Living with Dams: Know Your Risks

Our nation’s dams provide drinking water, power, flood control, recreation and many other benefits. But dams can also pose significant risks to people living downstream should they fail.

There are dams in every U.S state. It is important that you know if you and your loved ones and property may be affected by the presence of a dam and what to do if you are.

If you are a dam owner, dam safety official, lawmaker or concerned citizen, it is important to know what the risks are caused by the presence of a dam. It is equally important to know how to reduce those risks and to understand how extreme rainfall events affect the risk of dam failure.

These e-booklets were created to help answer questions about dams: what purposes they serve, what risks are associated with dams and where you can get information about how to react if you are affected by a dam.

These two e-booklets were prepared by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO). The “Know Your Risks” booklet was supported by a grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).