Disaster Preparedness

What is Emergency Management?

Emergency Management has grown out of the "old" Civil Defense days of the 1950's. Changes to federal and state laws have brought new concepts and responsibilities to the office including consideration and planning for all hazards.

In the late 1980’s the implementation of the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act created a repository for documenting the storage of hazardous materials in the community. In conjunction with these laws the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) was formed to help identify priorities and provide oversight to local emergency planning. Most recently Homeland Security issues have become an additional focus for planning activities and resource development.

Washburn County Emergency Management utilizes planning, training and coordination to continually develop mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery capabilities of the County’s cities, towns, tribes and villages. These four phases of emergency management are intended to identify and coordinate available resources to deal with emergencies effectively, thereby saving lives, avoiding injury and minimizing economic loss.

MITIGATION: Mitigation activities are those, which actually eliminate or reduce the chance of occurrence or the effects of a disaster.

RESPONSE: Response means the coordinated actions taken during or immediately following a natural or technological disaster, when essential utilities and supply sources are disrupted, major damage has occurred to public and private property, and injuries or deaths may have been inflicted. All emergencies must be managed during the response phase by using an Incident Command structure that efficiently procures and employs all the resources needed to effectively manage the situation. Each emergency is different and requires a comprehensive assessment of resources available and the flexibility to mobilize them quickly.

PREPAREDNESS: Preparedness means planning for emergency operations, identifying available resources, which can be tapped during a disaster, ensuring training, and practicing plans through exercises.

RECOVERY: Recovery means the restoration of all systems to normal or near-normal condition. Long-term recovery from a disaster may go on for years until the entire disaster area is completely redeveloped, either as it was in the past or for an entirely new purpose which is less vulnerable to a disaster

Emergency Information About Disasters and Emergencies in Washburn County

During an emergency or disaster, individuals may be asked to temporarily leave their home or business during a natural or man-made disaster that possesses the potential to cause harm or even death to a given geographical population. Evacuations are usually temporarily, lasting sometimes a few hours to a few days.

Where can I get information about disasters and emergencies in Washburn County?

During an emergency or disaster, individuals will be updated on the situation of the incident including any instructions that individuals should take, such as to shelter-in-place or evacuate, through a variety of means.

Television: Although, television is a great resource for receiving information, Washburn County relies heavily on the Twin Cities and Duluth markets, hence information may not be as readily available as you'd like for Washburn County area.

Minneapolis/St. Paul

KARE - Channel 11
WCCO - Channel 4
KSTP - Channel 5
KSMP - Channel 9


WDIO - Channel 10
KBJR - Channel 6 & 3

Newspaper: Washburn County has no daily newspaper so it will be difficult to receive up-to-date information from our newspapers. The Twin Cities area does have daily newspapers and will likely provide daily information on the incident:

Radio:Radio will likely be the best source of receiving information on a local incident. The following are the local radio stations for Washburn County.

Shell Lake:


Rice Lake: