This proclamation, against the backdrop of the savage attack by two minimally-trained terrorists with automatic weapons on the French tabloid Charlie Hebdo, got my attention . But, real as the terrorist threat may be, it is only one of many threats against soft targets! Soft targets are basically any person or location that isn’t protected by armed guards or official security.
On July 1, 1993 in San Francisco, California, Gian Luigi Ferri, a 55-year old therapist, burst into a law office at 101 California Street and began shooting with two automatic weapons, killing eight people including a receptionist and a secretary, and wounding several others. That series of events, together with a number of workplace killings, made me particularly concerned for the safety of one of my daughters, a senior human relations executive who has been tasked with laying off several dozen employees since the 2008 financial meltdown. For every real terrorist event, we can expect half a dozen of these “domestic violence” events. With terrorist incidents likely to increase in the future, there’s every reason to take all normal precautionary measures while increasing our vigilance. In response to this threat, here at Emergency Plan Guide we’ll be taking another look at physical security devices and related protection equipment. Unless your clubhouse is brand new, and built to modern safety standards, it is just as likely to collapse as any other building, and probably more likely to collapse than a smaller and more compact building. If an emergency hits in the middle of the night, every door in the clubhouse will be locked and management will be away.
If water pipes are broken, the image of a crowd of people lining up to use one or two toilets that don’t work is .
Unless it’s been designated as an official “evacuation center,” your central community area is most likely worse for survival than your own home. If you take a look at the same questions from above, and fill in “in your own home,” here are some of the answers you’ll get. Your apartment, single-family residence or mobile home is as likely to withstand an emergency as any other structure, depending on its age, the kind of disaster (earthquake, tornado, flood, etc.). If you’ve done any preparing, you’ll have water and food, including some food that doesn’t need any cooking. The second interesting question was the very last one, where we asked people to let us know what they want more of in upcoming Advisories. So we fall back on our original assumptions regarding our audience, assumptions that have been upheld via comments we’ve received. Preppers – Make preparations to get through an emergency or a disaster (caused by weather, societal turmoil, etc.) by relying on their own stockpiled supplies and skills.
Survivalists – Prepare to survive a long-term, total breakdown of society, probably as a result of anarchy. Professional Emergency Responders and Planners – Formally trained to respond to and manage emergencies of different types and intensities.
Over the years Joe and I have absorbed good info from all these groups!  (Actually, our interest in preparedness started when we were children. At Emergency Plan Guide, we have ended up finding a niche that doesn’t seem to get a lot of sustained attention. So let me ask you for a bit more follow-up.  Can you reply to this Advisory and let us know which group from those described above fits you the best? If you get this in an email, you can contact us here to let us know more about who you are and what you want. In our community CERT group, we do not have the where-with-all to take care of neighbors with disabilities. Do you have food supplies that you are able to prepare for yourself (canned food, water) or do you depend on regular food deliveries from Meals on Wheels or other food service?
Do you use any electric or electronic devices to treat a chronic condition, such as breathing treatments or sleeping machines? Needed travel.  Do any of your neighbors need regular trips away from their home to get medical treatments like as kidney dialysis? The National Fire Protection Association’s 2007 Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People with Disabilities tells the following story.
During the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, a man with a mobility impairment was working on the 69th floor.
Perhaps you can share this story with friends and with your CERT team to stimulate some creative thinking.
I announced the showing in our neighborhood newsletter (one small paragraph in a 20-page newsletter), on our neighborhood website, and also via email to my list of about 30 neighbors.
Then I followed up with, “The chances of you finding yourself in the middle of an active shooter event are small, but that’s what the people in Ottawa probably thought, too.”  Details of the meeting followed. Finally I figured this subject had simply triggered something for this particular individual.
Have you shown the video to a group?  If so, what message did you use to attract attendance?  How did your promo work? If you haven’t shown the video, please take the time to watch it now, and let me know how you would promote it to YOUR neighbors (work group, classroom)! A big part of our sharing these posts is to get MORE information to MORE people in such a way that they will INCORPORATE it into their daily lives. If you’re ramping up for some holiday shopping of your own, I’d like to suggest the following . By which I mean, gifts that are fun to receive and even to play with, but which have a much more lasting value because they become important items for a survival kit! Clicking the links will take you to Amazon, where you can compare and combine items for the best possible pricing plus free shipping. Easy, Step-by-Step Guide to Your Custom 72-hour Survival Kit, with A Backpack to Start Off With!
