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Emergency Management
National Preparedness Month



September is National Preparedness Month.  This is a nationwide effort to encourage households, businesses and communities to prepare and plan for emergencies.

Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another.  Think about how you will communicate in different situations. 

Communication tips include; identify a contact such as a friend or relative who lives out-of-state for household members to notify they are safe, be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has a cell phone, coins or prepaid phone card to call this emergency contact.  If you have a cell phone, program that person(s) as “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) in your phone.  Teach family members how to use text messaging (also known as SMS or Short Message Service).  Text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through.

Make a family emergency communication plan.  This will help to better prepare your family and to safely reunite you and your loved ones during an emergency.  To download a communication plan check out www.ready.gov/prepare , on Twitter @Ready.gov and @PrepareAthon and like us on Facebook/Ready.gov. 

Locally you can register for CodeRED to receive weather related information.  Go to www.co.watonwan.mn.us  and click on the word CodeRED, then click on the logo and this will take you to a registration page.

For additional information contact your local Emergency Management Director, Julie A. Peterson at 375-5841, or   to get more information on your communication plan.

Check out these additional documents

Commuter Emergency Plan
FEMA Plan for Children
FEMA Plan for Parents

Responsibilities & Services
Watonwan County has an appointed director who has the responsibility to coordinate and prepare county government institutions, public and private sector agencies, and volunteers for dealing with emergencies or disaster conditions. This is done through an all-hazards approach.

The emergency manager works with area first-responders and agencies through:
  • Drills
  • Planning
  • Practicing and Exercises
  • Preparation
  • Training

It is also the responsibility of the director to develop and maintain the county emergency operations plan.

Contact Us

Julie Peterson
Emergency Management Director 

Watonwan County Courthouse 
P.O. Box 518
710 2nd Ave S
St. James, MN 56081

Ph: (507) 375-5841

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed from noon to 1:00 pm.