California Silver Jackets

The California Silver Jackets team brings together federal, state, and regional/local agencies to focus on the State's priorities for flood risk management. The program is led by the California Department of Water Resources (CA DWR) and empowered and supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). A formal team charter was signed in September 2016. More information on the California Silver Jackets team accomplishments can be found HERE.


The California Silver Jackets will reduce flood risk in California through increased communication, coordination, collaboration, and cooperation among federal, state, and local agencies.


To establish an interagency approach for sharing knowledge and leverage agency resources to plan and recommend the implementation of measures that will reduce risk to communities affected by flood hazard events.

To establish an inter-agency working group with federal, state, and local agencies that will:

  • Enable the effective and efficient sharing of information.
  • Identify and promote the leveraging and coordination of available agency resources.
  • Promote flood hazard risk education and information dissemination throughout the state of California.
  • Identify barriers that may impact flood risk management and then work to eliminate barriers.
  • Build on existing efforts that could serve as a foundation for future actions.
  • Focus on the life-cycle of floods: emergency response, recovery, mitigation and risk planning aspects.


  • Reduce flood risk using an integrated water management approach to structural and non structural solutions that enhances public safety, promotes environmental stewardship, and fosters economic stability.
  • Ensure continuous planning, mitigation, response and recovery collaboration.
  • Provide a forum for examining the full spectrum of flood risk management solutions, including non-structural solutions.
  • Learn about federal, state, and local programs related to flood risk management. Identify limitations and opportunities, roles and responsibilities, and potential for program collaboration to create integrated, comprehensive and sustainable solutions. Minimize duplication of effort and ensure consistency.
  • Create a multi-agency technical resource team for state and local agencies.
  • Understand the link between state and local hazard mitigation plans and actions.
  • Provide a central resource of coordination with federal, state, and local agencies and to transfer successful strategies to others not part of the CA Silver Jackets team.
  • Collaboratively develop and deliver unified flood risk outreach, using common vocabulary and messages to educate the public and advise local governments about flood risk, while acknowledging that there are regional and cultural differences.
  • Improve internal and external flood risk communication.
  • Identify and facilitate improvements to existing programs, policies and processes.
  • Discuss and share information on past, present and future initiatives.

We Did It! 2020 Watershed University Virtual Summit

Watershed University

The summit took place Tuesday, April 21 - Wednesday, April 22, 2020. It was a virtual forum for discussion on flood and related hazards pertinent to the southern California region and beyond. Recordings are available here.

Current Projects

California Emerging Professionals Flood Risk Education and Outreach

The California Emerging Professionals Flood Risk Education and Outreach project supports outreach efforts targeted at educating floodplain management and emergency management professionals who are looking for opportunities to strengthen both hard and soft skillsets as it relates to their position, improving their ability to reduce flood risk across CA by building local capacity, increasing awareness and encouraging a vision of flood resiliency. This effort includes support to the 2022 Watershed University Summit, support to California Flood Preparedness Week, and additional workshops specifically designed for emerging professionals.

Flood After Fire California Toolkit

The Flood After Fire California Toolkit is a collection of tools, methods, and other resources – grouped into chronologically distinct periods of a flood after fire response timeline – to help assess the risks associated with flooding and debris flow after a fire. It includes appendices and case studies.

Flood After Fire California Toolkit Resources

Multi-Hazard Disaster Outreach, Awareness, and Education

This proposal supports outreach efforts targeted at educating other agencies, government officials, community leaders, and the general public on the risks associated with flooding, flood after fire, and dam safety in California. The need to communicate dam safety topics, including the understanding of inundation maps, has become increasingly important. California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) will lead the efforts at communicating California's flood and other related risks.

Initiatives under the project may include:

  • Watershed University
  • California Flood Preparedness Week
  • High Water Mark sign initiatives
  • Events at children's museums and science centers, and county, state and local fairs
  • Other flood and emergency preparedness events.

A new effort under this project proposal may be to increase assistance provided to local jurisdictions to better understand FEMA's Community Rating System (CRS) and how they can raise their rating.

Emergency Response Functional Exercise

This proposal will build upon an earlier (2017) table top exercise which featured the Civil Air Patrol (CAP), DWR's Flood Operations Center teams, the National Weather Service, and other partners. This proposal will address communication challenges identified during recent high water events. The outcome of the functional exercise will strengthen the emergency response communication and coordination, particularly using CAP real-time data and photos during a large scale regional disaster to aid the immediate decision-making for the emergency response effort.

past Projects

Channel Capacity Atlas for Areas Affected by Subsidence Along the Upper San Joaquin River

An educational storymap focused on explaining what subsidence is, where it occurs, and presenting results from the previous Upper San Joaquin River flood system analysis has been created by the California Silver Jackets team. This was a collaborative effort between the California Department of Water Resources, USACE Sacramento District, U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Reclamation, and FEMA.

A previous effort analyzed and compared 2008 and 2016 levee elevation datasets to determine the amount of subsidence that occurred during that timeframe and then projected subsidence rates that would occur by 2026. This information was subsequently compiled and simplified to create a comprehensive educational resource on subsidence occurring along the Upper San Joaquin River to inform levee operators/owners, agencies, and the public.

Storymap link

More Recent Projects

Some recent successful projects in California Silver Jackets include (but are not limited to):

  • Communicating California’s Flood Risk
  • Tribal Flood Risk Management Workshops
  • California Flood After Fire Support Tools
  • Delta Flood Frequencies