Do you have recommendations we can add to our list of “Favorite Survival Kit Goodies Under $25?”  Send them along! By way of background, Virginia and I have played a key role in building a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) in our neighborhood.
We originally purchased two, each of which put out 6,000+ running Watts, with 8,000 Starting Watts. You probably know that a portable generators isn’t going to power your home around the clock during an extended power outage.
With careful management, however, an emergency generator can keep a minimum number of appliances operating in order to provide more comfort and convenience during an emergency. It’s up to you to do some homework by listing the power requirements of your various appliances, combining appliances for a reasonable total power requirement, then finding the smallest unit that will do the job. Most of the portable generators for sale at your local hardware store or online will be powered by gasoline. These examples come directly from Amazon, where you’ll find literally hundreds of different generators on sale.
Live in an apartment, condominium or modest home with access to an outside patio or small back yard, you’re looking at a small, portable unit that’s as quiet as you can find.
Large Home or Small Business that still needs to continue running, even on a reduced basis, may require something like this model.
Medium-Size Business that cannot afford to shut down for any sustained period, you’re looking at what’s called a “standby” generator. We remind everyone that when Daylight Savings Time comes round, it’s time to check the fire alarms. So it’s now two weeks after the date, and I finally got around to practicing what I preach. I seem to recall that my old alarms had a blinking light, but I see nothing like that on this one. The very latest requirement for alarms indicates that starting 2015 alarms must have a non-replaceable battery that will last for 10 years. I have always used the words “fire alarm” and “smoke alarm” and “smoke detector” pretty much interchangeably.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) there are two main technologies at work in fire alarms: ionization (alarm is set off when ion flow is interrupted by smoke) and photoelectric (alarm is set off when light is reflected off smoke).
Ionization technology works best on a fast, flaming fire; photoelectric works better on slow, smoldering fires. Check to see how old the alarms are and if they are over 10 years old, get rid of them an install new ones.
You can click here to take a look at the store or click the name above to go directly to Amazon.
If you’ve been following this blog for the past several weeks you know that we’re big on coordinating Personal Survival Plans with Business Emergency Planning.
But it’s pretty well known that most small businesses don’t have adequate Emergency Response Plans. Worse, statistics show that following a catastrophe, half of the businesses affected NEVER re-open their doors!
First is the attitude of some owners that they’d rather just cope with an emergency when it hits rather than make any plans to prevent or mitigate it. A second factor to business survival is that a major emergency has a dual emotional impact on employees.
Beyond their direct experience at the workplace, with damage and possible injuries, is the safety of their family members who may have been affected, too – but are spread out in the community somewhere. Since communications are likely to be disrupted, employees will want to leave the workplace immediately to check on their loved ones. Anything the business principals can do to facilitate employees’ family and neighborhood emergency planning will work to the benefit of all concerned.
One way to begin is by making sure that all employees have adequate Personal Family Survival Plans. Every step that an employer can take to help employees prepare their own personal disaster plan will be meaningful for both. Some people really like clothing with logos, or parties, but others don’t appreciate those gifts at all! Different companies have different limits on what they will or can spend on employee or client gifts.
The Emergency Plan Guide survival kit has been reduced to $17.50 – with free shipping through Amazon. The business can use the survival kit to kick-start a more in-depth discussion of preparedness.
The business can do even more by adding an item to go into the kit – for example, a flashlight or solar-powered or hand-crank radio. If your business is one of the 37% of businesses without any business continuation plan at all, this whole campaign could be the impetus to get a company plan started!
And if you want to talk over some ideas of how best to present the backpacks to your employees, or how to speak to your employer about providing them to the workforce — just give us a call.
A little over two years ago I wrote for the first time about “active shooter events.”  Yesterday I saw in a recent FBI report such events have doubled in the past seven years.
Do you work, or do you know people who work in office settings? Are you a student, or do you know students? If so, do they know what to do if they suddenly find themselves in the midst of a live shooter event, or even hear shots? Two thirds of active shooter events are over in less than 5 minutes, and one-third are over in less than 2 minutes. The City of Houston, with the assistance of a Homeland Security Grant, created a training video that is really worth watching. The video seems to have become somewhat of a standard for how to respond – and my recommendation today is that you make sure your co-workers have seen it. Q- Would removal of the dam help alleviate upstream flooding problems suffered by residents of the Family Farm neighborhood in Woodside?
