contacting us during an emergency, please be ready to discuss your current situation, your response operations and what support you need. Our staff is also available to answer questions prior to floods.