What We Do
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management helps Minnesotans prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and works to keep Minnesota secure from acts of terrorism.
Director Joe Kelly leads HSEM and its 75 full-time employees. Five branch directors oversee a multi-talented and multi-trained staff which brings a depth of knowledge to the ongoing effort to protect Minnesotans. Collectively HSEM staff has combined experience of:
• 275 years at Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
• 424 years at a variety of state agencies.
• 474 years of expertise in a wide ranging number of fields.
Minnesota created its Department of Civil Defense in 1951 when C. Elmer Anderson was Minnesota’s governor and color television was introduced. Today the division is called Homeland Security and Emergency Management. How we do business has changed dramatically in the last 60 years, but the reason we do it has remained constant—keeping Minnesota ready for disasters whether they are caused by humans or mother nature. In the past 10 years our country has lived through the attacks of September 11, and the force of Hurricane Katrina. Closer to home, Minnesota has experienced 12 presidentially declared major disasters and four emergency declarations including the collapse of the I-35w bridge across the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.
The financial impact of disasters on communities and individuals can be devastating. HSEM brings in millions of dollars in response, recovery, mitigation and education funding every year.
HSEM staff knows training is a critical component of keeping Minnesota ready. Staff members training includes:
• Federal and State Certified Emergency Management
• Radiological Emergency Preparedness
• Emergency Management Compact Assistance Training
• Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools
• Wildfire Awareness Training
• Flood Plain Management
• National Incident Management Systems
• Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management Mark Huge Memorial Award
• Association of Emergency Managers Meritorious Service Award
• HSEM Award of Excellence