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E2: Emergency Response Planning

This project allows the District to work with local municipalities to clearly identify roles and responsibilities for floodplain management and flood emergency management. The project supports countywide emergency response and preparedness activities, develops communication procedures and disseminates web-based flood forecasting information developed under Project C2, Emergency Response Upgrades. Collaborators also develop formal, site-specific flood-fighting strategies and coordinate outreach throughout the county so that the public receives uniform flood warning messages.

This project is comprised of 2 sub-projects that support the District's ongoing emergency response planning. Refer to Appendix B in the 5-Year Implementation Plan for project descriptions. These sub-projects are:

E2.1 Coordination with Local Municipalities on Flood Communication
E2.2 Flood-Fighting Action Plans


  • Reduces flood damage
  • Provides effective coordinated response to storm-related emergencies
  • Improves community awareness about flood risks

Project Status

(As of November 2017)

E2.1 Coordination with Local Municipalities on Flood Communication 

  • In January 2017, the District attended an Emergency Management meeting hosted by the County OES, where January storms, operational area coordination and recovery were the key focus. Staff continues to build bridges with the emergency management community by attending these kinds of meetings where emergency management first responders attend and share what is being developed in terms of emergency response, planning (e.g. emergency action plans), recovery and mitigation.

  • In May 2017, the District hosted a Community Rating Service (CRS) meeting that offered attendees an opportunity to engage with the District on the topic of response to flooding events and pre-flood planning. During the meeting, the District engaged with the cities of Palo Alto and Santa Clara on the topic of flood management (including measuring, forecasting and overall response to flooding) and how best to work together moving forward. All attendees were encouraged to contact the District regarding emergency planning and response. A second meeting was held in June where the the Coyote Creek EAP was discussed once staff provided an update on the project’s activities.

  • In October 2017, the District hosted a Winter Emergency Operations and Preparedness Workshop with attendees from cities and the county, and presenters from the District's Office of Emergency Services, Watershed Field Operations, Reservoir Operations, Public Information, Flood Forecast & Warning System and Sandbag Programs. Presenters also included staff from the National Weather Service, Cal Fire, Department of Water Resources and the Santa Clara County Office of Emergency Services. The purpose of the meeting was to share information regarding predicted water conditions and multiple agencies' activities to prepare for the winter season and possible emergencies, with an emphasis on the potential for flooding and corresponding response activities.
E2.2 Flood-Fighting Action Plans 


  • San Francisquito Creek (Lower Peninsula watershed) Emergency Action Plan (EAP) was completed in FY17 and will be updated annually.

  • Canoas Creek EAP (Guadalupe watershed) has been postponed. This EAP development was interrupted by the Coyote Creek storm event in February 2017 and will resume following the completion of the Coyote Creek EAP to incorporate lessons learned. 
  • Coyote Creek EAP (Coyote watershed) – The District is working with the City of San José on a Joint EAP for Coyote Creek, that will specify emergency response actions and roles and responsibilities for both agencies, and include lessons learned from the February 2017 storm event. Some of the key items are: communication procedures, flood stage information and site-specific flood management actions within the Coyote Annex of the EAP. Three community meetings were held in October 2017 to reach out to those neighborhoods that were most affected by the February Coyote Creek flooding. A key outcome of those meetings was to gather information on how community members want to be contacted during an actual emergency event (e.g. cellphone, door knocking, etc.). The Joint EAP is scheduled to go to the San José City Council and District Board for adoption on November 3, 2017. 

Key Performance Indicators

  1. Coordinate with agencies to incorporate District-endorsed flood emergency procedures into their Emergency Operations Center plans. 
  2. Complete 5 flood-fighting action plans (1 per major watershed). 



Priority E-200

FY17 Annual Report Status

Status On Target
Project Start FY 2014
Project Finish FY 2028
Safe Clean Water
Program funding

$1.8 M**

(2015 Dollars)

**More financial information: 5-Year Implementation Plan, pages: 19-27
Location Countywide

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