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Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team

The Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team (KHMT), under joint leadership of the state’s Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources and the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, is the long-standing entity managing participation in state-level hazard mitigation. 

As the KHMT has existed longer than the inception of Silver Jackets and has many of the same objectives, the state has chosen to not stand up a separate “Silver Jackets” group under a different name. The Army Corps’ District Silver Jackets coordinators participate on the KHMT.

Top Three Team Priorities

  1. Maintain State Hazard Mitigation Plan Updates
  2. Prioritize mitigation actions across KS
  3. Provide technical assistance for emergency managers in maintaining local hazard mitigation plans.

 

The team is interested in

  • Alternative mitigation actions
  • Strategies for doing mitigation actions

 

On August 21, 2012, peer state hazard mitigation programs selected the KHMT as the 2011 State Silver Jackets Team of the Year. This is the quote on the award plaque:

“The KHMT exemplifies many of the goals of the Silver Jackets Program. Prior to incorporation of the full range of Silver Jackets partners, the KHMT was already a successful hazard mitigation program. Since additional Silver Jackets partners began attending, significant momentum in facilitation with other federal agencies has been gained. The team is completing a Pilot Project to enable a community to provide pre-emptive warnings and predictive flood modeling and forecasting. Community partners will implement the floodplain management plan, including funding and maintaining the gage network. The project has contributed to a greater understanding of integrating the various agency missions. In addition, implementation of FEMA’s Risk MAP program, revision to the State Hazard Mitigation Plan, local mitigation plans, local flood management plans, and participation in the Community Rating System are all enhanced by the work of the KHMT. Their significant contributions reflect great credit upon themselves, the great State of Kansas, and our shared Silver Jackets Program.”

Team Activities

New Interagency Nonstructural Projects!

For the Fiscal Year beginning in October (FY 2018), a helpful amount of funding has come to the Kansas team: Over $300,000. Kansas City District has four new projects (listed below).

-Repetitive Loss Update. The Division of Water Resources will receive technical help in updating a database where repetitive losses have occurred in communities participating in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.

-Recurring Flood Area Identification and Outreach. The project is a partnership between the KDA Division of Water Resources, the NOAA National Weather Service, USACE, FEMA's Community Engagement and Risk Communication initiative, and other agencies. DWR is developing a shared database and a web mapping tool. The database helps enhance flood forecasts for areas sensitive to flood hazards. Data stored includes flood information, weather, climate, river forecasting, and emergency contacts lists. The USACE staff will provide follow up technical assistance on flood risk management.

Communities may report points three ways to the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team.

  1. Geographically, using a web tool supported by DWR: Flood Area ID Web Map
  2. Communities can also mail information to 6531 SE Forbes Ave. Ste. B Topeka, KS 66619  by August 31.
  3. Or look to DWR staff to assist. Communities can expect a letter with an email and phone number, this summer.

The project is also assisting in bringing NOAA NWS Turn Around Don't Drown signs to communities that apply.

-High Water Mark Signs. This project aims to provide about 40 signs to applying communities. The signs provide a historic story and picture of flooding in the community and raise awareness on flood risk management actions by community, state, and federal partners. Signs are created for free, while the communities handle the cost of placing on a post or structure. Partners include the Division of Water Resources and the Kansas Historical Society. Apply with this form (pdf, 358 KB) and email to this address. Apply by September 30, 2018.

-Manhattan Levee Safety. The project will conduct a tabletop exercise that helps identifies needed enhancements to managing flood risks. Focus will include the floodplain management plan, and actions taken include enhancing the city's emergency action plan, as well as communication processes.

-Salina Levee Safety. The project will conduct a tabletop exercise that helps identifies needed enhancements to managing flood risks. Focus will include the actions to identify evacuation routes and enhance the city's emergency action plan.

Meeting Minutes

Below are meetings recent meetings. Contact KDEM or KDA DWR for other meetings.

September 2017

December 2017

Salina Levee Safety

The goal of this project is to support USACE outreach initiatives for the Levee Safety Program. For background, the USACE’s national Levee Safety Program has established a risk portfolio that consistently approaches the risk assessment, risk communication, and the way forward to risk management in the shared responsibility of using levees to reduce the risk of flooding. The first initiative is about the USACE Civil Works director’s memo about Placing Levee Systems in a Risk Context, Emphasis on Communication and Sponsor Engagement. The second is tactical support of the interagency implementation of specific actions identified in each USACE district’s Communication and Sponsor Engagement Strategy, through the Silver Jackets Program. These projects fund USACE costs for the involvement to mitigate risk using Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (FCCE) authority.

