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Contact Information

201 4th Street SE
Rochester, Mn 55904 (Map)

Phone: 507-328-2800
Fax: 507-328-2829

Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Department Contacts

Emergency Management

Severe Weather Workshop

Severe Weather Response for Special Event Planners Workshop and Exercise
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
1:00 - 4:30 PM

City of Rochester Emergency Management Division is sponsoring a workshop for outdoor activity and special event planners.  Speakers from National Weather Service, Rochester Police, Rochester Emergency Management, and Olmsted County HSEM will help outdoor event planners with information and action steps to protect people from summer weather hazards.  Severe weather hazards include lightning, high winds that create flying debris, hail, and tornadoes. 

You should attend this workshop if you host large outdoor public events, are a coach or umpire, work at athletic events, or other situations where you want to learn more about what to do in severe summer weather.

To register, call Rochester Emergency Management at (507) 328-2824, or send an email with your name, phone, and email address to kjones@rochestermn.gov

Download Severe Weather Workshop flyer

Severe Weather Awareness Week - April 21 - 25, 2014

Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 21-25, 2014 with two statewide tornado drills on Thursday, April 24 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. This annual public event is designed to remind individuals, families, businesses, schools, and institutions that it’s essential to plan ahead for Minnesota’s severe spring and summer weather. Severe Weather Awareness Week (SWAW). The statewide tornado drills on Thursday, April 24 provide an excellent opportunity for citizens to prepare their homes, families, neighborhoods, and communities! Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week:

An informed, involved community is more resilient to disaster, and being prepared helps reduce the risks and costs of hazardous weather events. An easy way to get prepared is by participating in

Here are a few simple ideas on how individuals, families, businesses, and schools can participate during:

For your family: Practice where and how to shelter for tornadoes during the evening tornado drill on April 24 at 1:45 or 6:55 pm.

For your neighborhood, ask your townhome association, tenants group, or RNeighbors association to make emergency preparedness an agenda item at the next business meeting.  Looking for a subject?  Do1Thing offers a new subject once a month - choose just one of three suggestions to discuss.

For the community, attend the Severe Weather Response for Special Events (if you are hosting an outdoor event).

For your workplace, review the building emergency response plan.  Know where to go in a tornado. 

In 2014, Take Small Steps Toward Being Prepared for a Disaster

 April 2014: Food


Learn what you can do to have a three day food supply.

An emergency food supply doesn’t have to sit on a shelf, ready for disaster to strike (although it can). It can be part of the food you use every day. The key to a good food storage plan is to buy ahead of time. Replace items before they run out. Buy items when they are on sale. 

Do 1 Thing is a 12-month program that makes it easy for you to prepare yourself, your family, and your community for emergencies or disasters. For more information on what you can to do this month to be better prepared, and to track your progress visit:


Are you prepared?  Use the quick, one-page checklist to see if you are prepared at home or in the car.

Prepare My Business

A business plan gets you ready for the future growth of your business.  In an unexpected crisis, a business continuity plan is needed to bounce back and keep your head above water.  The Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery Solutions are working together to encourage all small businesses to have a recovery plan in place.  Visit this website to learn how you can maintain Business As Usual, No Matter What

Independent Study Course: Protecting Your Home or Small Business From Disaster

Course Overview

The Emergency Management Institute is pleased to announce the newly revised independent study course, IS-394.a Protecting your Home or Small Business from Disaster. The course replaces IS-394 Mitigation for Homeowners.

Course Objectives:

The purpose of this course is to provide a foundation of knowledge that will enable participants to:

  • Describe different types of natural disasters

  • Describe hazards that pose a risk to their home or small business

  • Explain how protective measures can reduce or eliminate long-term risks to their home and personal property from hazards and their effects

  • Explain how protective measures for small businesses secure people, business property, and building structures and prevent business loss from a natural disaster

Primary Audience

The primary audience for IS-394.a, like its predecessor, is small business owners, homeowners, and individual citizens. It is presented in a non-technical format and includes protective measures that can reduce the negative consequences of disasters on homes or small businesses. (Click here to view this free course)

Rochester Alert

Sign Up 

Enroll to receive emergency alerts to your cell phone, home phone, text message and/or email.  It's free!

Emergency Alerts:  How you want them...when you need them

Learn more about Rochester Alert by reading Frequently Asked Questions

Siren Test is Wednesday Morning in Rochester

Summer Siren Test Schedule Begins April 2, 2014

Siren Test Day is Wednesday morning in Rochester. Sirens are a way to alert you to go indoors and seek shelter.  A siren system is used to alert people outdoors.  Sirens are used to warn of tornados, or other life-threatening conditions.  When you hear a siren, go indoors and tune to local news for more information.  Another source for updated information is Rochester Alert website.

Fall/Winter test schedule:  Partial 1 minute test first Wednesday morning (October - March).  Growl test on remaining Wednesday mornings at 10 am.

What is a growl test? Is the siren broken?

A "growl" test is performed 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th Wednesdays.  A growl test momentarily starts the siren, and quickly shuts down.  It might seem like the siren is broken, but it's just a growl test.

Siren system test is every Wednesday morning at 10 am.  Testing the system allows us to make sure sirens will work when needed. 

Summer test schedule:  Full 3 minute test first & third Wednesday mornings (April - September) at 10 am.

