Countywide Emergency Preparedness

Otter Tail County Emergency Management is responsible for developing and maintaining a variety of programs and activities. Here are just a few examples:


Emergency Operations Plan

Provides guidance for how emergency operations will be managed during a disaster with countywide impact or significance. It is intended to assist key county officials and emergency organizations in carrying out their responsibilities for the protection of life and property under a wide range of emergency conditions.

All-Hazards Mitigation Plan
Recognizes the natural, human, and technological hazards that are possible in Otter Tail County, and seeks to identify methods to eliminate their threat or reduce their impact on the people, property, economies, and natural resources of Otter Tail County.

Continuity of Operations Plan
A guide to be used in times of emergency to keep county government operational and able to continue providing services to Otter Tail County residents, clients, communities, and employees. It is also guides county government reconstitution following a disaster.

Outdoor Warning Sirens
There are currently 27 sirens located in communities throughout Otter Tail County, which are purchased, owned, and maintained by the local jurisdiction. Not all cities/townships have sirens.) It is statewide policy that all outdoor warning sirens are tested on the first Wednesday of the month, at least March through October.

It is Otter Tail County policy that the Sheriff's Office will notify effected communities when a tornado warning or severe weather warning has been issued for a portion of, or all of Otter Tail County. If the notification is life threatening, outdoor warning sirens may be activated.

Emergency Preparedness Advisory Committee
This group of 30+ multi-discipline and multi-agency representatives from throughout Otter Tail County provides ongoing support and advice to the Emergency Management Program, with the goal to:

  1. Assure collaborative and coordinated city, county, and other partner planning for responding to emergencies.
  2. Identify and supplement resources available to address incidents.
  3. Communicate updates on requirements of various agencies involved in emergency response.

Disciplines Represented:

 Emergency Medical Services
 Animal Care
 Faith Community
 Human Services
 City Administration
 Fire Service
 Law Enforcement
 County Administration
 Fuel Industry
 Debris Management
 Funeral Home/Mortuary
 Public Health
 Gas Utility
 Electric Utility
 Hazardous Materials
 Voluntary Agencies

Every emergency response organization in Otter Tail County regularly participates in training and exercises - refreshing and testing everything from their technical skills to inter-agency coordination and cooperation. Support agencies also train and exercise on their responsibilities and how they fit into the overall structure of emergency response.

Otter Tail County Emergency Management provides training opportunities to organizations, municipalities, county departments and other partners throughout the year, and hosts at least one county-level exercise every year. It also coordinates municipal exercises upon request. Recent local exercises include train derailment, propane explosion, dam failure, and winter storm scenarios.

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