Emergency Response Process

When an emergency or disaster strikes, certain actions should take place:

  1. County Emergency Management personnel notify the South Dakota Office of Emergency Management (OEM) of the event.
  2. OEM sends personnel to the incident to assist the local jurisdiction in establishment of a management organization and to conduct initial response to the incident.
  3. OEM works with county officials to assess the damage and immediate needs of the area.
  4. The State of South Dakota works with and assists the local jurisdiction to estabish a management organization and conducts initial response operations to the incident if necessary.
  5. Following an evaluation, a county determines if the event is beyond its capability to manage. If it is, the county commission declares a disaster, requesting help from the state.
  6. The county identifies and documents any damage to public infrastructure (roads, sewage treatment plants, airports, irrigation channels, schools, public buildings, utilities and certain essential private non profit facilities). Even though homeowners and business owners are expected to utilize private insurance policies to repair property damage, the county notes the extent of damage to private homes and businesses.
  7. Photographs are taken of the damage.
  8. A detailed record of expenses associated with emergency protective measures and repairs is maintained.
  9. The state assesses the dollar amount of the damages and determines whether to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration.


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