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 Focus is on two storms out of an outbreak of 35 tornadoes within the Warning Area  Only two fatalities reported from outbreak  First severe.

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Presentation on theme: " Focus is on two storms out of an outbreak of 35 tornadoes within the Warning Area  Only two fatalities reported from outbreak  First severe."— Presentation transcript:





5  Focus is on two storms out of an outbreak of 35 tornadoes within the Warning Area  Only two fatalities reported from outbreak  First severe signatures appeared in Douglas County, MN (MPX)  Issued first warnings based on storm strength and movement while still in Douglas County  Storm intensity sustained as it entered Ottertail County (FGF)  Initial warnings issued to provide sufficient lead time for protection of lives and property





10  The velocity product gave a better indication of storm location and path  The first tornado was the storm that passed near Parkers Prairie, Almora, and Deer Creek before turning right and striking near Bluffton  One fatality occurred at a farm house near Almora  Located approximately 7 miles north-northwest of the city of Parkers Prairie

11  The second storm followed fairly close behind the first  More of a straight northeast track  Touchdown was approximately 3 miles southwest of Wadena  Several homes and businesses destroyed  No fatalities despite higher population density  Prompted additional warnings for Sebeka and Nimrod areas due to projected path of storms





16 Greg Gust, NWS Grand Forks




20  Both storms rated as EF-4  First storm tracking from near Almora to Bluffton resulted in single fatality  Second storm developed and tracked approximately 30 minutes behind first  Multiple warnings required due to storm coverage and movement  Warnings issued in a timely manner  42 minutes lead time for Almora-Bluffton storm  35 minutes lead time for Wadena storm


22 ~Conducted search and rescue in the immediate aftermath of the tornado ~Extricated people from damaged homes ~Rendered aid until ambulance personnel arrived ~Marked hazards and called in to utility companies for downed power lines, natural gas leaks, etc. ~Blocked off the affected area using road guards and barricades

23 ~Established a field command center to brief hundreds officers from 46 agencies to coordinate traffic control and patrol in the affected area using squads, four wheelers and foot patrol ~Coordinated with the street department to set up truck routes to remove 1800+ loads of debris from the affected area

24 ~Coordinated with the National Guard and area Fire Departments to set up check points to only allow permitted people in the disaster area ~Patrolled the affected area making several arrests ranging from looters and scam artists to drug dealers ~Maintained traffic flow with the help of Mounted Posse Members ~Secured the Wadena-Deer Creek High School and Wadena Community Center

25 ~Responded to medical calls and assisted the ambulance when needed ~Established a truck staging area at the softball complex so homeowners could remove property from affected area ~Established a staging area for over flow parking for volunteers


27 ~38 outside fire departments assisted the Wadena Fire Department ~Conducted search and rescue in the immediate hours after the tornado ~Responded to chemical spills/gas leaks and downed power lines in the affected areas ~Conducted door to door checks of residences assuring everyone made it out safely and was accounted for

28 ~Provided extra security in the affected areas ~Assisted with escorting residents into the affected areas to gather belongings and check on pets, etc. ~Responded to one fire call one week after the tornado involving gas and electric crews.


30 ~ EMS initially transported 16 patients ~Tri-County EMS had contact with 32 additional patients in the first week ~Tri-County Hospital treated 69 patients in the first 72 hours ~By hour three of the disaster; there was a total of 22 ground assets, four helicopters, and one fixed wing air asset.

31 ~Tri-County EMS cancelled 8 additional ground assets that were enroute to assist ~Two hours and thirty minutes after the disaster- Tri-County EMS started releasing extra medical personnel who assisted

32 ~Structures Damaged -335 single and multi residences damaged -38 commercial buildings damaged ~Structures Destroyed -86 single and 8 multi residences destroyed -32 commercial building destroyed

33 ~Dispatch/Communications -Cell phone use- towers were down which made communication difficult -Overwhelmed phone lines in dispatch -ALL fulltime Dispatchers/Jailers assisted during tornado- very beneficial -800 MHz would have made communication easier -WPS- Verizon= $10/phone ~GETS card- contact your wireless provider -WPS and GETS cards give you priority on the cell towers

