Would You Be Ready if There Were a Disaster in Inver Grove Heights?

Since 9/11, September has served as National Preparedness Month—the goal of which is to educate the public about how to prepare for all manner of emergencies.

What would you do if Inver Grove 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 Inver Grove Heights? 

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.

"We have a city-wide emergency operations plan in place," Inver Grove Heights police officer Lt. Sean Folmar told Patch. "It covers who'll take care of what, from emergency financial help all the way down to dealing with a natural or biological disaster." 

Folmar continued: "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." 

Lt. Folmar also explained that the IGH 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.

While the section on Handling Emergencies includes extensive information for all categories of disaster, the county has developed specific plans for All Hazard Mitigation PlanPandemic influenza planningHiPP Pandemic Influenza Project.

The website also details procedures for preparing one's family for an emergency:

Diane Baum September 11, 2012 at 03:36 PM
We actually have TWO refineries here...one on hwy 52 and one just across the river by the Rock Island Swing Bridge. Two nuclear power plants...one north and one south of the metro.We also have MOA just five miles away as well as an airport and Fort Snelling. If terrorists wanted a target, this is it. I try to not feel fear...but I do think that it is important to have an evacuation plan just in case. However, when one considers the close proximity of those nuclear power plants...it may be futile to think one can run from that danger. Sad but true.
Diane Baum September 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM
ssp son: there are two nuclear power plants. One is in Monticello, MN and the other is the Prairie Island nuclear power plant down by Treasure Island. We are both upwind of one and downwind of the other. Cooked if a terrorist decides to have his way here. The oil plants are in St Paul Park (Ashland) and on hwy 52 (Flint Hills).
hanghang September 22, 2012 at 04:07 AM
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