February 9, 2000 Hazard Series Presentation

Dam Safety


Donald G. Bathurst
Director, Office of National Dam Safety
FEMA Mitigation Directorate


Online Transcript
Download Transcript (MS Word File)
Slides: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

About Don Bathurst

National Dam Safety Program
Association of State Dam Safety Officials


EIIP Classroom Online Presentation
Wednesday - April 19, 2000

The National Dam Safety Program

Donald Bathurst
Director, Office of National Dam Safety
FEMA Mitigation Directorate

Amy Sebring -- EIIP Moderator

Much is known about dams, but much is yet to be known. There are more than 75,000 dams nationwide. These are classified as high (potential loss of life), significant (potential economic or environmental loss), or low (negligible loss) hazard potential. Hazard is independent of the condition of the dam and only represents the potential consequence of failure relative to loss of life and property damage.

The National Program has three major areas of focus:

  • coordination of Federal programs so that States and dam owners see similar requirements and treatment,
  • coordination and support of State Programs for consistency in safety provided to citizens, and
  • coordination of development of emergency management functions, especially Emergency Action Plans for High and Significant Hazard Potential dams.

Public awareness is being emphasized this year with a National Dam Safety Day on May 31, the anniversary of the Johnstown Flood. For further information regarding the observance, please check the National Dam Safety Program Web page. (See link above.)


Director, Office of National Dam Safety
FEMA Mitigation Directorate

Mr. Bathurst serves as the Director of the Office of National Dam Safety, within the Mitigation Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The National Dam Safety Program coordinates and facilitates the activities of Federal and State dam safety programs, including research, training, State grants, and public education, providing for the safety of millions of citizens that live or work in the potential inundation zones downstream from a variety of dams.

Mr. Bathurst was most recently the Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator within FEMA and has previously managed the national fire protection, environmental protection, safety, and repair and alteration programs at the General Services Administration. In these positions he championed the application of risk management approaches and was instrumental in the development of cost effective design and construction systems and techniques. Prior to his Federal service, he worked for a fire protection engineering consulting firm. He has been active in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, and in development of national standards, including serving on the National Fire Protection Association's Board of Directors.

His accomplishments have been recognized through numerous awards from within the government and the private sector, including the 1992 Arthur S. Flemming Award as one of the top five managers in Federal service and the NSPE Federal Engineer of the Year award for GSA.

Mr. Bathurst holds a Bachelor of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master of Public Administration from The American University.

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