Emergency Management
Location: Prior Lake City Hall
Date: March 12, 2020 9:30 – 11:00 a.m

FISH Chair Tom Christie welcomed everyone to the presentation. FISH stories were shared.
Scott Haas, Scott County’s Director of Emergency Management and Communication, first talked about
understanding our risk and what we can do during a crisis. We are a county of wind and water. He explained
that because of record snowfall last year, Sand Creek had ice jams that were 40-45 inches thick. The creek
rose five feet in two hours. This year the ice jams were only 9 inches thick and broke up before doing any
damage. The attached PowerPoint has more information and lists the traditional risks that we may face.
Scott explained that technology makes detection of things like tornados better. While it may seem that we
have more tornados and disasters, technology is able to pinpoint them when storm spotters aren’t even
aware of them.
Scott explained that normal precipitation is calculated by looking at the previous three decades. We have
received the equivalent of one extra year of rain in the last five years. In the next ten years we will have a new
“normal” higher than the last ten.
The most important thing we can do is manage insurance risk. During Hurricane Harvey, the average flood
insurance claim was $130,000, but FEMA only pays $2,500 per property. He suggested having riders on homeowners insurance to cover sewage backup and sump pump failure.
Personal preparedness for any type of situation would include a kit to have on hand. Contents of the kit are
found on this website: https://www.ready.gov/kit. We don’t need a month’s worth of supplies – one week is
There is a way to use a gas fireplace if electricity goes off and your furnace isn’t working. Many people won’t
leave their homes in an emergency because they won’t leave their pets. Shelters need to have
accommodations for pets too. When there is a toxic substance in the air and a “shelter in place” order is given,
this means turning off the HVAC system so the toxic substance in the air doesn’t come into the home.
Families should have an emergency plan and local organizations need one too. It doesn’t need to be
complicated: what to do, whose job is it, where else to offer services. In some faith communities the ushers
are trained.
FEMA only responds to catastrophic disasters and has a $2,500 cap per claim. Their primary purpose is to get
government back on its feet. Organizations such as Red Cross, Salvation Army and HEART provide help locally.
Gift cards may come from local organizations.
How can we fill the gap? Scott County is building a core of volunteers in a disaster. Cara Madsen, the county
Volunteer Coordinator, is helping with this. The website, https://do1thing.com is preparing individuals and
community groups on how to respond by addressing a different topic every month.
What if there is no WiFi? We need to have printed copies of information in that event.

Mar 2020 FISH Emergency Preparedness Power Point

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Shakopee, MN