Within the Minnetonka Fire Department, three federal- and state-certified emergency managers, all of whom are recognized locally as leaders in the field, form the city’s Emergency Management Department. Together, they keep the city's emergency preparedness at a level virtually unmatched by other municipalities.
Emergency management includes the four phases below:
- Mitigation: Actions taken to prevent disasters or lessen the harmful effects of unavoidable disaster.
- Preparedness: Planning and training for potential disasters and emergencies.
- Response: All actions taken to lessen the impact of an actual or emergency.
- Recovery: Actions taken to return communities and their citizens to their pre-disaster state, including measures to enhance future disaster preparedness.
The Emergency Management Department is responsible for maintaining Minnetonka’s Emergency Response Plan. The city's plan is reviewed annually, on a four-year cycle. Reviews are conducted by the city, the county, the state and the federal government to ensure the plan is a workable, living document that meets criteria laid out by these governments. Minnetonka's plan is so comprehensive that it is often used by other training agencies.
Visit Ready.gov for great information on creating an emergency plan for your family.
Severe Thunderstorm Watch
A severe thunderstorm watch means severe thunderstorms are possible. Be alert for changes in the weather, monitor local radio or television and be prepared to act quickly.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning
A severe thunderstorm warning means severe thunderstorms are occurring, which may produce hail and/or very strong winds. Some of these winds are called straight-line winds, and can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour. Severe thunderstorms can also produce tornadoes with little or no warning.
A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms with tornadoes. When a tornado watch is issued, be alert for changes in the weather, monitor local radio or television and be prepared to act quickly.
A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately:
Go to the basement of your home and take shelter under the stairs or sturdy furniture such as a workbench or table. If you don’t have a basement, seek shelter in a small room at the lowest level, and/or near the center of your home, such as a closet or bathroom. Avoid areas with windows.
At work or school
Immediately find the building’s designated shelter area. Stay away from large, open rooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums and any room with windows. Lie low and cover your head and neck with your hands and arms.
At a shopping mall
Locate the designated shelter area or go to the center of the building on the lowest level. Stay away from large, long span roofs, open rooms and windows. Do not go to your car - you are generally safer in a building than in the open.
In a car or mobile home
Leave your vehicle or mobile home immediately and move to the nearest safe structure or storm shelter. If you are caught in the open, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression with your hands and arms covering the back of your head and neck.
Outdoor sirens are designed for outdoor warning only. They sound once for approximately five minutes to alert people to move indoors and take appropriate action. Outdoor sirens have two tones: a steady wail is used to warn of significant weather (tornadoes, very severe thunderstorms) while the warble, or up-and-down tone, is used for civil emergency situations (serious chemical leaks, nuclear attack, etc.). The “all clear” is only announced through media outlets when the situation which prompted the siren activation has passed.
Visit Ready.gov for tips on flood safety.
Visit Ready.gov for tips on winter weather safety.