West Virginia Silver Jackets

The West Virginia (WV) CoP is lead by the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (Charter signed June of 2013). Other partners include the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the National Weather Service (NWS), the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP), the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WV DOT), and the West Virginia Floodplain Management Association (WVFMA).

Flood risk management issues are submitted by Local, State, and Federal entities (i.e. Mayors, FPM's, Planning Councils, FEMA, USGS, NOAA, etc., using the number and email below. They are received by the Huntington District's Flood Plain Management Services (FPMS) team. The individual placing the call/email will be assigned as the designated "Champion" for the specific need. A Huntington District liaison will contact the Champion and collect a description of the need, perceived benefits of the solution, and other related details for record. Through this collection process, "needs" will be identified and evaluated by the State liaison for prioritization and coordination with the West Virginia Silver Jackets Community of Practice (CoP). In this manner, a CoP will be established focusing on flood risk reduction for the State of West Virginia. This process will also allow for an upward method of reporting that aligns itself with national goals.

The Silver Jackets team has yet to establish a regular review process to prioritize State needs. However, the State and FEMA have established a robust "Data Governance" process that integrates State Flood Risk Management activities at Regional Planning and Development Centers. Currently there is a deliberate effort by the Huntington District Corps of Engineers to become more familiar with the States Response and Recovery process so that our Mitigation and Preparedness efforts can become an enhance multi-agency activity supporting the entire National Flood Risk Management Program.

In addition to maintaining a list of needs, the West Virginia Silver Jackets CoP also solicits opportunities. Opportunities are submitted in the same manner as the needs and the person submitting them also becomes a "Champion". An opportunity is a project where multi-agency needs can become aligned. Under both needs and opportunities, resources will be leveraged across multiple agencies in order to effectively and efficiently address problems and implement sustainable solutions. Overall, the list of needs and opportunities will allow for identifying overlapping agency interests and actively aligning goals, resources, and technical expertise.