A- Searsville Dam was not designed to provide any flood protection benefit downstream and has caused flooding upstream.
A- While the dam was well built, the average age for a dam is reported, by Stanford, to be 40 years and Searsville Dam is 120 years old. Q- Stanford currently uses the reservoir for non-potable water use, such as irrigation, landscaping and fire-fighting. A- As with other completed dam removals, this project design would maintain or replace existing owner needs with improved facilities and ease of operation. A- Recent studies and completed dam removal efforts have shown that dam removal is almost always less expensive than eventual dam safety retrofitting, installation of required fish passage facilities, and ongoing maintenance costs.
A- Fortunately, there are many sources of funding for dam removal and ecosystem restoration projects of this kind. A- The existing ecosystem has emerged around an artificial and unsustainable reservoir that is filling in with sediment. Q- What effects would removal -- including possible flushing of sediment -- have on the recovering population of steelhead elsewhere in the watershed?
A- The dam has held back sediment for over a century and altered the natural flow of gravels and beneficial sediments downstream creating a a€?hungry watera€? situation that has impacted bank erosion and the native habitat for steelhead. Corte Madera Creek and the many tributary streams (above) contain excellent habitat and continues to support wild, rainbow trout (below), which are the descendants of sea-run steelhead. Q- The current wetlands support a rich bird habitat and foraging ground for bats a€“ would this be protected with the removal?


A- Some of the recently established wetlands and habitat utilized by birds and bats can remain with dam removal and design plans would maximize the protection of sensitive areas in a manner similar to other successful dam removal efforts. Stanford officials have often wondered about the impacts of dam removal on vegetation established on the reservoir and possible negative impacts to neotropical migrant birds that have been observed here in high abundance.
Searsville Dam removal would restore miles of currently buried streams, riparian forests and thick border habitats, and increase the amount of highly productive fringe wetland habitat that these riparian zones provide. Overall, the project could trade in the unsustainable, artificial, reservoir habitat for a net gain in stream habitat, riparian forest habitat, fringe wetland habitat, historic wetland ponds, and upland habitat. A- Dam removal will eliminate the artificial reservoir habitat that currently allows for the breeding and dispersal of several exotic and invasive species that prey upon and compete with the native species. A- Dozens of large dams have been successfully removed and hundreds of medium and smaller dams have been taken out over the past couple decades. A- Over 500 dams have been removed in the United States in recent years and several dams that were about the size of Searsville, and larger, have recently been removed from rivers around the country. The mouth of San Francisquito Creek (above) is near several wetland restoration projects in need of sediment. Q- How would the removal of 60 feet of concrete blocks affect the biological preserve and surrounding communities? A- Removal of the concrete blocks would be a short-term disturbance to the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and surrounding communities. A- Doing nothing at the dam and reservoir is not an option that any stakeholders are currently considering or embracing due to the imminent negative impacts of such a non-action. Q- How will you work with Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve and other watershed stakeholders to ensure their concerns are being met?
A- Members and supporters of the Beyond Searsville Dam Coalition have been collaborating with Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, Stanford University, San Francisquito Joint Powers Authority, San Francisquito Watershed Project, local jurisdictions, government agencies, community groups, and other non-profit groups for several decades on a variety of watershed related projects.
Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve Director, Philippe Cohen (green cap), and Stanford Engineering Professor, David Freyberg (at right), atop Searsville Dam talking to a group from the Salmonid Restoration Federation conference who were interested in dam removal. 1) What is a dam?a€?There are a number of technical and legal definitions of a dam but generally it is any structure that impounds or diverts water.
However, this inventory only covers dams that meet minimum height and impoundment requirements, so an unknown number of small dams are not included in the inventory. 3) Which state has the most dams?a€?According to the NID, Texas has the most dams of any state at 6,798. 4) Who regulates dam operations?a€?A number of state and federal agencies are responsible for regulating dams. 5) How many dams actually produce power?a€?FERC regulates approximately 2,300 hydroelectric producing dams.
