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Homeland Security and Emergency Management

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Minnesota COVID-19 Response

What's New?

State Disaster Aid Granted for Civil Unrest Damages

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.

o 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.

he state will cover 75 percent of the total costs, with Hennepin County covering the remaining 25 percent. 

Funding for New State Emergency Operations Center

Governor Walz talks with HSEM Director Joe Kelly in the SEOC
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 Center.

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 new facility.

Disasters Won’t Wait for COVID-19 to End. Make a Plan Today!

2020 National Preparedness Month During COVID

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 pandemic? 

Minnesota Firefighters Recount Oregon Wildfire EMAC Deployment

Deployed Firefighters Speak About Mission in Oregon
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.

Even though it was tough being away from loved ones, all of the firefighters said they would jump at the chance to help out again if they were asked. We are proud of them and the work they did on their two-week Emergency Management Assistance Compact mission.