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Gov. Tim Walz
has approved state disaster assistance for Hennepin County for damages to public property related to the
civil unrest following George Floyd’s death. The
Governor requested a federal major disaster declaration in July for the incident. The Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA) denied Minnesota’s original request. The Governor appealed that
decision, which FEMA again denied in August.To qualify for state disaster assistance, the damages had to
exceed the population-based public assistance damage indicator of $2.2 million
for Hennepin County. The damage assessment, conducted jointly by FEMA and HSEM, verified $15.6 million in eligible fire-related
damages. This is the first time since the
inception of the state disaster assistance contingency account that Hennepin County has been awarded any state
disaster aid.The state will cover 75 percent of the total costs, with
Hennepin County covering the remaining 25 percent.
When disaster strikes, Minnesotans depend on the state and
its resources to effectively and efficiently respond and recover. Included in the bonding bill signed by Gov. Walz is $29.5 million to acquire
land, design, develop, construct, and equip a new State Emergency Operations
During the COVID-19 activation, the SEOC experienced a burst
sewer pipe, had bullets pierce a street-side window, and was the victim of a
break-in. The location was also not large enough to accommodate federal, state, and local partners in a socially
distanced manner. The SEOC fully activatedon March 15 for COVID-19 response and will remain that way until the threat ofthe pandemic no longer exists. This activation is the longest ever for the SEOC.
HSEM Director Joe Kelly and Deputy Director Kevin Reed will
now begin efforts to find the right property, then work
with contractors to design and build the
COVID-19 has likely made you think differently about a lot
of things. As our lives continue to be changed by this pandemic, there is no
better time to plan and be prepared for an emergency.
Already have an emergency preparedness plan from previous
years? Think about how COVID-19 may impact that plan this year. A good question
to ask is: What will my loved ones and I need to do differently due to the
They dropped everything, hopped in uncomfortable fire trucks, and drove out to Oregon to protect buildings and land from a wildfire. Now they’re back home, rested, and telling their first-hand account of their two-week mission. Six of the deployed crew members recently explained to reporters what it was like to sleep in tents and extinguish flames in unfamiliar territory around the Slater Fire.