What would you do if Mendota Heights saw flash flooding or a Katrina-scale storm? What steps would you take if the Prairie Island Nuclear facility in Red Wing melted down? How about if we found H1N1 in the city of Mendota?
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), September 2012 marks the ninth annual National Preparedness Month, which is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US Department of Homeland Security.
The primary goal of National Preparedness Month is to educate the public about how to prepare for emergencies—including natural disasters, mass casualties, biological and chemical threats, radiation emergencies, and terrorist attacks.
The Mendota Heights police department is part of the Dakota County Domestic Preparedness Commission, which meets monthly to discuss, among other things, weather preparedness and initial response procedures.
"Dakota County staff work closely with federal, state, and local emergency preparedness partners to improve our readiness and response to natural disasters and other emergencies, like pandemic flu," the Dakota County website states.
Inver Grove Heights police officer Lt. Sean Folmar, who's on the Dakota County committee preparedeness commission, told Patch: "Because of the weather patterns in Minnesota, we actually do a lot of our weather-related preparations in the early Spring. Different regions across the country have different hot spots. Out West it's wildfires; down South it's hurricanes; here, it's tornadoes."
While the section on Handling Emergencies includes extensive information for all categories of disaster, the county has developed specific plans for All Hazard Mitigation Plan, Pandemic influenza planning, HiPP Pandemic Influenza Project.
The website also details procedures for preparing one's family for an emergency: