Emergency Management

Casey Namken, Director of Emergency Management
415 9TH Ave, Suite 103
Granite Falls, MN 56241



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Outdoor Warning System
Yellow Medicine County's warning system is intended for outdoor warning only.  It is not designed to be heard inside your home or business. Our local warning system is tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 1:00pm. The sirens are maintained by the cities within the County.  Any questions regarding siren issues should be directed to your local city office or Yellow Medicine County Emergency Management.

September is National Preparedness Month    

The Enhanced Fujita Scale
Over 200
Floods & Flash Floods
A flash flood occurs within a few hours (usually less than 6 hours) of heavy or excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or the sudden release of water impounded by an ice jam.
A flood is the inundation of a normally dry area caused by abnormal high water flow. Floods develop more slowly than flash floods, normally greater than 6 hours.
Flash floods and floods are the #1 cause of deaths associated with thunderstorms, more than 90 fatalities each year across the nation.
More than half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water. You are not able to see the depth of the flood waters.
Many flash flood fatalities occur at night.
Six inches (6”) of fast-moving water can knock you off your feet.
Two feet (2’) of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs and pickups.
Before a Winter Storm Strikes
  • Monitor National Weather Service forecasts, statements, watches, and warnings for the latest information on a developing winter storm. National Weather Service websites and NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards provide a direct link to this information.
  • Winterize your vehicle. Keep antifreeze fresh. Assure you have a strong car battery. Use snow tires.
  • Keep a winter survival kitin your car.
  • Winterize your home by installing storm windows, adequate insulation and caulking, and weather-stripping doors and windows.
  • Stock extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Consider a safe alternate heat source, and keep a ready supply of fuel.
During a Winter Storm
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, local radio, or television, or monitor National Weather Service websites for the latest weather reports and emergency information.
  • If you plan to be outside, dress in layered clothing and avoid over-exertion.
  • Wear a hat; most body heat is lost through the top of the head.
  • If your vehicle becomes stranded, stay with it until help arrives. Do not try to walk for help during a winter storm, as conditions may suddenly worsen with little advance warning.
Family and Individual Preparedness is a MUST!!
  • Know the risks for the area in which you live or visit. NWS warnings identify locations (county and cities) in the path of approaching severe weather.
  • Assemble an emergency supplies kit
  • Have NOAA Weather Radio and battery backup to receive warnings.
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety with all members of your household.
  • NWS watches and warnings are available on the Internet. Select and bookmark your local NWS office from www.crh.noaa.gov/mpx
  • Keep in mind that even though the weather may be calm at the time a Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Warning is issued for your area, conditions can rapidly deteriorate and become life threatening. Always heed warnings even if warnings issued for your area in the past did not result in severe weather. Don’t gamble with your life!
  • Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms can and do occur at any location, anytime of day or night, and anytime of year given the right atmospheric conditions.
  • Tune into your favorite radio or television weather information source or internet for severe weather watch and warning information.
  • If severe weather threatens, check on people who are elderly, very young, or physically or mentally disabled.
Conditions are occurring or imminent.
A severe thunderstorm has developed and has either produced a tornado or radar has indicated intense low level rotation in the presence of atmospheric conditions conducive to tornado development.
Severe Thunderstorm
A severe thunderstorm has developed, capable of producing hail greater than 1 inch in diameter and/or 50 knot (58 mph) wind speeds.
Long duration areal or river flooding is occurring or is imminent, which may result from excessive rainfall, rapid snow melt, ice jams on rivers, or other similar causes.
Flash Flood
Excessive rainfall producing thunderstorms have developed, leading to short duration flash flooding. A warning may also be issued if a dam break has occurred.
35 mph or greater wind speeds, considerable falling or blowing snow, and visibilities frequently below a quarter mile are expected to prevail for 3 hours or more.
Winter Storm
Snow amounts of 6 inches or more in 12 hours or 8 inches or more in 24 hours are expected.  These may or may not be accompanied by wind or other phenomena. A warning may also be issued if conditions will be approaching blizzard criteria, even if snow amounts are not expected to reach the aforementioned thresholds.
Ice Storm
Ice accumulations of a quarter inch or more.