COVID-19 InformationInformation and Updates for Community Members

Contact Information

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

Phone: 507-328-2822
Fax: 507-328-2829

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

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The focus of this section of the website is for community planners.  City staff make up the bulk of community planners, and help coordinate disasters at the Emergency Operations Center.  There are many partners in emergency management, and these partnerships include Rochester hospitals, Olmsted County agencies (such as Public Health and Community Services), voluntary agencies, businesses, and non-profit groups. While most of this website is for public education and information, the Community Preparedness section is published to help community partners keep abreast of planning, training, and disaster exercises in the City of Rochester.

About Emergency Management

As a profession, emergency management began in the 1950s as a result of the nuclear arms race.  Civil defense - as it was called - helped cities and counties prepare for a nuclear disaster.  Fortunately, no bombs were launched, and planners worked to make a difference in other areas.  Weather is the most pressing threat, be it from floods, tornadoes, ice storms, or heat waves.  Train derailments and other incidents pose a hazard where dangerous chemicals could be released.

Today, emergency management seeks to prepare the community for a disaster through:

  • Planning, training, and exercises
  • Coordinate emergency response
  • Minimize hazards and threats impacting life and property
  • Recovery from significant emergencies and disasters

To understand the role of today's emergency manager, watch this short video on the Essential Emergency Manager

Service Area - City of Rochester Emergency Management

City of Rochester Emergency Management service area - defined by the Emergency Management Act - is the city limits of Rochester. In addition to the city, Rochester Fire, Police, Public Utilities, and Public Works Departments provide assistance to SE Minnesota as requested, such as the Police Emergency Response Unit, and Fire Department Chemical Assessment Team, and Structural Collapse Team. 

Outside the City of Rochester, emergency coordination is provided by Olmsted County Office of Emergency Management. The City has an agreement with Olmsted County HSEM to trigger the sirens during a tornado warning.  By state statute, City emergency management will handle disasters in the city, and County emergency management will handle emergencies in Byron, Stewartville, Oronoco, Eyota, Dover, and areas of the Olmsted County outside the City of Rochester.