Emergency Operations

Public Law 84-99 gives the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authority to provide emergency assistance to save lives and protect public facilities/infrastructure during or following a flood or other natural disaster.  Corps assistance must be required immediately and is limited to major flood or other natural disasters resulting in life-threatening or property-damaging situations. 

Emergency Operations assistance will be undertaken to supplement tribal, state, and local efforts.  Flood response measures are applicable to any flood risk management projects or other areas that provide public service, regardless of whether the structure or area is Federal, public or private.  The Corps has no authority under Public Law 84-99 to reimburse locals for costs of their own emergency activities.


There are two main types of emergency operations assistance that the Corps can provide: 

  • Technical assistance (planning support, technical advice, engineering expertise, and other guidance).  Technical assistance can be provided at any time; these requests can be made directly to the Corps and do not need to go to the state.
  • Direct assistance (supplies and equipment, emergency construction contracting).  Requests for direct assistance must be submitted in writing from the governor or tribal leader.  More information on direct assistance is provided below. 


Direct Assistance During Flood Response:


  • Contracting for emergency levee construction.
  • Provide emergency repairs to levees and other flood risk management projects.
  • Furnish materials such as sandbags, poly sheeting, lumber, pumps, or rock for stabilization when the Corps is actively participating in a flood fight.  For more information, visit our pumps and supplies page.
  • Corps' assistance terminates when the emergency is over (i.e., flood waters have receded within top bank or a predetermined stage).

Direct Assistance During Post-Flood Response:

  • Clearance of drainage channels, bridge openings, or structures blocked by debris deposited during the event.
  • Clearance of blockages of critical water supply intakes and sewer outfalls.
  • Debris removal necessary to reopen vital transportation routes.
  • Temporary restoration of critical public services or facilities.
  • Identify hazard mitigation opportunities.



Criteria for Direct Assistance

  • Assistance must be supplemental to tribal, state, and local efforts.  Non-Federal interests must commit all available resources (manpower, supplies, equipment, funds, etc.) prior to Corps’ assistance.
  • Assistance to individual homeowners and businesses (including agricultural lands) is not included in the scope of our authorities.  
  • Requires written request from the governor or tribal leader for flood response activities.
  • Corps’ policy requires local interests to provide a Projection Cooperation Agreement (PCA), necessary borrow, lands, rights, and easements.
  • Local interests are responsible for coordinating levee alignment, providing traffic control, monitoring temporary levees, and providing manpower for pump operations.
  • Loaned supplies and equipment should be returned in the same condition, replaced in kind, or reimbursement made.
  • All measures will be temporary and must be removed by locals after the flood.
  • For Post-Flood Response, Corps’ assistance may only be provided for a maximum of 10 days from the date of receipt of the governor's written request.



How to Request Assistance:

For technical assistance, please contact us using the information located in the column to the right and on our main page.

For direct assistance, submit your request through the local-county-state emergency management chain.  Tribes have the option of contacting the Corps directly or coordinating their request with the state.

Emergency Management Contact Information

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District
Emergency Management

332 Minnesota St., Suite E1500
St. Paul, MN 55101

Phone: 651-290-5210
Fax: 651-290-5212