Emergency Preparedness

The following information is provided by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Communities and businesses along with families and individuals need to plan and prepare to minimize the effects of an emergency or disaster.

Personal Preparedness

Personal preparedness includes being ready for emergencies at home, in your car, or anywhere else you may spend time. These preparedness efforts are a team effort. HSEM provides information and resources to help you better prepare for the possibility of an emergency or disaster.

Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters. What you do now can help you and your family better respond to and recover from any disaster or emergency, as well as contribute to the overall readiness of your community. Although there are many things that people can do to increase their preparedness for emergencies, the three basic steps listed below are a good start that cover most situations.

The fourth step, Getting Involved, comes as a result of successfully completing the first three. Once you are confident that your and your family are ready for any emergency, helping others do the same, especially in your area, building or community, will also help build strength and resiliency and help a community recover and rebound quickly following any emergency.

Make a Kit

You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days. The following items are recommended for a basic emergency supply kit:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger

Watch this video about how to make a simple kit for yourself or your family!!

Learn about additional items to consider adding to an emergency supply kit.

Learn how to build an emergency kit from Ready.gov.

Make a Plan

Before an emergency happens make a plan.  Sit down as a family and decide where you will go and how you will communicate. A disaster may mean staying in your home or evacuating to an emergency shelter. Keep a copy of the disaster plan in your emergency supply kit.  It is important to periodically review your plan. Did an elderly family member move in?  Is someone disabled because of an injury?  It could change your plan so be ready?

Be Informed:

There are important differences between potential emergencies that can impact the decisions you make and the actions you take. Learn more about the potential emergencies that could happen in Minnesota.

Severe Weather Safety

Are you ready for severe weather? Now is a great time to make and practice your emergency plan and build an emergency kit.

Click on the link below to view an important severe weather presentation:
Severe Weather Awareness Week PowerPoint Presentation 

No PowerPoint? Click on the link below for the .pdf version of the presentation.
Severe Weather Presentation

A tornado watch highlights an area where tornadoes are likely to develop. Continue your normal activities during a tornado watch, but keep track of the latest weather reports, and be ready to get to a shelter. Tornadoes develop quickly.

Go to the basement. Get under a table, work bench, or some other sturdy furniture to protect yourself from falling debris. A stairwell is also a good place to hide during a tornado.

Go to a small, interior room on the lowest floor. Closets, bathrooms and interior halls afford the best protection in most cases. Get under something sturdy or cover yourself with blankets, and stay away from windows.

Move to the lowest level, to the innermost room — or go to a pre-designated shelter area. Stay away from windows! In a hallway, crouch down and protect your head from flying debris. Avoid areas with glass and large expanses of roof with no supports.

Abandon your mobile home or vehicle as quickly as possible and find a sturdy shelter — preferably a permanent structure. Avoid bridges - they act as wind tunnels People who try to escape a tornado by driving away in a vehicle often don't make it.; they get caught in deadly winds.

Lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding. Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location. Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter. Protect yourself from flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

How to prepare for an emergency

Ready.gov has information to help Americans prepare for emergencies. Topics include:

Severe Weather Presentation