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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.

Our Mission, Vision, and Core Goals

The mission of 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 effects of hazards.  Our vision is create a comprehensive emergency management system that works. We have four core goals:

  1. Develop effective emergency response
  2. Work toward a disaster resilient community
  3. Build community partnerships
  4. Keep everyone informed

Planning and Operations for Community Planners

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 Planning and Operations section is published to help community partners keep abreast of planning, training, and disaster exercises in the City of Rochester.

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