7) Why are some dams being removed?a€?There has been a growing movement to remove dams where the costs - including environmental, safety, and socio-cultural impacts - outweigh the benefits - including hydropower, flood control, irrigation, or recreation - or where the dam no longer serves any useful purpose. 8) How are dams removed?a€?Because dams and rivers vary greatly, physical removal strategies and techniques may also vary on a case by case basis. 9) How many dams have been removed to date?a€?Currently, American Rivers is aware of more than 600 dams that have been removed over the past 50 years in this country.A  We are still in the process of gathering this data, so that figure is likely to increase as more information becomes available. 10) How much does it cost to remove a dam?a€?Because the size and location of dams vary so greatly, the cost to remove an individual dam can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. 11) Who owns the dams that are being removed?a€?Private businesses, federal agencies, state agencies, local governments, or public utilities may own dams. 12) Who pays for dam removal?a€?Who pays for the removal of a dam is often a complex issue.
13) Who decides that dams should be removed?a€?The decision to remove a dam is made by varying entities, depending on the regulatory oversight of the dam. 14) Can rivers be restored through dam removal?a€?Although most rivers cannot be completely restored to historic conditions - simply because of the amount of development that has occurred on and along them - dam removal can often recreate conditions that move the river towards those historic conditions. 15) What benefits do dams provide?a€?Dams may provide a variety of benefits, including water supply, power generation, flood control, recreation, and irrigation. 16) How can the benefits of a dam be replaced when it is removed?a€?While dams serve a number of human needs, society has developed ways to address many of these needs without dams. Rather than plugging rivers with multiple hydropower dams, a cheaper and less environmentally harmful solution is to use existing energy efficiency technologies. 17) Is it cost effective to remove a dam?a€?Dam removal can be expensive in the short term, but in most cases where dams have been removed or are being considered for removal, money is actually saved over the long term. 18) Will the removal of a dam matter if other dams in the system are not removed?a€?Some rivers are so heavily developed and dammed that removal of one dam on that river will only return flows to a small portion of the river. 19) Are we going to decide in twenty years that we need to start building dams again?a€?We have learned a lot in the past twenty years about the many impacts dams have on rivers, and we have learned many alternatives to damming rivers. 21) What are the potential downsides to dam removal?a€?Dam removal does result in fundamental changes to the local environment.
How quickly do rivers recover after dam removal?a€?Rivers are very dynamic and resilient systems. 1) What is a dam?There are a number of technical and legal definitions of a dam but generally it is any structure that impounds or diverts water.
3) Which state has the most dams?According to the NID, Texas has the most dams of any state at 6,798. 4) Who regulates dam operations?A number of state and federal agencies are responsible for regulating dams. 5) How many dams actually produce power?FERC regulates approximately 2,300 hydroelectric producing dams. 7) Why are some dams being removed?There has been a growing movement to remove dams where the costs - including environmental, safety, and socio-cultural impacts - outweigh the benefits - including hydropower, flood control, irrigation, or recreation - or where the dam no longer serves any useful purpose.
8) How are dams removed?Because dams and rivers vary greatly, physical removal strategies and techniques may also vary on a case by case basis. 9) How many dams have been removed to date?Currently, American Rivers is aware of more than 600 dams that have been removed over the past 50 years in this country.A  We are still in the process of gathering this data, so that figure is likely to increase as more information becomes available. 10) How much does it cost to remove a dam?Because the size and location of dams vary so greatly, the cost to remove an individual dam can range from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of millions of dollars. 11) Who owns the dams that are being removed?Private businesses, federal agencies, state agencies, local governments, or public utilities may own dams.
13) Who decides that dams should be removed?The decision to remove a dam is made by varying entities, depending on the regulatory oversight of the dam. 14) Can rivers be restored through dam removal?Although most rivers cannot be completely restored to historic conditions - simply because of the amount of development that has occurred on and along them - dam removal can often recreate conditions that move the river towards those historic conditions. 15) What benefits do dams provide?Dams may provide a variety of benefits, including water supply, power generation, flood control, recreation, and irrigation. 16) How can the benefits of a dam be replaced when it is removed?While dams serve a number of human needs, society has developed ways to address many of these needs without dams.
17) Is it cost effective to remove a dam?Dam removal can be expensive in the short term, but in most cases where dams have been removed or are being considered for removal, money is actually saved over the long term. 18) Will the removal of a dam matter if other dams in the system are not removed?Some rivers are so heavily developed and dammed that removal of one dam on that river will only return flows to a small portion of the river.
