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U.S. releases dam safety course workbooks on DVD

The Federal Emergency Management Agency now offers its workbooks on dam safety training in DVD format, free of charge.

The workbooks, �Training Aids for Dam Safety (TADS): A Self-Instructional Study Course in Dam Safety Practices,� have been available in printed format for many years, but only now are available in DVD format from FEMA, a unit of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Costs for printed materials totaled as much as $1,500; there is no charge for the DVD.

The course consists of 21 modules for engineers, technicians, dam owners, and water resource managers. Nine of the 21 modules include videos to reinforce the text.

The modules are organized into three components:
o Dam Safety Inspection: ten modules designed for engineers with little or no inspection experience and for technicians with some familiarity with dams;
o Dam Safety Awareness, Organization, and Implementation: five modules designed primarily for dam owners and operators, including a module on how to develop and implement an emergency action plan; and
o Data Review, Investigation, Analysis, and Remedial Actions for Dam Safety: modules for dam safety program managers, dam owners and operators, and experienced engineers.

TADS can keep training costs to a minimum by eliminating travel, facility, and instructor costs, FEMA said. Although designed as self-instructional materials, TADS modules also can be used for group instruction.

Federal agencies of the National Interagency Committee on Dam Safety endorsed the TADS program and underwrote the cost of development. The agencies also provided technical specialists to help prepare instructional materials.

TADS sponsors include: FEMA, the Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Department of Energy, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Tennessee Valley Authority, and the International Boundary and Water Commission. States provided technical expertise through the Association of State Dam Safety Officials.

�Training Aids for Dam Safety: A Self-Instructional Study Course in Dam Safety Practices� (FEMA 609DVD) is available from FEMA's Publications Warehouse by calling (1) 800-480-2520, or sending a fax to (1) 301-362-5335.

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