The Incident Management Division coordinates and controls the Sector response to emergent situations including search and rescue coordination, pollution incidents, marine casualties, terrorism, natural and terrorist disaster relief and mitigation, port contingencies, marine fire fighting, and marine transportation emergencies. The division also leads the Waterways Action Plan activities that govern commercial vessel operating conditions during periods of high and low water and during ice conditions.
Flood Response Management
Flooding generally occurs along the Western Rivers in late spring/early summer due to heavy rains and snow melt, and along the coasts during hurricane season from June through November. Seventy-five percent of all Presidential declared natural disasters are floods. The skill and experience of Sector Upper Mississippi River's members has been used for both coastal and river flooding, and has a history of responding to floods of national significance, such as The Great Flood of '93 and Hurricane Katrina.
Since the flood of 1993, all Western Rivers units have developed flood response capability in the form of Western River Flood Punts (WRFPs). Sector Lower Mississippi River has been deployed throughout the U.S., annually within the 8th districts. Recent successes include Hurricane Katrina where the WRFPs were instrumental in the rescue of over 13,000 lives. Hurricane Sandy where a WRFP team was deployed for response efforts after the hurricane caused massive flooding in the coastal towns along the New Jersey Shore. Torrential rainfall in September of 2014 required WRFP teams to respond and rescue over 70 people from flooded apartments and homes. A WRFP consists of active duty, reserve, and auxiliary personnel, and 3 flood boats. Sector Lower Mississippi River has 2 DARTs positioned in Memphis, TN for rapid response to State Emergency Operational Center (EOC) requests for assistance during flood disasters.
In order to maintain a high degree of cohesion, Sector Lower Mississippi River hosts an annual flood response training exercise for all local flood responders.
Safety tips for flash flood preparation:
Know what to expect:
- Know your area's flood risk-if unsure, call your local American Red Cross chapter, emergency
management office, or planning and zoning department.
- If it has been raining hard for several hours, or steadily raining for several days, be alert to the
possibility of flood.
- Listen to local radio and television stations for flood information.
- Floods can take several hours to days to develop. A flood watch means that a flood is possible in
- A flood warning means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon in your area.
- Flash floods can take only a few minutes to a few hours to develop.
When a flash flood watch is issued:
- Be alert to signs of flash flooding and be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice.
When a flash flood warning is issued:
- Or if you think a flash flood has already started, evacuate immediately. You may have only seconds
to escape. Act quickly!
- Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks, and storm drains. DO NOT drive around
barricades; the barricades are in place for your safety.
- If your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon your car immediately and climb to higher ground.