19) Are we going to decide in twenty years that we need to start building dams again?We have learned a lot in the past twenty years about the many impacts dams have on rivers, and we have learned many alternatives to damming rivers. 21) What are the potential downsides to dam removal?Dam removal does result in fundamental changes to the local environment. 22)How quickly do rivers recover after dam removal?Rivers are very dynamic and resilient systems.
The school at Sandy Hook, the two off-duty British soldiers and the school in Pakistan are all soft targets. If you work or live in a high-risk target area, a healthy dose of paranoia might even be in order.
The more progress we make in containing terrorism on the various battlefields of the Middle East, the more we can expect isolated, one-off incidents of attacks by one or two would-be terrorist actors. In a real emergency, why would you head for the office, or the clubhouse, or any central meeting place in your community? And since it is your home, you have the opportunity to make it as safe as possible by fastening furniture to the walls, putting locks on cupboards, storing food and water, assembling tools, etc. But you certainly should have emergency lighting in your home, probably in the form of multiple flashlights and LED lanterns. Again, if you’ve done some preparing, you may be able to flush using outside sources of water (e.g. Survivalists endorse and practice traditional wilderness survival skills including use of weapons, traps, emergency shelter, etc. Homesteaders grow crops and preserve them; they may also craft their own materials and tools. These include First Responders (firefighters, police, emergency personnel), leaders within city or government agencies, and staff of the Big Daddy of them all, the Federal Emergency Management Association (since 2003, part of Homeland Security). My parents were pioneers in Alaska in the 30s and I inherited their attitudes along with their stories.
But we can and should count on neighbors and co-workers to have (1) basic knowledge, (2) some practiced responses and (3) a readiness to pitch in.
We don’t have specialized medical knowledge, or (expensive) specialized equipment or even the physical stamina to lift or move some of them.
This was a senior audience, so the discussion about “FIGHT” was different from what a younger crowd might have had. This 3-pack of magnesium lighters gives you the chance to compete – and learn an essential skill! But hard candies withstand all sorts of weather and when you need a pick-me-up in an emergency – or on the long drive home after the holidays!
Whether you get this simple, efficient one or a giant, every-tool-in-the-toolbox version, it will be a welcome gift. Build Your Custom 3-Day Survival Kit; Follow Suggestions from Illustrated Workbook and Assemble Emergency Supplies You Know and Trust. Compared to gasoline, diesel is cheaper, lasts twice as long in storage, is more fuel efficient and less dangerous.
My old alarm also once emitted a chirping sound — but I have heard nothing from this one. Setting up an emergency supplies fair at lunch or after work, for example, can improve the odds of employees actually building their kits. Criminologist James Alan Fox at Northeastern University in Boston points to the fact that there is no official tracking mechanism for active shooting and mass shooting events. As the elevation of the reservoir and trapped sediment were lowered, upstream flooding issues caused by the dam are expected to be eliminated.
The dam removal design plan can maximize flood protection benefits to downstream communities. Searsville Dam provides a moderate amount of water that can easily be replaced with a less harmful water diversion facility that allows for improved functionality to Stanford. Federal, state, local, private, and non-profit entities are all providing large grants and donations to dam removal efforts nationwide. Some of the current vegetation and habitat that has grown up on the upstream end of the reservoir can be maintained with the dam removal design.
Dam removal would provide additional spawning gravels below the dam for steelhead as well as more natural water flow regimes and anticipated improvements to water quality. These native trout are genetically isolated by the dam and their survival is at risk due to inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity. It is critical to understand that while the artificial, and disappearing, open-water reservoir habitat will be reduced, the historic and ecologically unique habitat buried by the dam and reservoir will be restored. In addition, much of the established riparian vegetation at the upper end of Searsville Reservoir could remain with theA  dam removal design. The historic map below shows what this habitat looked like before the dam and what it can look like again with dam removal and ecosystem restoration. Several species of non-native bass, sunfish, and panfish as well as bullfrogs occur in the warm, artificial, flat-water of Searsville Reservoir. Much more complicated dam removals have been completed that involved hydro-power replacement, polluted sediment disposal, adjacent development, and other challenges that this project would not have. There are also several dams that are planned for removal over the next couple years that are many times larger in size and in the amount of stored sediment. A portion of the sediment can be transported for other uses, including the stated desire for it at planned San Francisco Bay wetland restoration projects or nearby agricultural sites. We will continue to work with all of these stakeholders to address their concerns, as we feel that the safety and ecosystem issues are in our mutual interest and that the most effective project will occur when shared goals are best addressed. While many progressive leaders at Stanford acknowledge the potential benefits of dam removal and the need for comprehensive studies to analyze specific dam removal alternatives, many watershed stakeholders are concerned that several individuals at Stanford are misrepresenting the issue and standing in the way of productive collaboration and investigation on this critical watershed decision that impacts all stakeholders. There are approximately 75,000 dams in the US Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) National Inventory of Dams (NID), which is the most comprehensive inventory of dams nationwide.