34 ~ Law Enforcement -Maps are key- County/City/Utilities -Identify crucial damaged areas -Develop quadrants based off of damage assessments -Quadrants- assign a local officer with firemen and out of jurisdiction officers - Issue permits in general location- have that location set up for PERMITS ONLY to avoid chaos

35 ~Law Enforcement (cont.) -Fire Assistance and Support Team (FAST), HSEM and IMT were all a great help -Incident Action Plan (IAP) assisted Law Enforcement in planning out each days goals -Public Meetings are essential- have on a daily basis in the same location

36 ~Patrol/Command Staff -Traffic Control is vital -Any officers working disaster duty needs to check in and get assigned to designated areas- helps with organization -Make sure officers get breaks on a regular basis -Use statewide channel -Utilize National Guard to set up a perimeter -Once quadrants become open to public- set a curfew to have areas shut down for security purposes

37 ~Fire Department -Worked well in assisting with search and rescue -Utilize Fire Departments in traffic control and security -Make sure you have a channel to communicate with them

38 ~EMS -Our medical personnel suffered from communication issues -Make sure to have a common channel to communicate with all on -Make sure staging area is a common area that is easily found -Set up various aid stations around the disaster area

39 -Resource Officers/Logistics -Resource list is necessary for smooth operation -Have designated area set up for EOC only -Communication is a MUST between all depts. -Have a designated line for OUTGOING phone calls only -Document everything from start to finish and save ALL notes even if they are on scratch paper -Put the date and time on all notes

40 -Resource Officers/Logistics (cont.) -Establish a hotline number for the EOC -Keep websites updated with all information relating to the disaster -Attend public meetings to get updated on progress and/or changes -In charge of preparing daily Incident Action Plan (IAP) -EOC needs a “runner”- beneficial in assisting other command posts with necessities

41 ~Public Information Officer -Received approximately 200 calls daily -Conducted approximately 25 interviews daily -Assist in public meetings -Conducts radio interviews -Make sure to organize a Media area to keep them “contained” -Do a press release immediately following any disaster -Hold an emergency meeting with all dept heads

42 ~Public Information Officer (cont.) -Keep communication between elected officials and emergency management -”Wadena Today” was a daily news letter handed out which consisted of information and updates -Vendor lists are a must -Assign one person to approve spending to eliminate confusion

43 ~Volunteers -Wadena had 2931 registered volunteers -288 work orders were completed -Designate a volunteer hotline -Have all volunteers stage in one area to get assigned -Set working hours- start and return times -Ages 15+ only allowed to work -Under 18- need permission slip from parent - Wrist bands to track volunteers

44 ~Volunteers (cont.) -Have liability waivers -Make sure volunteers have appropriate clothing to work in -Turn in work orders at the end of each day -Have a designated Volunteer EOC -HAM radio operators beneficial -Provide food and water to volunteers -Shuttle by bus to work areas -MIFC assisted (MN Interagency Fire Center) (DNR)

45 ~Volunteers (cont.) -Church groups, MNVOAD, other volunteer groups beneficial -Assign leaders- make everyone aware of WHO that is -Volunteer EOC security -Photo/Video record operations -Make sure to have a designated area large enough for parking -Debrief each day -Fax/Printer/Copier needed at Volunteer staging

46 ~Minnesota State Patrol -Set up perimeter -Mobile EOC available if needed- also send dispatchers along with EOC -Air assets available -Video capability- Search & Rescue, damage assessments, etc -Assist with traffic control -Set up route for debris removal -Request assistance via State Duty Officer

47 ~Public Works -Assist in demolition and rebuilding -Debris removal management -1800+ loads of trees removed from tornado -Crews from all over the area assisted with debris removal and power restoration -Must have communication between EOC and City Hall/City Offices -Contacted building inspectors- categorized each damaged structure -Wadena City has issued 60+ demolition permits

48 ~Additional Ideas -Needs for EOC- white boards, dry erase markers, erasers, paper trays, highlighters, tape, staplers, paper, file folders, scissors, 3 ring binders, post- its, pencils, pens, calendar, laptop and maps. -Food for EOC staff- need all day- keep close to EOC -Utilize Posse members in assisting where ever needed -Make guidelines clear for contactors, appraisers, home owners and land lords -Keep public OUT of all EOC areas


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