How The Cumberland River Reservoir System Works

Emergency Management PyramidEmergency Management

Every United State’s citizen is an essential member of the National Emergency Management System. This system is intended to protect people and property from all types of disasters. Viewed as a pyramid, the system begins with individual households that then play larger combined roles within neighborhoods, local communities, the state, and finally the national government.

When a governor declares a “state of emergency,” state emergency management agencies such as TEMA and KYEM are deployed.  These agencies ensure that supplemental resources such as funding, manpower, equipment, and aid close the gap between what is needed and what is available at the local level.


Nashville District Emergency Operations, Kaye Steed working as the Corp’s liaison at TEMA Headquarters in Nashville, Tenn.
Kaye Steed works at TEMA.

The final tier of the pyramid is the federal government. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Emergency Management Teams along with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies provide resources to augment state and local efforts. In this region, the Nashville District’s Emergency Management Team provides support such as sand bags and equipment, temporary roofing, power supply, and debris removal.

Shared and active participation by all tiers within the pyramid is critical to the achievement of the overall goal of flood risk reduction. However, flooding can only be reduced, not prevented.