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April 10, 2012 06:00 PM

Disaster Operations Plan Updated

Sioux Falls, SD

Sioux Falls leaders say the city is ready in the event a large-scale disaster hits.

It recently unveiled its newly updated Emergency Operations Plan. It outlines the city's, and all partner agencies, role in the event of a large-scale disaster. While weather-related events are more likely, the plan covers all types of situations.

"It does give us a guide and playbook to follow and tells people what their roles and responsibilities are and how they'll react with the overall team. It's going to be difficult, but I think the mechanisms and structure is in place," Sioux Falls Emergency Management Director Regan Smith said.

Less than a year ago, the city ran through a disaster drill to test the four-year-old emergency preparedness plan. It happened just days after the EF5 tornado struck Joplin, Missouri.

"A lot of what we plan and train for probably won't ever occur, but if it ever does happen, we want the citizens to know we are ready and prepared to address that," Sioux Falls Police Chief Doug Barthel said.

When it comes to protecting yourself during a tornado, they say the single most important thing you can do is come to the lowest level of your home or business.

"Have a plan that everybody knows what to do so it's not real chaotic. It's just we have an immediate threat of weather, we're going to the lowest level of the home and also have provisions and a plan to stay in place for 72 hours," Sioux Falls Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Sideras said.

Smith says protecting people and property are the main goals of the city's emergency operations plan.

If you'd like to check out the city's emergency operations plan online.

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