From April through September, a full 3 minute siren test will be heard the first & third Wednesday mornings, weather permitting.  This is a routine test to ensure the sirens operate when needed.  On the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Wednesdays, a quick "growl" test happens. Questions? Contact usSiren

Flood Insurance - Do you need it?

Flooding is the #1 natural hazard in the United States.  The flood protection program by the City of Rochester greatly reduces the threat of river & stream flooding for city residents.  Still, the National Flood Insurance Program and the City of Rochester Emergency Management Division wants residents to know that while homeowners insurance won't cover against flooding, you can protect your home and property by purchasing a flood insurance policy.  To purchase a flood insurance policy, contact a local insurance agent.

Here is helpful information to guide you with a decision:

Learn about Flood Insurance Misconceptions, such as Does my homeowners insurance policy cover flooding?  Am I eligible for flood insurance?  Can I get flood insurance if I am renting?  Can I get flood insurance before floodwaters reach my house?  If I live in a low-risk zone, do I really need flood insurance? (and other answers)

Home contents coverage for residents living in high-risk areas

Flood Insurance: What it covers and What it doesn't

Take a look at this flood scenario (interactive video) to see different flood causes.  Or check out this measurement tool to see how much a flood could cost you.

Finally, we want you to know that every lender is required to identify the need for flood insurance as part of any property purchase.  New housing development is required to provide protections against the 100 year flood zone (rivers and streams).  If you want to learn more about flood risk your area, contact the Rochester-Olmsted Planning Department.  Also, a wealth of information can be found at FloodSmart.gov - the official site of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Active Shooter: What You Can Do

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers independent study course for your personal response to an active shooter incident.   This course is available to you at no charge, and will take less than one hour to complete, and you will receive a certificate free-of-charge.

Course Overview: 

An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and other populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.

All employees can help prevent and prepare for potential active shooter situations. This course provides guidance to individuals, including managers and employees, so that they can prepare to respond to an active shooter situation.

This course is not written for law enforcement officers, but for non-law enforcement employees. The material may provide law enforcement officers information on recommended actions for non-law enforcement employees to take should they be confronted with an active shooter situation.

Independent Study Course: IS-907 Active Shooter - What You Can Do

Propane Shortage in Minnesota

Minnesota, along with many northern states, is suffering a shortage of propane gas supplies.  To address this shortage, Governor Dayton declared a State of Peacetime Emergency In The State of Minnesota.  The peacetime declaration allows the Governor to waive restrictions on drivers who deliver propane to suppliers throughout the State.  It also allows State agencies to offer assistance to Minnesota residents.  The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has been activated, and updated information on the propane shortage is available on the SEOC website.

Help is available.  You do not have to go this alone.  The Minnesota Department of Commerce is able to help by contacting the Energy Assistance section. Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) established a hotline to help you find money to pay for heating costs.  Recently, the financial threshold for emergency assistance has been expanded to 60% of median income households. If you are forced to make choices between paying for heat, or paying for medicine, call the Propane Shortage hotline. Emergency assistance is available for you.

Call the Energy Assistance Hotline (800) 657-3710 for information or assistance.  Many residents are calling every day.  The hotline is available from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm, and you can leave a message to have someone call you back.  Call the hotline to find out about money for heating, such as paying for propane refills, or to learn how to help your neighbor.

Weather Radio

Consider using a weather radio.  An emergency weather radio is like a smoke alarm, and will alert you in times of bad weather.  Emergency information will be picked up 24 hrs/day, you can hear them inside (sirens are made to warn people outdoors), and the emergency message will come directly from the National Weather Service.  There are many types of emergency weather radios to choose from - consult this handy guide from NWS La Crosse

Today, an emergency weather radio send alerts for many different emergencies.  In Rochester, you could receive an alert for a train accident with a chemical leak.  Authorities can send messages to the weather radio to let you know if it is best to stay inside (and out of toxic air), or get out before things get worse.  Non-weather emergency messages are important, and make the emergency weather radio a valuable tool.

Identity Theft: Reduce Your Risk of Becoming a Victim

Up to 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. Although nothing can guarantee that you won't become a victim, there are things you can do to help minimize your risk, including:
  • Guarding your Social Security number.
  • Shredding documents with personal information before disposing of them.
  • Using intricate passwords.
  • Verifying a source before sharing any personal information.
  • Being on the lookout for online scammers and thieves.
  • Keeping your purse, wallet, and personal information secure.

The best way to detect identity theft is to monitor your accounts and bank statements each month and check your credit report regularly. Learn more about how to detect identity theft.

If you discover that you are a victim of identity theft, take steps to respond and recover as soon as possible. You can find forms, sample letters, and other tools from the Federal Trade Commission. 


Mission Statement

City of Rochester emergency management provides coordinated disaster response to meet the immediate health and safety needs of citizens and protect the public from harmful effect of hazards

How can you help us achieve our mission?

Keep informed.  Sign up for Rochester Alerts to receive breaking news alerts and notifications.  Browse our Public Information section (Rochester Alert website) to prepare for emergencies. Contact us to improve this site and deliver the information you need.

Information on Current Disaster

Read Active Alerts:

Rochester Alert website - View current alerts and press release information here
Map of active alerts View currents alerts on a map of Olmsted County (may open slowly)

Current Weather Hazards from National Weather Service

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