National Dam Safety Awareness Day - May 31st

National Dam Safety Awareness Day occurs each year on May 31 to commemorate the failure of the South Fork Dam in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on May 31, 1889. National Dam Safety Awareness Day was created to encourage and promote individual and community responsibility and best practices for dam safety, and what steps people can take to either prevent future catastrophic dam failures or lessen the impact if a failure was to occur. Another important goal of National Dam Safety Awareness Day is to promote the benefits that dams offer.

Know Your Risks

Ask 1: Why should I care about dams?

  • Although dam failures are infrequent, the impacts can be catastrophic, often exceeding typical stream/river flood events.

Ask 2: What are the risks associated with dams?

  • Even though dam failure is considered unlike in Oakland, 5,200 urban acres are vulnerable to dam failure including schools, hospitals, and four fire stations.

Ask 3: Am I or could I be affected by a dam and what is the dam failure flood inundation area?

Ask 4: Once I determine that my property is in a dambreak inundation area, what's next?

  • Prepare you home and your family by building an emergency kit, being prepared to evacuate, and knowing your evacuation zone.

Roadmap to Reducing Dam Safety Risks


The City of Oakland is most vulnerable to, assess risks to the city’s residents, buildings and critical facilities, and develop a mitigation strategy to reduce the risk of exposure and allow a swift and organized recovery should a disaster occur.

The Local Hazard Mitigation Plan serves as a meaning guide to increasing the Oakland community’s resilience in the face of natural disasters, Dam Failure/Flooding, Drought, Earthquake, etc...