New Mexico Silver Jackets

The New Mexico Silver Jackets, a Natural Hazard  Mitigation Team, signed its guidance document in 2010. 

Vision Statement: The vision of the New Mexico Silver Jackets is to increase efficiency and coordination between the State, Tribal and Federal governments in developing comprehensive and sustainable solutions to flood risk assessment and management in the State of  New Mexico, while serving as catalyst in the development of comprehensive and sustainable solutions to flood hazard issues, including mitigation planning, flood hazard mapping, risk reduction activities,, response and recovery planning.


The Steering Committee will work with other State, Tribal and Federal agencies to:

  • Enable effective and efficient sharing of information
  • Foster the leveraging of available agency resources
  • Reinforce risk communication to all residents and stakeholders
  • Focus outreach efforts on the local, Tribal, State and Federal level to ensure the message of flood risk management reaches the entire State and all Tribal entities located in the State of New Mexico
  • Support the FEMA Region 6 disaster response and recovery efforts to include post-disaster reconnaissance and development of mitigation strategies


  • Ensure continuous collaboration for flood mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.
  • Provide a forum for examining all type of solutions for flood risk management.
  • Document and share information on current and future assessments, projects and initiatives (non-structural and structural).
  • Conduct studies utilizing multi-agency technical resources in geospatial data and models.
  • Identify risk communication opportunities and gaps.
  • Combine resources to minimize duplication of effort by learning to combine programs to create integrated, comprehensive and sustainable solutions.
  • Coordinate and streamline collaborative efforts such as Hazard Mitigation Planning) with technical assistance.
  • Improve risk communication and outreach, present a unified inter-governmental message, and promote successful best practices for flood risk reduction.
  • Develop a catalog of flood chronology.
  • Respect and take into acfount the effects of unwise land use on the overall health of natural wetlands.
Team Activities

Current Projects

Detailed Floodplain Mapping for the Village of Ruidoso, NM

This effort will provide detailed and updated floodplain mapping for the Village of Ruidoso in southern NM, a co-priority for the NM Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM). The current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) was developed in 2011. Since then, hydrographic features of the Village of Ruidoso have changed significantly. The previously developed FIRMs no longer represent the actual flooding in the area and several urban areas are regularly undergoing flooding problems. In addition to the Village, partners include USACE, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and DHSEM. Regulatory floodplain maps will be developed using a vast database of existing data collected by the Village and the State. The Village plans to submit a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) after the model and maps are completed.

New Mexico Dam Risk Assessment Standard Operating Procedure

The collaborative effort will develop a comprehensive Risk Assessment Plan and Standard Operating Procedure for locally owned dams in the State’s Jurisdictional Dam Portfolio. This effort will bring together federal, state, and local partners, using the Las Cruces Dam owners and operators as the pilot team. The State is interested in potential applying this plan to all dams in the Portfolio and to justify   funding local dam owners to conduct assessments in the future. If adopted, the plan will be applied across the State's Dam Safety Bureau Portfolio, which includes almost 300 local dams, 175 of which are currently considered "high hazard".

Other Activities

Flood Plain Management Plans

Floodplain management plans were created for the Pueblo of Tesuque, Ohkay Owingeh, the Upper Rio Grande Watershed District. The plans evaluate existing drainage conditions and seek to provide a generalized set of recommendations to support flood risk reduction along multiple roadways, residential and agricultural areas.

Community Outreach

  • Sand-bag training led by SPA Office of Emergency Management at Mescalero Apache Pueblo. The training focuses primarily on teaching community members proper sandbag filling techniques and applications.
  • Approximately 200 ‘Turn Around Don’t Drown Signs’ were distributed to counties around New Mexico.
For More Information Contact

Email, 505-342-3348


Participating Agencies

Federal Partners

State Partners

  • Earth Data Analysis Center – The University of New Mexico
  • Mid-Region Council of Governments
  • New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department - Forestry Division
  • New Mexico Geospatial Advisory Committee
  • New Mexico Office of the State Engineer
    • Dam Safety Bureau
  • New Mexico State Land Office


  • Dona Ana Flood Control Commission
  • Dona Anna County
  • Elephant Butte Irrigation District
  • Sandoval County
  • Upper Rio Grande Watershed Districts