The Silver Jackets programs brings multiple federal agencies together to work with state, local, and tribal partners to help them better prepare for natural disasters and reduce flood risks. The goal of the program is to help create a state-led interagency team that can leverage multiple different programs and develop more holistic solutions. Common participating agencies include hazard mitigation, emergency management, floodplain management, natural resources management. Federal agencies often include the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Weather Service, and the US Geological Service.
The Silver Jackets program helps states coordinate flood risk reduction and disaster response activities. It also helps bring technical assistance and financial resources to support these activities in states. Silver Jackets programs have help states develop flood vulnerability studies, response plans, and other post-disaster recovery solutions.
For example, the D.C. Silver Jackets program is helping the District assess how flood risks will be exacerbated by climate change along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, looking at both riverine as well as tidal flooding. The data will be further leveraged by the District as part of a comprehensive risk analysis initiative to inform preparedness, flood mitigation strategy and emergency management plans and operations. Flood depths will be used to estimate physical, economic and social impacts, including future risk attributed to sea-level rise. The maps are now live on the National Weather Service’s web site.
The term "Silver Jackets" is based upon the color of jackets that federal emergency responders wear. The color silver is intended to symbolize a combination of the colors to underscore the organizations mission to provide a single team of diverse agencies working toward a common goal.
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