Emergency Management FAQs

What is Evacuation?
During an emergency or disaster, individuals may be asked to temporarily leave their home or business if there is a risk of great harm or even death. Evacuations are usually temporarily, lasting sometimes a few hours to a few days. Examples could be out of control wildfire, hazardous materials vapors, or other threats.
What is Sheltering-in-Place?
"Shelter-in-place" means to take immediate shelter where you are—at home, work, school or in between—usually for just a few hours. Local authorities may instruct you to "shelter-in-place" if biological, chemical or radiological contaminants are released into the environment or if there is a large scale infectious disease outbreak.  Read more at this website.
What is the LEPC?
Each Wisconsin county is designated as an emergency planning district and has a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) to administer the local hazardous chemical planning program under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act, also known SARA Title III. LEPC membership includes local and state elected officials, members of the health community, local emergency response agencies, emergency management, representatives of broadcast and/or print media, community groups, and representatives of facilities subject to SARA Title III.

The Polk County Administrator appoints the members. The Polk County LEPC meets 1-2 times a year and the meetings are open to the public.

This means local people are making local decisions about how to plan for, train for, and respond to chemical emergencies in our community. The LEPC is the point of contact for the public to receive information on the storage or location of chemicals, types of chemicals, and hazards associated with those chemicals.

For more information on the LEPC, contact Emergency Management at lisa.mcmahon@polkcountywi.gov or (715) 485-9280.
Where do I start to make sure my family is prepared?
Personal preparedness looks different for each person and family.  It's not an end goal, but a regular process that really changes and evolves regularly.  For example, being stuck at home during a pandemic for two weeks was probably not something you were ready for, but now I bet you could handle that without much thought.  This is a good time to consider other emergency plans as well, such as a power outage, or wildfire. Please visit ready.gov to make a plan!