NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 27, 2017) – Members of the Tennessee Silver Jackets team recently joined emergency managers nationwide in a collective effort to discuss water management challenges and work on identifying possible solutions at the 2017 Interagency Flood Risk Management Workshop in St. Louis, Mo.
Lacey Thomason, professional engineer and Silver Jackets program manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District, said the members representing Tennessee participated in various flood risk management sessions at the Robert A. Young Federal Building Feb. 28 to March 3, 2017.
“We shared incite from our Post Disaster Guide (used by emergency managers responding to a disaster) and lessons learned from our own flooding experiences,” Thomason said. “The sessions benefitted the team by providing opportunities to learn about flood risk management initiatives and projects around the country that could possibly be implemented in Tennessee.”
Topics at the workshop included change and adaptation, making tough decisions before and after a disaster, science and technology innovation, adapting to changing landscapes and environments, integrating natural features with solutions, building effective outreach programs, and participants participated in various hands-on sessions and networking opportunities.
The Tennessee Silver Jackets members in attendance were Richard Flood and Kristen Martinenza, U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency Region IV; Glenn Carrin, National Weather Service at Morristown, Tenn.; Roger Lindsey, Metro Nashville Water Services; and Shawn Phillips, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Memphis District.
Thomason said a huge benefit of the sessions is that everyone had the chance to build professional connections and to discuss flood risk management topics with counterparts from other states.
Carrin said from the National Weather Service perspective, he found the briefings on technology innovations, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging, a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges) and green strategies helpful. He said the burn scar presentation proved especially relevant because of the recent fires in Gatlinburg, Tenn. Overall, the conference helped the Silver Jackets team to coordinate and work together in preparation for emergencies, he added.
“It produces acquaintances and familiarity, opportunity to interact face to face, and is helpful for Silver Jackets to better achieve their service goals,” Carrin said.
The plenary sessions and certain breakout sessions that pertained to the middle Mississippi Valley were of interest to Phillips as the Memphis District representative.
“Within my region, the advantage I see is meeting other professionals from local, state, and other federal groups who we may have to work with in the event of an emergency,” Phillips said. “At least we’d know and exchange some information with these other people prior to meeting during an emergency.”
Silver Jackets programs are developed at the state level. The collaboration with local, state and federal agencies facilitates flood risk reduction, coordinates programs, promotes cohesive solutions, synchronizes plans and policies, and ultimately provides integrated solutions.
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)