Weather Forecast


Family emergency preparedness dominates questions for FEMA

It's been more than a month since tornadoes sent debris flying through parts of northwestern and southern Minnesota, however, family emergency preparedness remains the number one topic on the minds of Minnesotans, especially among those who survived the twisters last June in Otter Tail, Wadena, Freeborn and Steele counties. That's where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) answered questions and offered important safety tips recently as part of its community outreach displays at area home supply stores and local fairs.

"The best way to help avoid a tragedy is to prevent one and these community outreach displays demonstrate the importance of prevention," stated Lawrence Sommers, FEMA federal coordinating officer. "Being prepared involves everyone. That's why it's important to take steps now to prepare our families for severe weather before it strikes."

More than 1,000 people visited the mitigation outreach display at the East Otter Tail County Fair in Perham, the Wadena County Fair in Wadena, Lowe's in Owatonna and Home Depot in Albert Lea. The mitigation outreach events supported state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding June 17-26.

In addition to answering questions about family emergency preparedness, mitigation experts provided brochures, booklets and guides on simple techniques for enhancing preparedness around the home and offered tips on making sure families are prepared before disaster strikes.

To learn more about family emergency preparedness, including information about utility safety, consideration for individuals with special needs and family pets, visit:

FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.