On March 8, 2018, the Kansas City District, in cooperation with the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team, KDA Division of Water Resources, KS Department of Emergency Management, Saline County Emergency Management, and City of Salina, KS, conducted a tabletop exercise. About 90 people from local, state, federal governments, as well as nongovernmental organizations (Red Cross, Salvation Army, hospitals, etc.) participated. The objectives include promoting awareness of Salina-area flood risk, simulating emergency response activities and interactions, and identifying potential areas for improvement.  USACE also tied in the risk associated with Kanapolis Dam overtopping and potential downstream impacts.

The project is a success for several reasons. First, the county emergency manager well planned and facilitated the tabletop exercise. The high level of involvement has already raised awareness, given the 90 attendees but because a good article appeared in the Salina Journal. The USACE engineers used a number of tools to develop a realistic scenario. The exercise involved a diverse cross-section of disciplines, ranging from operations, engineering, public works, city elected officials, first responders, and public information staff. Finally, the group had several chances during the 8-hour exercise to reflect on what was learned. A key take-away was that perspective changed: At the beginning one staff member said they did not need a plan to tell them what to do, because they know each other. Their realization is that they have much yet to do.

As with many of the levee sponsors, they are all starting to see the gap that must be addressed to do flood risk management. Some must more clearly explain needed actions, designate a place for debris, establish an internal communication plan, explain risk to the public, relocate critical infrastructure (especially communications centers), or write predetermined messages tied to specific triggers. A central focus for many levee sponsors is going to be the quality of their emergency action plan (EAP), especially with including specifics for evacuations. USACE will not be preparing these for levee sponsors but has much to offer in technical expertise and resources. For more on how to enhance a community’s EAP, see “A Guide To Public Alerts and Warnings for Dam and Levee Emergencies (pdf, 2.2MB),” prepared by Drs. Mileti and Sorensen for USACE.

Nonstructural Assessment for Florence, KS

A nonstructural assessment will provide useful technical information to the city, county, and state hazard mitigation planners. In 2017, the Corps of Engineers did land surveys of over 300 structures, mostly residential. Planners and economists will look a the feasibility of nonstructural measures, possibly elevating to a height above flood elevations, and possibly flood proofing or relocation. Results will be shared with the community to help decide on agreeable paths forward and maybe pave the way for hazard mitigation funding assistance. 

Expedited Flood Assessment in the Little Apple

Manhattan, Kansas, also known as “the Little Apple”, has been struggling with a significant flood problem that impacts approximately 250 residential structures located along the Big Blue River and Wildcat Creek.  The city is revising two floodplain management plans to determine how to best address the flooding for areas not provided with a high level of risk reduction from structural measures, such as the Tuttle Creek Dam and the Manhattan Federal Levee.

Continue reading

Floodplain Leader Course, Kansas and Missouri

In fall of 2016 this project was selected.  The goal is to establish a flood hazard mitigation training course that would ultimately be located at any regional planning council.

The Kansas and Missouri teams both wish to boost understanding of flood mitigation projects by those that do community floodplain administration. The product is, at this time, only a document outlining a course meeting once a week for about a month for floodplain administrators.  Topics like risk analysis, public engagement in risk communication, resilience, climate change and nonstructural measures are possibilities.  Topics that go beyond normal regulatory subject matter.  The course will sharpen skill sets and make floodplain managers into leaders.  Various agencies will be able to provide guest speakers for the flood hazard mitigation topics.  

The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) is willing to provide an initial home for the course, if enough interest is found from the communities in their area of support.  The development of a curriculum will be based on interagency feedback.  Some regional planning councils already have a government training institute, similar to MARC's, and the intent of this project is to use those as leverage.  The course is suggested to meet over five weeks, every Friday (perhaps) for three or four hours.  The regional planning councils would determine a fee later, as well as do capacity building on a final curriculum and funding.   

The Kansas and Missouri teams are working to boost understanding how floodplain managers can do flood mitigation. The product of this project is intended to be a document outlining a training course.  This course would meet once a week for about a month for about 3 hours.  The intent is for the course to be hosted at existing government training institutes, such as those hosted at some regional planning councils.  Topics like risk analysis, resilience, climate change and nonstructural measures will be presented, and these topics will go beyond normal regulatory topics.  The course will sharpen skill sets and make floodplain managers, leaders.

