Dakota County Emergency Preparedness
The Dakota County Sheriff's Office oversees Emergency Preparedness for Dakota County. The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator (EPC) helps coordinate with all cities, townships and the State of Minnesota during times of disaster. In preparation for emergency response, the EPC facilitates training, drills and exercises for police, fire, and EMS as well as other affected county and city departments.
Specific emergency response plans have been developed and are maintained for a variety of situations county wide. They include:
- All-Hazards Emergency Operations Plan - The All-hazards EOP can be used for most disaster events when an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is open and operational. The EOC is located in the government campus in Hastings, MN.
- Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant (PINGP) EOP - Due to the counties proximity to the Prairie Island Nuclear Plant in Red Wing, Dakota County is required to have a separate plan for the possibility of a nuclear accident or disaster. The plan specifies how we will respond, shelter and evacuate residents in the southeast portion of our county and how the EOC will coordinate with State and other local agencies.
- Byllesby Dam Emergency Action Plan (EAP) - Byllesby Dan at the Byllesby Regional Park near Randolph, MN is desginated a high hazard Hydro-electric dam by the federal government. The dam is owned and operated by Dakota County. Federal regulations require us to have a separate dedicated EAP that is up to date in the event of a sudden and catastrophic dam failure. This plan covers how we will respond and notify residents downstream of a dam failure to quickly evacuate people in jeopardy.
New in 2015 is a policy change in Dakota County regarding our outdoor warning sirens. Effective January 1, 2015, the warning sirens will activate for all National Weather Service (NWS) Tornado warnings and for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings when wind speeds are expected to meet or exceed 70 mph. Also, local police and fire can call to have the sirens activated if they feel it is in the best interests of public safety based on what they are seeing or experienceing locally. (They see a funnel cloud, etc. and a warning has not yet been issued by the NWS)
The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator also recommends each family have a plan for their families in times of disasters. For further information of individual emergency preparedness and planning checklists for disasters, check out www.ready.gov for information.