Emergency Management & Homeland Security


Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 17 - 21, 2017

Are you ready for severe weather? Each year, HSEM in collaboration with the National Weather Service and 16 State and local agencies and organization sponsors Severe Awareness Week in Minnesota. The week is designed to refresh, remind and educate everyone about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them. It's also a great time to make and practice your emergency plan and build or refresh your emergency preparedness kit.

Statewide Tornado Drills

The most important events during Severe Weather Awareness Week are the two annual statewide tornado drills. These drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. (Counties may chose to opt out of the drills if actual severe weather is possible in the area.)

Outdoor warning sirens and NOAA Weather Radios will sound in a simulated tornado warning. The first drill is intended for institutions and businesses. The evening drill is intended for second shift workers and families.

How to Participate

If you are interested in some ideas on how you, your family, business, or your community can participate in Severe Weather Awareness Week, check out some ideas on this list.

Educators, leaders or communicators may want to use this Severe Weather Awareness Week PowerPoint Presentation to help deliver this information.

Why Severe Weather Awareness Week?

According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. In 2012, 37 twisters touched down. A record was set in 2010 with 104 tornadoes across the state.
Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives.

Take advantage of Severe Weather Awareness Week to review your own and your family's emergency procedures and prepare for weather-related hazards.

Each day of the week focuses on a different weather safety topic:

Check each page link above for specific information about these topics, including factsheets, checklists, data and other resources.

About the Program

The Chisago County Sheriff's Office Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division provides a comprehensive and integrated emergency management system that coordinates community resources to protect lives, property, and the environment through mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery from all natural and man-made hazards that may impact Chisago County.

Emergency Management Division
The Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division operates under the direction of the sheriff. Emergency Management encompasses 4 phases:
  • Mitigation - actions taken to prevent disasters or lessen the harmful effects of unavoidable disasters.
  • Preparedness - planning and training for potential disasters and emergencies.
  • Response - includes all those actions taken to lessen the impact of an actual emergency.,
  • Recovery - actions taken to return communities and their citizenry to their pre disaster state, including measures to enhance future disaster preparedness.

Emergency Management is tasked "to protect lives and property from the effects of natural and technological disasters and enemy attacks", and begins with the President of the United States. At the federal level, it is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Within Minnesota, the governor, working through the State's Department of Public Safety, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), is responsible for maintaining an effective emergency management program throughout the state. This includes monitoring county and municipal emergency management programs to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations and statutes. At the local level, the appointed county and city emergency management director has the responsibility to develop disaster response capabilities and coordinate the development of an emergency response plan for their jurisdiction.

Chisago County Emergency Management is charged with coordinating the emergency preparedness and homeland security efforts of the county. In addition to planning and educating, assistance is provided to local jurisdictions and county agencies before, during, and after disaster strikes. Emergency management works closely with county, local and state law enforcement, and cooperatively with neighboring jurisdictions to enhance homeland security and better prepare for and respond to incidents ranging from tornadoes to terrorism.

Homeland security involves working with all aspects of public safety - from the federal level to working with individual citizens - to ensure the most comprehensive and coordinated approach to protection of the public safety. The division works with many agencies and jurisdictions to coordinate information, training and equipment needed for protecting the county and the nation from acts of terrorism. In the awful event that such an act is perpetrated upon us. Emergency management will work with these agencies and jurisdictions to meet the problem quickly, mitigate its effect, inform the public, and reduce the chances that such an event can happen again.

Emergency management is a dynamic process. Planning, though critical, is not the only component. Training, conducting drills, testing equipment and coordinating activities with the community are other important functions. 
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