Emergency Management News

New Smart911 App to Better Protect Residents in Emergencies  

The new app allows residents to stay informed of the latest emergency updates and share Safety Profiles with 9-1-1 and first responders

Winona County –  September 7, 2018 – Winona County Sheriff’s Office and Winona County Emergency Management announces the new Smart911 mobile app to provide greater access to the lifesaving benefits of Smart911, plus targeted location-based alerts to all residents. In time for September’s National Preparedness Month, Winona County residents and visitors will now be able to download the Smart911 app to share and receive information needed in an emergency.

Smart911 is the only way community members can create a Safety Profile that displays when they call 9-1-1. Via the Smart911 mobile app, households can create a Safety Profile featuring any information about their household that they want 9-1-1 and response teams to have in the event of an emergency. When a community member makes an emergency call, their Safety Profile automatically displays to the 9-1-1 call taker, allowing them to send help faster and more efficiently.

In addition, the app provides enhanced functionality by sending targeted alerts based on the user’s location. Smart911 app users will receive the highest priority National Weather Service alerts including tornado warnings, flash flood warnings, and severe thunderstorm warnings based on their real-time location.

“Smart911 has proven to be lifesaving, and the addition of the app means more residents can participate and be better prepared in an emergency.” shares Emergency Management Director Ben Klinger. “Every resident of Winona County should download the Smart911 app today. It could save your life.”

Benefits of the Smart911 app include:

  • Residents who have registered to receive Winona County Emergency alerts can view alerts via push notifications, even when they don’t have cell service.
  • The Smart911 App automatically displays alerts from the National Weather Service on an interactive map for a more advanced warning.
  • Residents who previously did not have home internet access or a computer can register from their mobile phones.
  • Current Smart911 users can access their Safety Profile via the app and easily update their information in real-time.
  • Residents can create a Smart911 Safety Profile via the app, which includes verified phone numbers, easily-updatable information for dispatchers, and uploaded photos.

With no charge or additional fees for Winona County residents, there are no limitations to provide this safety service to the community.

Search “Smart911” in your mobile app store or text “Smart911” to 67283 to receive the download link via text message.


August 22, 2018

Public Review and Feedback Invited for

Winona County’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan

Winona County has completed an updated draft of the of the County’s Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan (MHMP) as required by the Federal Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA 2000). Local jurisdictions are required to update the plan every five years to remain eligible for pre-disaster and post-disaster mitigation grant programs.

Community involvement and feedback are vital to the success of the plan.  Winona County invites public review and feedback of the draft plan prior to submitting it to the State of Minnesota and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for review.  A copy of the draft MHMP and a survey for public feedback is available online at https://scse.d.umn.edu/winona-county-mhmp.  The plan review and comment period will be open until Friday, September 14th.

About the Plan

The Winona County MHMP is a multi-jurisdictional plan that covers Winona County, including the cities of Altura, Dakota, Elba, Goodview, Lewiston, Minnesota City, Rollingstone, St. Charles, Stockton, Utica, and Winona.  The Winona County MHMP also incorporates the concerns and needs of townships, school districts, and other stakeholders participating in the plan.

Winona County is vulnerable to a variety of potential natural disasters, which threaten the loss of life and property in the county. The plan addresses how to mitigate against hazards such as tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, blizzards, straight-line winds, ice storms, and droughts which have the potential for inflicting vast economic loss and personal hardship.

Update of the plan has been under direction of Winona County Emergency Management in cooperation with the University of Minnesota Duluth – Geospatial Analysis Center and representatives from County departments, local municipalities (city and township), school districts, and other key stakeholders such as utility providers.  Together, the planning team worked to identify cost-effective and sustainable actions to reduce or eliminate the long-term risk to human life or property from natural hazards. Some examples include improvement of roads and culverts that experience repetitive flooding; construction of safe rooms at campgrounds, public parks, mobile home parks or schools to protect lives in the event of tornados or severe wind events; burying powerlines that may fail due to heavy snow, ice or wind storms; ensuring timely emergency communication to the public through warning sirens and mass notification systems, and conducting public awareness and education campaigns to help people be prepared to take safe action before, during, or following a hazard event.

The Benefits of Hazard Mitigation Planning

Hazard mitigation planning ultimately helps us protect Winona County residents. By working with local communities we can identify vulnerabilities and develop strategies to reduce or eliminate the effects of a potential hazard.  In addition, increasing public awareness of local hazards and disaster preparedness helps to create a community that is resilient to disaster, and breaks the cycle of response and recovery.  Update of the plan will further allow the county and its jurisdictions to apply for eligible projects under future Hazard Mitigation Assistance (HMA) grant funding from FEMA for projects that are cost-effective and will help to reduce or eliminate impacts of future natural disaster events.


Anne Morse

Winona County Sustainability Coordinator

Phone:  (507) 457-6498

Email:  amorse@co.winona.mn.us


 Winter Weather Awareness Information

Winona Emergency Management and Social Media

Winona County/City of Winona Emergency Management provides information using social media such as Facebook and Twitter. In addition to this website, we will use social media to provide Emergency Management information to residents. To access our Facebook account you can simply click on the Facebook icon on this website. You can also click here.