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School Safety Center Answers Calls for Help

Picture of the Byron High School Door with Locked Message
Dozens of Minnesota school districts have requested school safety assessments following several incidents around the country. The Minnesota School Safety Center (MnSSC) staff are fulfilling those requests in cities like Montevideo, Eyota and the Twin Cities.

The assessments bring together administrators, educators, law enforcement and emergency managers as they consider, “What keeps you up at night?” They also tour school buildings to identify safety concerns and other hazards such as:

  • Entry points that may need to be secured.
  • Sightlines that may need to be improved.
  • Adding security systems like cameras and locks.

At a recent visit in Byron, MnSSC staff also guided district officials through safety training, drill protocols and safety best practices.

Historic Snowstorm Causes Significant Damages

Downed Power Lines in Rock County
Two days after digging out of Minnesota’s historic April snowstorm, we’re finally starting to see the damaging effects.

  • Nobles County is reporting more than $48 thousand in damages—after high winds caused a widespread power outage for three days. Firefighters established shelters and went door-to-door to check on residents. Other first responders helped residents get to shelters and set up generators for critical facilities.
  • In Rock County, officials reported more than 100 broken power poles leaving more than 1,700 people without power. Responders worked over the weekend to clear downed power lines that barricaded roads. They also conducted search and rescue operations during the outage.  

HSEM recovery staff are working with both counties to schedule preliminary damage assessments to determine if the damages will be eligible for reimbursement through the State Disaster Contingency Account.

 

Preparing for Spring’s Severe Weather

Severe Weather Awareness Week reminder
Despite winter’s tight grip, spring is here in Minnesota. It won’t be long before we see thunderstorms roll into the state. It’s a good time to refresh your family’s emergency plan should severe weather strike.

Minnesotans should stay alert and be prepared for the following safety threats:

Follow the HSEM Facebook and Twitter pages to learn new ways to stay informed this severe weather season.

Legislators Consider State Emergency Operations Center Proposal

July 2017 drill inside the SEOC

Members of Minnesota’s House public safety committee are considering a plan for a new State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and HSEM offices in Arden Hills. HSEM Director Joe Kelly recently presented the $33.6 million plan at the capitol at the request of legislators.

He noted that HSEM’s current SEOC in downtown St. Paul is too small, has accessibility concerns, and inadequate communications capabilities. The SEOC is activated for statewide emergencies such as the Avian Flu and severe weather disasters. But it can also be utilized for events such as Super Bowl LII.

The proposed facility would be twice the size as HSEM’s current space and would built on land that once occupied the Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. Read about the proposal and get a behind-the-scenes look at the SEOC.  

Featured Video

Video Description: This video shows what happens behind the scenes during an exercise in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).