Emergency Management

Performs Emergency Operations Plan updates, coordinates EPCRA off-site plans and updates, emergency related training classes, organizes, coordinates and debriefs emergency training exercies, commmunicates to the public about emergency preparedness, responds to incidents, encourages and coordinates municipal plans and updates and administers Homeland Security Programs and Initiatives.
A Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) has been prepared to provide guidance in response to major disasters throughout the County. The plan has the following sections which specifically address different portions of the response:
    • Basic Plan Sections
    • Mitigation
    • Preparedness
    • Response Functions - Emergency Support Functions (ESFs)
    • Recovery
    • Continuity of Operations (COOP)

The Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan and all sections are reviewed and updated annually. To view the entire (388 page) plan see the Documents section on this page.

Hazardous Materials

Subject to the requirement of Superfund Amendments Reauthorization Act (SARA), Title III, Section 303(c)(3) the Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) has designated the Emergency Manager as the coordinator of information for all records and documents submitted by owner/operators of facilities subject to the emergency planning and notification requirements of the Emergency Planning & Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA).

Wisconsin Emergency Management has developed internet access to selected information from theEmergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA)database.


Family Preparedness

Resources for family emergency planning are available through American Red Cross (ARC) and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)

Create your own Emergency Preparedness Checklist.

Making a list of items you will need, before disaster strikes, should be part of your emergency plan. At a minimum you will need:

  • Medications
  • Eyeglasses
  • Car and house keys
  • Checkbook - cash - credit card
  • Baby and Special needs items
  • Pets*

*Pets will not be allowed in mass shelter facilities (except for service animals) so it is up to you to make prior arrangements for sheltering your pets. Your veterinarian, kennel or animal hospital may be able to help you with your plan.

Each individual or family is encouraged to develop an emergency plan and evacuation kit which should include the above plus supplies for each family member for three days. For further information on planning for emergencies contact your local American Red Cross, Humane Society or Emergency Management Office.


Personal Items:

  • Change of Clothing
  • Battery powered radio and flashlight - extra batteries
  • Water
  • First Aid Kit
  • Dry and Canned Food
  • Can Opener
  • Baby Formula, diapers
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Other special needs items


  • Battery cables
  • Oil, transmission and brake fluid
  • Windshield washer fluid, funnel
  • Tirejack, tools, shovel
  • Water
  • Road Map
  • Flares or markers
  • Gasoline can
  • Sand or kitty litter
  • Windshield wipers


  • Medical Records
  • Medication
  • Leash, collar, cage
  • Food, water
  • List of hotels/motels that accept small pets

What is the LEPC?
Under the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, each County in Wisconsin is designated as an Emergency Planning District with a local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). LEPC membership is broad and includes representatives from; elected state and local officials, emergency management, law enforcement, fire service, local health, emergency medical service, local media personnel, community groups and industry.

What is the role of the LEPC?

Emergency Planning
Enables communities as a whole to prepare for hazardous chemical releases through emergency planning. This planning also provides information and facilitates training for the first responders who are called upon to protect the public in the event of a chemical accident. Your LEPC can provide you with information on evacuation routes, shelter-in-place procedures and other information you may need to help your family plan for a chemical emergency.

Community Right-to-Know
Increases awareness of chemical hazards in your community and allows you and your local government to obtain information about chemical hazards. If you are concerned about the types, amounts or locations of chemicals stored in your community, contact your LEPC.

Where are Hazardous Chemicals Found?
Hazardous chemicals are commonly stored at many businesses or industrial sites in above- or below-ground tanks, or in drums, cylinders, cans, bags, bottles, jugs or other containers.

How Do I contact my LEPC?
Please call: Rob Schmid at 262-335-4399

Disposal of left over paint through a household hazardous waste program is expensive.  The best thing to do with usable paint is to use it up! If you can't use your leftover paint, give it to someone who can. Give your paint to:

  • friends and neighbors
  • recreation departments
  • park departments
  • theater groups
  • housing assistance organizations

Disposal: Latex and Small amounts of Oil-based Paint

Dry out latex paint and small quantities of oil-based paint according to the following directions:

Step 1 Find an outside work area away from children, pets and rain. Locked screen porches and storage sheds work well. Because oil-based paint contains solvents and some latex paint contains mercury, it's important to dry out paint outdoors in a safe place.
Step 2 Dry it out. Choose one of the drying methods described later on this page. Paint will take between several days and several months to dry - it depends on the type and quantity of paint that you have.
Step 3 Throw the dried paint, cans and other materials in the trash. Leave the lids off paint cans so trash collectors will see the paint is dry and accept them.

Paint Drying Techniques 
For small amounts (Oil-based and latex): Brush paint in layers on newspaper or   cardboard.
For larger amounts of latex: Pour thin layers (less than one-inch) of paint into a cardboard box lined with plastic. Allow paint to dry one layer at a time - thin layers will speed up the drying process.

Or, mix paint with cat litter, sawdust or sand in a cardboard box lined with plastic and let it dry.

Assemble A Disaster Supply Kit

We live in an area of high winds, lightening, heavy rain and the possibility of a tornado. We can't prevent them or even predict where or when they will strike.

