What is ReadyOP?
The Dam Safety Program has contracted with ReadyOp Communications Inc to implement the ReadyOP emergency notification tool. ReadyOP allows the Dam Safety Program to quickly alert the owners, operators, and designated emergency contacts of state-regulated dams. These messages may be issued to the owners, operators, and designated emergency contacts of all regulated dams statewide or targeted to dams by Hazard Classification or by region based on the nature of the potential or actual emergency. ReadyOP alerts are issued via phone call, text, and email. Owners, operators, and designated emergency contacts listed in ReadyOP can also specify preferred notification method(s) or opt out of receiving all future alerts .
When is ReadyOP used and how often will I get alerts?
ReadyOP alerts are issued when the Dam Safety Program has identified a potential or imminent threat to state-regulated dams. Threats include intense rainfall events, flooding, earthquakes, or extreme winds capable of toppling trees on a dam.
The Dam Safety Program has been using systems like ReadyOP to send emergency alerts to dam owners, operators, and their designated emergency contacts since 2016. Most notifications are issued before and after significant tropical weather systems impact the state.
During a standard tropical weather event, the Dam Safety Program uses ReadyOP notifications to alert owners to the following:
- Whether owners need to assess their dams prior to the storm's arrival and evaluate the water level in the pond, lake, or reservoir. Owners also may be asked to evaluate whether the water level should be safely lowered.
- To communicate that DHEC staff may visit their dam before or after the storm and that owners should contact the department if there are circumstances that limit access to the dam.
- To make owners aware of emergency orders and other instructions or guidelines related to dams that have been issued by the Governor's office or other emergency response agencies
The Program also will occasionally issue “Test Alerts” to all ReadyOP contacts to test the system and confirm or update emergency contact information for dam owners. These “Test Alerts” are sent at minimum once a year, generally near the start of hurricane season in June.
How to change your ReadyOP contact preferences or update your contact information
If you are an owner or operator of a state-regulated dam and would like to update your information or preferences for ReadyOp, identify or update a representative contact and their preferences, and/or provide other contact details for your dam, please e-mail us and provide:
- Your full name and/or organization
- The Dam Number of any dams you own or represent.
- Please indicate whether you are a:
- Dam Owner
- Owner Representative and if so, the Dam Owner you represent
- Dam Operator
- Please provide new or updated contact information for the below notification methods:
- Phone call notifications
- Up to 3 contact numbers along with the type of number (ex. Home, Work, Cell) that will receive pre-recorded messages
- If any of those numbers is a preferred point of contact
- Note: phone numbers with extensions are not supported for emergency notification at this time
- Text notifications
- Which of your numbers should receive text or SMS alerts
- Normal messaging rates apply
- Email notifications
- Up to 3 contact emails can be provided
- ReadyOP notification preference for the alerts you would like to receive; multiple can be requested
- Phone Call Alerts
- Text/SMS Alerts
- Email Alerts
- Phone call notifications
- If you would also like to designate additional parties (your representatives or dam operators) to receive emergency alerts, please identify them in the same email and provide their contact information and preferences in the format above and separated from your personal contact information and preferences. Each individual contact must be identified separately to ensure that you and your designated parties receive the correct alerts.
- You may also call Dam Safety Program staff from 9-5 Monday through Friday by phone at: 803-898-4050 to update emergency alert information and preferences
Emergency ReadyOP dam alerts are intended to notify regulated dam owners, operators, and a limited number of owner-representatives authorized to act on a dam owner's behalf in the event of an emergency. If a dam's owner is an entity containing many individuals (ie a homeowner's association), only a few primary points of contact can be entered into the alert system and receive notifications. Those points of contact should be those responsible for the oversight, maintenance, and operation of the dam, particularly those designated to act in an emergency.
The program is unable to issue emergency alerts on behalf of dam owners to notify at-risk downstream inhabitants of potential or actual dam failure. Dam owners are encouraged to work with the Dam Safety Program and emergency management services to develop an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) addressing how at-risk populations downstream will be notified in the event of a dam failure or potential failure.
Unregulated and dams exempted from state regulations are not eligible to receive ReadyOP dam safety alerts and notifications.