Floodplain Course poster for USACE Flood Risk Management Conference (pdf, 406 KB)

Multiple Agencies Collaborate on Wildcat Creek, Kansas

A Silver Jackets pilot project on Wildcat Creek in and near the City of Manhattan, Kansas, demonstrates the advantages of leveraging resources and collaborating on a shared vision for a flood risk management solution. Wildcat Creek had severe flooding in 2007, 2010, and again in June 2011. The 2011 event resulted in the evacuation of over 200 people. Future flooding in the 100 square mile watershed is inevitable and could get worse unless mitigation action occurs. The project established a flood forecast inundation map in a partnership with NOAA National Weather Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team. The city also was a partner, paying a one time fee for the flood forecast inundation map, but their staff worked hard to establish a floodplain management plan, as well.

Continue reading

Flood Forecast Inundation Maps Assist Public in Rossville, Kansas

Building on the success of the interagency Wildcat Creek pilot, flood forecast inundation maps were produced for Rossville, Kansas. The project takes advantage of state-of-the-art two dimensional modeling results to most effectively describe the flood hazard from Cross Creek upstream of the Kansas River. The Cross Creek National Weather Service web page is here. The project is a partnership with the KDEM, KDA DWR, and the federal partners, NOAA National Weather Service, the Corps of Engineers, and U.S. Geological Survey.

Missouri River Flood Inundation Maps Demonstrate Interstate Cooperation 

Silver Jackets pilot funding brought together the local communities in collaboration with both the State Risk Management Team in Missouri and the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team. The pilot developed a prototype flood forecast inundation map for discrete elevation levels to convey flood risks to communities between Parkville, Missouri and Leavenworth, Kansas. The prototype created a visual representation for when levees overtop and leveed areas will flood. In addition to interagency contributions to developing the inundation map, stakeholders from Ponca City, Nebraska to the river's mouth in St. Louis, Missouri, including Silver Jackets teams, state agencies, counties, cities, and levee owners provided input. The map is available here, courtesy of the National Weather Service, Advance Hydrologic Prediction Service.

Big Blue and Kansas Rivers' Confluence Actions for Flood Risk Management

This interagency project is improving flood hazard awareness in the Big Blue River Watershed. The project will complete a floodplain management plan (FMP) (pdf, 3.45 MB) for the community for this major river to assist communities in managing flood hazards along the Big Blue River. Concurrent with the Floodplain Management Plan, agencies have developed this flood forecast inundation map through the National Weather Service at the existing gage on the Big Blue River. The city web site, Know Your Flood Risk, presents the officially adopted floodplain management plan and the flood forecast inundation map.

A public meeting was held on the nonstructural measures for the property owners, and a breakout session during the meeting used several different diorama models (pdf, 1.00 MB) along with newly found flood depths from FEMA map revisions. The owners provided feedback on these measures and which ones they would like to pursue.

Nonstructural Assessment for Kansas' Little Apple

This project to a close look at 50 of the 250 structures with significant flood risks.  The work employeed the USACE National Nonstructural Flood Proofing Committee and their tools.  The project was essentially a first look into applying flood proofing and home elevations.  Products include a first order screening (using the NFPC Matrix), a detailed cost estimate using the NFPC cost estimating software, and an economic analysis.  The final results are being used by the State of Kansas to help inform their application to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development's (HUD) National Disaster Resiliency Competition (NDRC) Phase II.  The information will also be helpful in public meetings with individual property owners, so they can understand the opportunities to reduce their flood risks. 

The Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team submitted an application to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development grant called the National Disaster Resiliency Competition on October 27, 2015.  The work on the Little Apple nonstructural assessment, as well as the Big Blue and the Wildcat Creek projects, noted above.  A link to the State of Kansas application is below:

http://agriculture.ks.gov/divisions-programs/dwr/floodplain/hud-grant

Little Apple poster for USACE Flood Risk Management Conference (pdf, 0.98 MB)

NFPC Inventory of Structure Data, spreadsheet table (xlsx, 53.0 KB)

Emergency Action Plans for Kansas Watershed Joint Districts 

This interagency project provides emergency action plans (EAPs) to conservation districts in Kansas that have made requests to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Kansas, and the Division of Water Resources dam structure program for assistance in completing the plans.  These EAPs serve to reduce risk by providing actions and information to dam operators in the case of an emergency, including calling-trees, warning messages, and evacuation routes.  USACE is providing technical expertise to complete these badly needed EAPs.  The dam operators will be engaged in the process and will implement these plans to help Kansas drive down flood risks.  Be ten and twenty dam sites will receive assistance, and the work is shared between areas of responsibility in USACE's Kansas City District and Tulsa Disctrict. 

