What Is Emergency Management?

Emergency Management is a coordinated response to an unusual emergency situation. A response that calls for maximum use of community resources, with far greater need for coordination between response agencies than usually exists.

Emergency Management is a vital link in a network of services, which makes it possible for natural disasters and large-scale emergencies to be mitigated and dealt with effectively. The job of this department is to assist in all natural and man made disasters and in situations when a Tribal Entity has exhausted its immediately available local and mutual aid resources, when there is a potential for long range or immediate danger to life or property.

Providing assistance to St. Croix Tribal residents in the following disaster situations:

  • Tornadoes
  • Highway Accidents
  • Rail Accidents
  • Terrorism
  • Chemical Spills
  • High Damaging Winds
  • Floods
  • Forest Fires

Disasters Can Happen Anytime, Anywhere... Disaster Preparedness Begins with You!!!

If a disaster would strike our Tribal Communities, it could be days before help arrives and basic services are restored. Would you and your family be ready if that happened? Unfortunately, most households aren't prepared even for routine water main breaks and weather-related power outages that leave us without utilities for two or three days. The St. Croix Tribal Emergency Management Coordinator along with the emergency response community strongly urges every household to prepare to get along for 72 hours following an emergency with no assistance. This website provides information to the St. Croix Tribal Communities to better prepare themselves for disasters.

Be Informed about Natural Disasters

What is Emergency Management?

Emergency Management has grown out of the "old" Civil Defense days of the 1950's. Changes to federal and state laws have brought new concepts and responsibilities to the office including consideration and planning for all hazards.

In the late 1980's the implementation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act created a repository for documenting the storage of hazardous materials in the community. In conjunction with these laws the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) was formed to help identify priorities and provide oversight to local emergency planning. Most recently Homeland Security issues have become an additional focus for planning activities and resource development.

St. Croix Tribal Emergency Management utilizes planning, training and coordination to continually develop mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery capabilities of the County's cities, towns, tribes and villages. These four phases of emergency management are intended to identify and coordinate available resources to deal with emergencies effectively, thereby saving lives, avoiding injury and minimizing economic loss.


Mitigation activities are those which actually eliminate or reduce the chance of occurrence or the effects of a disaster.

Examples Of Mitigation Strategies:

  • Floodplain Management Ordinances
  • Building Inspection, Fire Inspection
  • Prevention and Preparedness programs
  • Detention basins and Storm water management plans
  • Hazard and Vulnerability Analysis


Response means the coordinated actions taken during or immediately following a natural or technological disaster, when essential utilities and supply sources are disrupted, major damage has occurred to public and private property, and injuries or deaths may have been inflicted.

All emergencies must be managed during the response phase by using an Incident Command structure that efficiently procures and employs all the resources needed to effectively manage the situation. Each emergency is different and requires a comprehensive assessment of resources available and the flexibility to mobilize them quickly.

Examples Of Response Capabilities:

  • Fire Suppression
  • Evacuation
  • Scene Security
  • Damage Assessment
  • Search and Rescue
  • Debris Clearance


Preparedness means planning for emergency operations, identifying available resources which can be tapped during a disaster, ensuring training, and practicing plans through exercises.

Examples Of Preparedness Techniques:

  • Public Education
  • Training and drills
  • Plan development and revision
  • Resource inventory
  • Inter-jurisdictional communication


Recovery means the restoration of all systems to normal or near-normal condition. Long-term recovery from a disaster may go on for years until the entire disaster area is completely redeveloped, either as it was in the past or for an entirely new purpose which is less vulnerable to disaster.

Examples Of Recovery Tactics:

  • Developing recovery plans
  • Restoration of utilities, roads, and government services
  • Damage Assessment
  • Action plans

What is Sheltering-in-Place?

"Shelter-in-place" means to take immediate shelter where you are—at home, work, school or in between—usually for just a few hours. Local authorities may instruct you to "shelter-in-place" if biological, chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment or if there is a large scale infectious disease outbreak. Click here for more information on Sheltering in Place.

What is Evacuation?

During an emergency or disaster, individuals may be asked to temporarily leave their home or business during a natural or man-made disaster that possesses the potential to cause harm or even death to a given geographical population. Evacuations are usually temporarily, lasting sometimes a few hours to a few days.

Where can I get information about disasters and emergencies?

During an emergency or disaster, individuals will be updated on the situation of the incident including any instructions that individuals should take, such as to shelter-in-place or evacuate, through a variety of means.

Television: Although, television is a great resource for receiving information, the Tribe relies heavily on the Twin Cities market hence information may not be as readily available as you'd like for Polk County area.

Newspaper: The Twin Cities area does have daily newspapers and will likely provide daily information on the incident.

Radio: Radio will likely be the best source of receiving information on a local incident. The following are local radio stations:


Visit the What's New section of our web site for updated information about emergency planning tips and events.