The emergency management operations in Minnehaha County, South Dakota are overseen by the Minnehaha County Office of Emergency Management (OEM). The OEM conducts hazard analyses and produces plans for disaster mitigation, preparedness, and recovery. This office also develops, tests and evaluates disaster response systems for long-term implementation.
One of the major programs that the OEM has approved and activated is the Sioux Falls/Minnehaha/Lincoln Urban Area Telecommunications Interoperability Plan (TIC). This plan ensures that the communications equipment and protocols for this region are compatible with one another and with the communications systems of state and federal agencies. The TIC analyzed current communications systems and identified incompatibilities, then provided recommendations to modify these incongruities.
Training and Requirements for Emergency Management Professionals in Minnehaha County, South Dakota
With such a long history of extreme weather, many of the public and private organizations in Minnehaha County, South Dakota offer jobs to emergency management expertise in geology, meteorology, public health, engineering, and business administration. Many of the most common job requirements include:
- A bachelor’s degree in
- Homeland security
- Emergency management
- Public health
- Public policy
- Business administration
- At least three years of full time experience in emergency management
- A year of supervisory experience is preferred
- Knowledge of the National Response Framework, Incident Command System, and Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Demonstrated ability to work with local, tribal, state and federal officials
- Familiarity with legal frameworks at various levels of government
The training section of the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management (SDOEM) provides a comprehensive training program to EM personnel from public agencies and private sector organizations. SDOEM sponsors training exercises that simulate a natural or manmade disaster that is based on federal models. Many of the emergency management courses in Minnehaha County this agency offers include:
- Donations management workshop
- Debris management
- Mass fatalities
- Flood fight operations
- Community mass care management
The federal Emergency Management Institute also provides a wide selection of disaster response courses including
- Incident management
- Disaster logistics
- Emergency communications
- Integrated preparedness
- Hazard mitigation
- Continuity programs
Another important organization for emergency management professionals is the International Association for Emergency Managers which offers accreditations for Certified Emergency Managers and Associate Emergency Managers.
Environmental Emergencies in Minnehaha County’s Past
Since 1950, Minnehaha County has experience 16 heavy blizzards, 229 floods, and one earthquake of magnitude 3.6. During this period, Minnehaha County was the site of 78 tornado events with a magnitude of two or higher.
The worst of these events occurred in 1998 when a Category Four tornado was accompanied by a long line of severe storms which killed six people in Minnehaha County and injured more than 150 others. The devastating storms knocked out power to more than two million people and caused almost $17 million in damage.