4151 0012

United States Department of the Interior

March 9, 1977


Subject: PROGRAMS & PLANS — Emergency Aerial Photography for Flood Mapping

This memorandum updates and replaces WRD memorandum No. 72.21, subject as above. Recent review has revealed that it is desirable to reissue this information to indicate the availability of new photographic equipment, simplify the sample contract, reflect the increased limits on contracting by field offices, and to provide an example on the Purchase Order form now in use.

Aerial photography which shows areas inundated by major floods is extremely valuable to our program of mapping flood-prone areas and to related work which the Division is doing under the Flood Insurance Act. Data on inundated areas may be obtained by aerial photography at a small fraction of the cost of making ground surveys after a flood has passed.

Without planning, there is insufficient time to contract for aerial photography after a flood begins. This memorandum describes the advance planning that should be done, and establishes procedures for expediting the contracting of emergency aerial photography. These procedures have been jointly worked out with the Procurement Officer and should enable the District Chiefs to contract for photography in emergency situations.

The District should contact commercial aerial photography companies and prepare a list of those capable of flood photography satisfying the required specifications. The District Chief should be aware of the reaches of streams where photography may be needed.

At the time of a flood occurrence, the District should obtain prices from three qualified aerial photographers on his list. The photographer that is best qualified to handle the particular job should be contacted to perform the service and be issued a Purchase Order, incorporating the emergency aerial photography package. The District should document the competitive prices in support of his final selection, for each Purchase Order issued, and should retain the price information separately.

A sample Purchase Order is attached for your guidance. Please note that the original Purchase Order has been modified to indicate that contractor invoice shall be submitted to the District Chief, rather than directly to Budget and Finance. The District Chief shall certify on the Invoice that the services have been received, and forward the invoice to Budget and Finance.

If the total cost of the work is estimated to be over $5,000, prior approval should be obtained by telephone from the appropriate regional office of the Branch of Contracts, Geological Survey.

A commitment for funds for emergency aerial photography for floods may be quickly arranged by telephone to the Surface Water Branch.

Thomas J. Buchanan
Assistant Chief Hydrologist for Operations


WRD Distribution: A, S, FO, PO