The St. Croix County Emergency Management Division assists the cities, villages, and towns coordinate all emergency management and hazardous materials activities throughout the entire County. Emergency Management is a continuous cycle of Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery from emergencies or disasters and relies on all levels of government and non-government coordination to work together to respond efficiently and effectively.
The Emergency Management Division is routinely involved in the following activities:
- Develop and update the St. Croix County Emergency Operations Plan which addresses all hazards that affect the citizens and visitors of St. Croix County.
- Develop and update Facility Plans for companies that store chemicals on-site which reside in the County to submit to the State of Wisconsin Emergency Management.
- Develop the All Hazard Mitigation Plan. The primary focus of the Plan is to evaluate the County's potential exposure to natural disasters and identify appropriate mitigation strategies. The plan is developed by input provided from townships, villages, cities and county departments. The local LEPC is the steering committee. The plan is approved by FEMA and ensures participants are eligible to apply for the full complement of Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) Grants.
- Provide training opportunities for local officials to understand emergency management activities in the County.
- Conduct and evaluate exercises for first responders to practice responding to various types of emergencies or disasters that may affect St. Croix County citizens.
- Act as the main coordination and public information center for all disasters in the County.
- Educate you and your family on ways to better prepare for disaster.
- Coordinate and meet with government, private business, and support service officials to promote preparedness and effective response to all types of hazards in the County and connecting to 911.
Hazardous Materials Information for St. Croix County Residents
A hazardous materials accident can occur anywhere. St. Croix County has several companies which handle extremely hazardous chemicals. In most cases the chemicals are handled correctly, however, hazardous materials are transported on our roadways, railways and waterways daily, so any area is considered vulnerable to an accident. All fires and transportation accidents have the potential to be hazardous materials incidents.
When accidents involving hazardous materials occur, the first priority is the prevention of fatalities and injuries to people. Unnecessary damage to property and the environment is the second priority.
If you are caught at a scene of an accident, your first concern should be for your personal safety and the safety of those around you. You should:
- Leave the immediate area at once.
- Avoid driving into the area.
- Avoid direct contact with the material.
- Avoid creating sparks or sources of heat which could cause the materials involved to ignite and burn. If you find yourself in a suspected hazardous materials incident, do not light a match, start an engine or even switch on an electric light.
The public should report suspected hazardous materials emergencies immediately:
- Call your 911 center, they will dispatch local fire, police or sheriff's departments. Advise them of the location and the nature of the emergency.
- If the product or responsible party involved is known, give that information to the emergency dispatcher. It will be very important in determining the proper level of response necessary.
- Give your name and telephone number so that the emergency dispatcher can get back to you for additional information, and also to provide you with the appropriate instructions on what you should do to protect yourself.
Stay informed about the emergency by listening to your local radio or television station. Authorities will broadcast emergency information for your safety.
Outdoor warning sirens may be used to indicate there is a community emergency. These sirens mean "tune to your local radio or television station for emergency information."
How to Prepare for a Hazardous Materials Release
Learn to detect the presence of a hazardous material. Many hazardous materials do not have a taste or an odor. Some materials can be detected because they cause physical reactions such as watering eyes or nausea. Some hazardous materials exist beneath the surface of the ground and can be recognized by an oil or foam-like appearance. Contact the St. Croix County Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) or the St. Croix Emergency Management Division for information about hazardous materials and community response plans. Find out evacuation plans for your workplace and your children's schools. Be ready to evacuate and plan several evacuation routes out of the area.
Family Emergency Communications Plan
In case family members are separated from one another during a hazardous materials accident (this is a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school), develop a plan for reuniting after the disaster. Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure everyone knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person.