Of the 75,000 dams in the database, approximately 66,000 are located on rivers (the remainder impound water off-river). Generally, the process involves drawing down the reservoir, potentially removing the sediment built up behind the dam, removing the structure, and mitigating for downstream effects of increased flow and sediment re-suspension. Most of the dams removed to date have been owned privately, by local government, or by public utilities. In past cases, removal has been financed by the dam owner, local, state and federal governments, and in some cases agreements whereby multiple stakeholders contribute to cover the costs.


In most cases, the dam owner itself is the decision-maker, often deciding that the costs of continuing to operate and maintain the dam are more than removing the dam.
For example, fish are returning to historic stretches of river that had been previously obstructed on Butte Creek in California, theA Souadabscook River in Maine, and the Clearwater River in Idaho, as a result of dam removals. For instance, flood control can often be accomplished more effectively and for less money by restoring wetlands, maintaining riparian buffers, or moving people out of the floodplain. Removal eliminates the expenses associated with maintenance and safety as well as direct and indirect expenses associated with fish and wildlife protection (e.g.
The reservoir will be eliminated, and with it the flat-water habitat that had been created. Experience has shown that natural river systems can be restored relatively rapidly after dam removal. Your grocery store, gas station, your church and even your own home are all soft targets by definition.
One of these was to sever him from a counseling assignment with a young relative of mine who “didn’t feel comfortable” with him. At home, you can add or subtract clothing, add or take away blankets in order to adjust to weather conditions.
And nearly every news story we hear makes it clear that in the case of a widespread emergency, it’s the people physically closest to you who will make the difference to your survival!
In the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, the same man had prepared himself to leave the building using assistance from others and an evacuation chair he had acquired and had under his desk.
And it was also agreed that a new version of the video could profitably be made with the setting in a mall or retail establishment instead of in a workplace. Now, consider how handy a HEADLAMP will be when both arms are full of blankets, children, toys, or other supplies! And a couple of years ago the group agreed to purchase a gas generator to support our emergency planning team. After jockeying one of them around it became painfully clear that their weight – as well as their appetite for fuel – was greater than we had foreseen.
Charging up electronic devices (laptops, tablets, cell phones, etc.) can be done at the same time since most generators have more than one plug-in socket.
Naturally, a combo unit (running either gas or propane) is more expensive that a single-fuel generator. These items have to be shipped via ground so it may take longer than you’re used to for delivery. The valley and historic wetlands that are buried beneath Searsville Dam and Reservoir once provided natural flood protection benefits by filling and absorbing winter rains and then slowly releasing flows following the peak flow event. Large cracks that remain on the dam were observed by the dam caretaker immediately after the 1906 earthquake. The shrinking reservoir provides a fading amount of storage capacity that can be replaced with existing off-stream reservoirs, expanded storage areas, new off-stream storage, and possible dredging of the remaining upper Searsville Reservoir areas.
Almost all dam removal studies and construction efforts are being partially or fully funded with these available grants.
In addition, miles of historic stream, riparian, and wetland habitat currently buried can be revived and restored with the dam removal. The existing downstream steelhead population is able to migrate up all other existing spawning and rearing tributaries in the watershed and away from any potential short-term disturbances from the dam removal. Several miles of stream habitat and associated riparian forests, comprising over 6 different tributary streams, can be reestablished. These species are able to breed in this artificial habitat and spread downstream of the reservoir were they can prey on and compete with threatened steelhead trout, other native aquatic species; including amphibians and even small birds and mammals.
