Significant Hydrologic Events

What constitutes a significant event?

A hydrologic event is significant when it may be featured on the national news, or results in a fatality or fatalities, numerous injuries, or major damage.

Who needs to be notified?

The warning program is the primary duty for an office during a significant event. As soon as the higher priority warning activities will permit, the WFO or RFC should notify the appropriate Regional Headquarters. The following individuals should be notified if the below hydrologic circumstances occur in the HSA/CWA, and are significant.

( HSD Call when significant hydrologic events include - Floods; inland oil/dangerous substance/toxic chemical spills which affect lakes, rivers, and waterways. Damage to, or potential failure of a major hydrologic structure/control (dams, etc.).

( MSD Call when significant hydrologic events include - Flash Floods.

If a significant event takes place during regular business hours, contact the appropriate division at your respective Regional Headquarters. The appropriate MIC of the State Liaison Office (SLO) should also be notified.

For WFO hydrologic related events such as flood, inland oil/dangerous substance/toxic chemical spills which affect lakes, rivers, and waterways, damage to, or potential failure of a major hydrologic structure/control (dams, etc.), the WFO should contact the individuals listed below (in the order given):

w WFO Hydro Program Manager

w Deputy Chief, HSD

w Chief, HSD

w Field Support Hydrologist

For RFC hydrologic related events such as RFC evacuations, or backup situations, dam failures covering more than one hydrologic service area for which RFCs provide support, the RFC should contact the individuals listed below (in the order given):

w Deputy Chief, HSD

w WFO Hydro Program Manager

w Chief, HSD

w Field Support Hydrologist

Flash flood events are usually associated with severe thunderstorm events, and thus MSD should be contacted for significant flash flood events. WFOs should contact the following individuals (in the order given) for significant flash flood events:

w MSD Chief

w Deputy MSD Chief

*If the above individuals cannot be reached, the Deputy Regional Director or the Regional Director can be contacted.

What information needs to be relayed to Regional Headquarters?

Regional Headquarters will need to obtain certain information about a significant event. Provide as much of the below information as possible, and other details can follow when they are available.


What information/documents need to be kept?

v E-5s

v E-3s

v Newspaper clippings

v Any writeups/summaries prepared by the staff working during the event

v Products issued by the WFO during the event

v RFC products received by the WFO (guidance, internal products, etc.)