EAPs for KS poster for USACE Flood Risk Management Conference (pdf, 529 KB)

For More Information Contact

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Kansas City District, Email, 816-389-3337.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Tulsa District, 918-669-7022.

State

Kansas Event Calendar

Dec11
Dec18

 

Full Calendar

Corps of Engineers and KHMT

Several relevant U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Civil Works programs overlap with the Kansas Hazard Mitigation Team, or KHMT.

Silver Jackets. This is the USACE Civil Works program enabling participation in the KHMT. Some of the states use the name Silver Jackets, however, many of the teams have existed longer than the inception of Silver Jackets around 2009. The Lead Silver Jackets Coordinator for Kansas directly participates on the KHMT, representing all the USACE districts within the state at the team’s regular meetings. Each district also has a Silver Jacket Coordinator. The lead coordinator provides regular status updates, available on request. The status updates provide detail information on active USACE projects and programs, including specific project information that is useful during the FEMA Risk MAP Discovery Phases. The Silver Jackets Coordinators will participate in the FEMA Risk MAP Resiliency Meeting.

Levee Safety Program. The KHMT gets periodic updates on this USACE Civil Works program. Note the USACE is not responsible for all levees in the Nation, and the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources already has an active levee program. The USACE Levee Safety Program activities have complemented KHMT work and have included establishing a National Levee Database, inspecting levees, communicating risks, taking steps to reduce risks, and establishing a levee safety portfolio internally at USACE for prioritizing levee work.

Dam Safety Program. This USACE program complements the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources work with state dams. The USACE Dam Safety Program focuses on the large reservoirs, many of which are multipurpose. Reservoirs act together with levees and other infrastructure to reduce impacts of floods, and the reservoirs may also maintain flows for navigation downstream. The program is a little older than the program on levee safety and also has a risk portfolio for prioritizing dam work.

Emergency Management. This USACE Civil Works program addresses flood fighting and the rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure, such as levees or dams. In addition, major disasters and emergencies are also coordinated through this program.

Missouri River Basin Water Management. The flows of the Missouri River are managed by the USACE Northwestern Division. Eight authorized purposes must be addressed, including flood risk management. Flows from the Kansas River are part of the Missouri River Basin, and the Kansas City District Water Management handles this. In southern Kansas, the Tulsa District does water control for Arkansas River as part of the USACE Southwestern Division. The Water Management staff manages the following reservoirs: Big Hill, Council Grove, El Dorado, Elk City, Fall River, John Redmond, Marion, and Toronto lake projects.

Flood Risk Management Projects. The USACE Civil Works program has planning studies, projects under design phase, and some in construction in the State of Kansas. Those in the Arkansas River Basin are managed by the Tulsa District. Those in the Kansas River Basin are part of the Kansas City District.

Floodplain Management Services. The USACE offers assistance in questions about floodplains through the "Flood Plain Management Services Program." For those in the Arkansas River Basin, contact the Tulsa District at 918-669-7196. Those in the Kansas River Basin need to contact the Kansas City District program manager at 816-389-2365.

Participating Agencies

Federal

State

  • Adjutant General Department
  • Kansas Department of Agriculture
  • Kansas Department of Commerce and Housing
  • Kansas Department of Health and Environment
  • Kansas Department of Transportation
  • Kansas Legislative Research Department
  • Kansas Historical Society
  • Kansas Water Office
  • Kansas Wildlife and Parks
  • Kansas Biological Survey
  • Kansas Corporation Commission
  • Kansas Department of Administration
  • Kansas Department of Education
  • Kansas Department of Human Resources
  • Kansas Department on Aging
  • Kansas Forest Service
  • Kansas Geological Survey
  • Kansas Highway Patrol
  • Kansas Insurance Department
  • Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office
  • State Conservation Commission

Private parties or non-governmental organizations

  • AMEC (involved with FEMA work)
  • Kansas League of Municipalities
  • Kansas Association of Conservation Districts
  • Kansas Association of Counties
  • Kansas Rural Water Association
  • State Association of Kansas Watersheds
  • Kansas Association for Floodplain Management (KAFM)

Related Links

Useful Information

Flood forecast inundation maps done for the team in Kansas.


Past documents and presentations used with the team.