Habitat restoration of this size has been successfully completed at hundreds of locations and many dam removal projects have enabled stream habitat and native wildlife to restore themselves quickly. See our Dam Blog page and American Rivers website for more information on completed and planned dam removal projects. Noise abatement methods, scheduled use of roads by trucks, use of cleaner burning biodiesel in equipment operation, working around Preserve activities and research, and other determined actions could be implemented to reduce impacts. Dredging the reservoir and maintaining some open water has also been considered, but has limited benefits and most of the existing ecosystem and safety problems with the dam would remain. We firmly believe that a collaborative, well-designed dam removal effort can be in the best interest of Stanford University and the entire watershed community. Non-federal dams that produce hydropower are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). According to the NID, Oroville Dam, on the Feather River in California, is the tallest dam in the United States, measuring in at 770 ft. State dam safety offices can often order a dam to be removed if there are major safety concerns. Updating antiquated irrigation systems and replacing inappropriate crops can dramatically reduce the need for dams and reservoirs in the arid West.
Many dams that have been removed no longer had any beneficial use or that use was very limited. In some cases, this additional section of river is enough to sustain crucial populations of endangered or threatened species of fish, mollusks, and other wildlife. In the next twenty years we are likely to learn even more about alternatives to dams and the impacts of dams on rivers.
Wetlands surrounding the reservoir will also be drained, although new wetlands are often created both in the newly restored river reach above the former dam site and in the river below. For example, spawning fish returned to theA Souadabscook River in Maine only months after a dam was removed, and the flushing of the sediment from the Milwaukee River in Wisconsin following the Woolen Mills Dam removal took only six months. Or you can put plastic bags into the toilet, secure them when they’re full and then put them somewhere outside.
Also, they have to be started and run for 15 – 20 minutes every month or two or they will require resurrectional service (cost around $100 . But plugging in an appliance that generates a lot of heat – such as a hair dryer or toaster or portable heater – may overload the generator. So, while some generators are set up to burn diesel, they are mostly the larger, permanently installed models that are planned to run for longer periods at higher load.
All over the nation, restoration projects are being constructed that restore historic wetlands and adjacent riparian overflow areas to provide the dual benefits of ecosystem restoration and natural flood protection. It is not known what the current structural condition of the dam is because it has been 43 years since the Division of Safety of Dams (DSOD) has inspected the foundation, toe, and groins of the dam.
New diversion facilities can tie into existing storage facilities, irrigation, and landscaping pipelines and improve water delivery.
One state agency, the Department of Water Resources, already offered to study alternatives at Searsville Dam, including removal, at no cost to Stanford. The artificial reservoir ecosystem also currently harbors many exotic species of fish and frogs, which would be eliminated or drastically reduced in numbers, benefiting native species. As observed with other dam removal efforts, such as the Marmot Dam removal in Oregon, wild salmon and steelhead migrated upstream of the removed dam within several days of it being removed and reestablished themselves into historic habitat, expanding their distribution and improving their population health. Biologically-rich wetland ponds and seasonal overflow wetland areas that are currently covered by the reservoir can be restored along with acres of transitional and upland habitat. Dam removal and ecosystem restoration plans can minimize the risk of additional exotic species becoming established during the restoration effort and help to minimize future exotic introductions.
Other sediment alternatives such as slurry piping and controlled sediment transport can be utilized to design the best plan to address project complexities. As with so many other recently completed dam removal efforts, project stakeholders decided that the long-term gains to the ecosystem, dam owner, and surrounding communities warranted the short-term disturbance of dam removal. Only dam removal has the combined benefits of eliminating the safety liability of the dam, providing a free flowing stream, restoring historic habitat (wetland, stream, riparian), eliminating or reducing non-native species, providing unimpeded steelhead migration, and providing natural flood protection features. Non-federal dams that do not produce hydropower are regulated by the state in which they reside. The dam with the largest impoundment is Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River in Nevada, which stores approximately 30 million acre-feet of water. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission can order a hydropower dam under their jurisdiction to be removed for both environmental and safety reasons. In addition, removal often generates income from newly available recreation opportunities - including fishing, kayaking, and rafting - which may actually result in a net economic benefit.
Sediment that collects behind a dam, sometimes over hundreds of years, may contain toxics such as PCBs, dioxide, and heavy metals. In addition, dam removal efforts nationwide are being awarded funding to precede the dam removal with major downstream flood protection projects to increase channel capacity, replace undersized bridges, improve levee systems, and ensure that flood risks are reduced with the project. Many earthquakes and several decades have past since this last detailed foundation inspection.
The remaining upper reservoir, west of Portola Road, is an historic wetland pond that preceded the construction of Searsville Dam. Water quality and habitat conditions downstream are expected to improve with dam removal, as has been the case elsewhere.
