Emergency Management

The Emergency Management of Watonwan County is charged with the planning and execution of plans when disaster strikes. By drafting plans, executing scenario training, and building relations among our front line, public utility, and first responder workers - the Emergency Management Department is ready to act when the need arises. The goal of the Emergency Management Department is to mitigate the effects of natural and man-made disasters for the citizens of Watonwan County to the best of our ability.  The Emergency Management Department is ready to activate our Emergency Operations Center at times during emergent situations, enlist resources to assist, and employ our plans to ensure an effective approach when disaster strikes our county.

What You Can Do:

  1. Most importantly you can register for CodeRED to receive weather and disaster related information. CodeRED can deliver important and time sensitive information to your phone as situations change for the most up to date information. Go to CodeRED, and this will take you to a registration page. This service is free of charge to our residents.  In addition, “Like Us” on Facebook at our page Watonwan County Emergency Management.
  2. 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. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so plan how you will contact one another. 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. Remember, text messages can often get around network disruptions when a phone call might not be able to get through. You can also Download a communication plan and practice it with your loved ones.

More Information

For additional information contact Ryan Visher, Watonwan County Emergency Management Director at 507-375-5841 (landline) or 507-621-2952 to get more information.  If it is an emergency, please call 911.

Check out these additional documents:

Responsibilities & Services

The Emergency Management Department works with area first-responders, public works, and other agencies who would be called upon to assist in an emergency 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.

  1. Ryan Visher

    Emergency Management & Safety Director
    Phone: 507-375-5841 (landline)
    Additional Phone: 507-621-2952

  2. Jodell Wright-Sletta

    PHEP Coordinator

  3. Emergency Management

    Physical Address
    710 2nd Ave S
    Watonwan County Courthouse
    St. James, MN 56081


    Mailing Address
    P.O. Box 518
    St. James, MN 56081


    Monday through Friday 

    8 a.m. to Noon

    12:30 to 4:30 p.m. 

    Watonwan County EM Badge