Nineteen Lake Minnetonka regional governments, including the communities served by the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department (SLMPD), the Deephaven Police Department (DPD), and the Excelsior Fire District (EFD), are members of the Lake Minnetonka Regional Emergency Plan. The plan guides responders through a structured, organized response to significant emergencies or disasters in the community. The plan is frequently reviewed and updated as needed.
Supporting agencies include the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and Hennepin County Emergency Preparedness.
Emergency Management Staff
Local emergency management coordination staff consists of an Emergency Management Director (the Chief of Police as dictated by ordinance), and Emergency Management Coordinators, consisting of individuals from the SLMPD, the DPD, and the EFD, who receive specialized, ongoing training in all four phases of emergency management - preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.
Citizen Preparedness - Before an Emergency
Private citizens can and should also prepare for emergencies. There are several simple steps that you, as a citizen, can take to prepare yourself for an emergency. Personal preparedness activities can not only keep you and your family safe but can help you become a response asset rather than a response burden.
Complete your own hazard analysis. If you have lived in the community for any period of time, you are probably aware of the hazards that are high risk for your area. If you are new to the area, talk to some long-time residents to determine what events have occurred historically in your area. Don’t forget the “small” emergencies, such as fire or an extended electrical outage. Build a kit. To learn how, visit http://www.ready.gov/ .
Develop your own emergency plan. Play the “what if” game with each of the hazards you selected. What would you do if __________________ occurs? Then ask yourself what supplies you would need to take the action(s) you identify, and gather the supplies together. Practice your plan. Even simple tasks can become difficult during an emergency. Practice your plan before an emergency occurs until you are thoroughly familiar with the procedures you need to follow if the event occurs. Citizen Response - During an Emergency
What can private citizens do to facilitate an emergency response? Surprisingly, there is much that citizens can do, and many of the actions that will help the response most are relatively simple. Follow your own emergency plan. Assuming that you developed a plan and practiced what you would do during the preparedness phase, this is the time to implement it. Follow your plan unless something related to the event makes it unworkable or unsafe.
Pay attention to and follow emergency directions provided by local officials. Listen to emergency broadcasts on the local media and follow the directions provided in the broadcasts. Emergency announcements are prepared by those who are most familiar with what is actually happening at the incident site and will provide you with the information you need to remain safe during the emergency.
Don’t make unnecessary phone calls, either by cellular phone or land line. Keep critical lines of communication open for emergency use.
Very importantly, if you think you want to help during an emergency, don’t just show up at the scene to help. Volunteer with an established voluntary agency now. Volunteering before an emergency occurs will enable you to receive the training you need so that, when an emergency occurs and your services are needed, you know where you need to go and what you will do. Volunteering before an emergency also helps the agency and local authorities identify their resources and plan their needs. Two of the most effective and experienced volunteer agencies are the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army .
Mass Casualty Incident Drill
Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services personnel who are responsible for public safety in your community, along with Paradise Charter Cruises, participated in a Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) training drill on Sunday, September 13, 2009. The MCI drill took place on ExcelsiorBay, along the shoreline of the bay, the Port of Excelsior, and the CommonsPark.
An MCI is an incident or disaster that challenges the resources of public safety. This MCI involved a staged accident between a charter boat and a speed boat. Local public safety agencies participating included the Excelsior Fire District and other area fire departments, the Deephaven and South Lake Minnetonka Police Departments, HCMC and Ridgeview Ambulance services, Hennepin County Sheriffs Water Patrol, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Communications, and the cities of the Excelsior Fire District.
The drill went well and was an educational experience for all public safety professionals who took part in it. A formal evaluation and "lessons learned" discussion took place later that month.
For additional information contact Excelsior Fire Chief Scott Gerber at 952-960-1650 or Emergency Management Coordinator David Hohertz at 952-960-1619.