Dam removal projects have consistently shown a strong benefit to salmon and steelhead populations in watersheds across the world. An amazing and diverse array of habitat types and species will be restored for birds, bats, steelhead, and the full array of native species. Most of the non-native species utilizing Searsville Reservoir cannot thrive in the natural flowing stream environment. A combination of multiple sediment options has been used in other dam removal efforts and may provide the best way to deal with the sediment.
The dam that provides the most hydroelectric power in the United States is Grand Coulee Dam, on the Columbia River in Washington, which generates 6180 megawatts (MW) of power. Re-suspension of these toxic-laden sediments in the process of dam removal has the potential to damage downstream water quality and threaten the health of fish and wildlife and water users. This is an unprecedented opportunity to get massive funding and ease of permitting to reduce flooding, restore ecosystem health, and rebuild Stanforda€™s out-dated water supply facilities to a modern and sustainable state. Stanford is responsible for coordinating this inspection that DSOD has identified in the above 2007 inspection report as a a€?prudenta€? measure that should be taken.
This pond can be maintained and continue to provide fire-fighting needs as well as water storage capacity and open-water wetland habitat benefits. Dam removal would also allow for the resurgence of annual steelhead trout runs to the watersheda€™s largest tributary for the first time in 120 years, bringing back a critical keystone species to the ecosystem. Removal of Searsville Dam would open up over ten miles of historic spawning and rearing habitat in the largest tributary of the entire watershed, where high quality habitat and native rainbow trout persist. In addition, the dam removal will reestablish critical wildlife migration routes at this confluence of riparian corridors currently blocked by the dam and submerged by the reservoir.
A detailed Dam Removal Alternatives Analysis study would identify the many options available. Short term impacts of the dam removal itself can include increased water turbidity and sediment buildup downstream from releasing large amounts of sediment from the reservoir, and water quality impacts from sudden releases of water and changes in temperature.
Beyond Searsville Dam requested that the DSOD require this study and they have informed Stanford that the study should happen before the end of 2012. As part of the larger Searsville Dam removal and ecosystem restoration project, Stanford has an unprecedented opportunity to upgrade their water delivery and storage facilities with the benefit of available grant funding, eliminated safety liability, and ease of permitting.
The altered and artificial ecosystem would be transformed to a self-sustainable and native one. The remaining, and historic, upper pond located west of Portola Road can continue to provide open-water wetland habitat.
As the dam and concrete continue to age, experience additional earthquakes, and as the reservoir fills in and transported sediment potentially scours the dam, the structural integrity is expected to be reduced over time.
In addition, the upgraded water diversion and storage facilities can be designed to serve a critical secondary function of reducing flooding downstream by diverting and storing peak storm flows into collection basins as is being considered by the Joint Powers Authority in the watershed. The active San Andreas Fault run adjacent to Searsville Reservoir, which can be seen as the oval blue shape near the center of the map, adjacent to the highest a€?Very-Violenta€? shaking severity level on the above image.
Such multi-objective funding and permitting opportunities are being jumped at by dam owners across the country. There are pictures of it in several places on our website, so if you need more about THAT item, click here.
Dam removal can eliminate the dam failure risk identified by San Mateo County and extensive downstream inundation. Searsville Dam is listed as a a€?High Hazarda€? dam by the US Army Corps, State of California, and San Mateo County (pg. As noted in the above document, a High Hazard dam is defined as a dam whose failure would result in a€?probable loss of lives and significant property damagea€?. Stanforda€™s own report, SPEAR3, cites an analysis that determined failure of Searsville Dam could release a a€?catastrophica€? flow of 60,433 cubic feet per second, or a€?about 6 times the 500-year peak flow of 10,500 cfsa€? (Section 7.1 Page 7). Stanforda€™s own report, SPEAR3,A  cites an analysis that determined failure of Searsville Dam could release a a€?catastrophica€? flow of 60,433 cubic feet per second, or a€?about 6 times the 500-year peak flow of 10,500 cfsa€? (Section 7.1 Page 7). In addition to geologic, aging, and seismic considerations, the dama€™s limited spillway design and operation and bypass flow drain pipe present additional safety challenges for dealing with dam overtopping during flood events and the ability to quickly drain the reservoir during an emergency.



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Comments

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