Dam Safety Information

Important: Dam Safety Information

A Fairfax County, VA Publication, September 2017

A dam is a man-made barrier that collects and confines water. The Department of Public Works and Environmental Services manages a dam safety program and is responsible for monitoring 20 state-regulated dams in Fairfax County. The county implemented an advanced, electronic flood warning system to monitor water levels at these dams.

Dam break inundation zones are areas that may flood if a dam fails. Property that is located in a dam break inundation zone is at risk of flooding. County records will indicate if your property is in or near a dam break inundation zone. Fairfax County uses the following methods to warn residents about flooding and other emergencies:

  • Fairfax Alerts: Delivers emergency information to county residents before, during and after a crisis and provides notices about severe weather and traffic congestion. Messages are delivered to all devices registered and many include email, cell and home phones, pagers and other wireless devices. Register for emergency alerts from Fairfax County at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/alerts.
  • Emergency Information Blog: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/blog is the official Fairfax County emergency preparedness, response and recovery web site. Sign up to receive blog alerts and updates.

There are important safety measures that residents and business owners should take in preparation for a flood that include planning, preparing and mitigating. Make a plan before there is an emergency. Build an emergency kit for yourself and your family. Don't forget your pets. Learn more at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency or www.ready.gov/virginia.

Prepare for Flooding:

  • Know how to shut off electricity and gas to your home and business.
  • Make a list of emergency telephone numbers and identify a safe place to go. 
  • Make an inventory of your home and business items, especially basement contents.
  • Put insurance policies, valuable papers and medications in a safe but accessible place.
  • Put cleaning supplies, a camera and waterproof boots in a handy place.
  • Develop a family preparedness plan for emergencies, including flooding.
  • Register for Fairfax Alerts and the emergency blog.

To help prepare your family, home and business for disaster, the Office of Emergency Management provides information at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/ or call 571.350.1000, TTY 711.

For more information about county-maintained dams and flooding, visit, www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dpwes/stormwater/floodinformation.htm. Call the staff of the Stormwater Planning Division at 703.324.5500, TTY 711, or email [email protected] for assistance.

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