As a result, we need to plan for severe weather, not only for ourselves, but also for our extended families.

Most severe weather in our area may require that you be confined to your home without services for a period of up to several days. The question then becomes, can you survive without heat, telephone, and running water? If you plan ahead and assemble a disaster supply kit you will be better able to provide for your needs until services are restored or help arrives.

To Prepare Your Kit:

There are six basic categories of supplies you should stock in your home. Food and water, first aid supplies (prescription medications), tools and supplies, sanitation, clothing and bedding, and special items. Gather the supplies listed. You may need them if you are forced to evacuate your home or if you are confined for a number of days. Place items in an easy-to-carry container such as a wheeled trash container or a duffel bag.


Store at least a three day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight.


Store water in plastic containers, avoid using containers that will deteriorate or break.

A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water per day. A rule of thumb, one gallon per person, per day, will allow for some cooking and sanitation. Store at least a three day supply for each person in your household.

First Aid Kit

Assemble a first aid kit for your home and car. Include an assortment of adhesive bandages, compresses, scissors, tweezers, needle, antiseptic, thermometer, safety pins, cleaning agents, aspirin, etc. Be sure that vital prescription drugs never run down to under a three to four day supply.

Tools and Supplies

Include: Paper plates, utensils, battery operated radio, flashlight, extra batteries, non-electric can opener, tape, matches in waterproof container, needles and thread, paper, pencil, pliers, plastic sheeting.


Include such items as: Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, feminine hygiene supplies, plastic garbage bags, plastic bucket with tight fitting lid, disinfectant or household bleach.

Clothing and Bedding

Consider: Sturdy shoes, rain gear, sleeping bags or blankets, hat and gloves, warm outerwear.

Special Items

Remember family members with special needs. Infants need formula, diapers, bottles, etc. Adults may need insulin, prescription drugs, eye glasses, important documents, etc.

Whatever your particular situation, your plan will allow you to survive Wisconsin severe weather. By not becoming a victim, valuable, limited community resources can be used on the most needy.

Stay tuned for storm warnings:
  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado Watch and tornado Warning mean:
  • A tornado Watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
  • A tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado Watches and Warnings are issued by the County based on information received from trained "Severe Weather Spotters" or from the "National Weather Service" office.
When a Tornado Watch is issued:
  • Gather lawn and patio furniture, gas and charcoal grills, toys and garbage cans and put in secure area. High winds often precede a tornado.
  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for further updates.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.

When a Tornado Warning is issued:

  • If you are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (as above).

After the Tornado passes:

  • Watch out for fallen power lines and do not venture into the damaged area.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.

Did you Know?

  • A typical thunderstorm lasts for less than an hour.
  • 1,800-2,000 thunderstorms occur around the world at any moment.
  • Flash floods and lightning will kill more people annually than tornadoes.
  • Tornadoes are the most devastating local storms experienced on earth.
  • In Wisconsin, tornadoes have occurred in every month except February.
  • In Wisconsin the most active tornado months, by order are June, July, May and August.
  • 75% of tornadoes will occur between 3:00 - 7:00 pm with 5:00 pm being the most likely time.
  • Between 1980-2007, Washington County had 11 tornadoes.
  • The last confirmed tornado in Washington County occurred on June 3, 2007.

Washington County Hazard Mitigation Plan


Local officials worked together to develop a plan which aims to reduce Washington County’s overall risk from future hazard events such as flooding, tornados and winter storms.  The plan was funded by a FEMA grant. The plan was developed through a joint effort between the County’s Office of Emergency Management, the Planning and Parks Department, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) and all 20 Washington County local jurisdictions.    


Engaging in all hazards mitigation provides jurisdictions with a number of benefits.  Benefits include reduced loss of life, property, essential services, critical facilities and economic hardship and reduced short-term and long-term recovery and reconstruction costs. The community also gains increased cooperation and communication through the planning process and increased potential for state and federal funding for mitigation projects.

Click here to view the Washington County Hazard Mitigation Plan.


For most of us, "neither snow or rain, or dark of night" can keep us off the highways--in any season, in any weather.

Before cold weather hits, be sure your car is in good running order and is properly serviced. Have a reliable mechanic check your battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer fluid, ignition and thermostat. Good tires are also very important.

Before you start out, clean snow and ice off all parts of your car windows, hood, roof, trunk, and lights. Snow left on the car could affect visibility once you start driving.

Keep basic items like a windshield scraper, battery booster cables, a tow chain or rope, a bag of sand, a blanket and a flashlight in your car.

If you should get caught on the road during a winter storm, keep calm. Give some indication that you're in trouble--turn on your flashing lights, raise the hood, or tie a cloth to an antenna or door handle.

Exercise from time to time by clapping your hands and moving your arms and legs. Don't stay in one position too long, but don't overexert yourself by shoveling or trying to push the car.

Winter presents many challenges for the snow belt traveler. By staying calm and using all that's available to stay as warm as possible, your situation will remain one of inconvenience rather than a life or death peril.