Emergency Preparedness


 Code Red replaced by Smart911 - Public Awareness Notification System

Beginning July 1, 2020 Otter Tail County is replacing the CodeRED countywide emergency notification system with Smart911.

Smart911 continues to provide location-based alerting for severe weather and local emergencies (missing child, road closures, evacuation notices, and other health & safety hazards) for all communities.

Community members and visitors can also create a Safety Profile for their household or business – featuring location & occupant/resident information, medical conditions, and vehicle & pet information you would like responders to have in the event of an emergency. With a Safety Profile, calling 9-1-1 now provides greater detail to the dispatcher, allowing them to send help faster and more efficiently.

Click on the link below for information on how to sign up for Smart911.




Disasters, both manmade and natural take place on a regular basis all around us. It is important that you and your family are prepared for the event of a disaster. The following are some tips that you can take to assure that in the event of a disaster you will be prepared.
In the event that a tornado has been spotted near the City of Perham the emergency warning sirens will be activated. The tornado warning is a steady high pitched tone. If you hear this you need to take cover immediately. Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms. Tornadoes must always be taken seriously. Tornadoes come from powerful thunderstorms and appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds. Tornado winds can reach speeds of 300 miles per hour. Tornadoes can form any time of the year, but the most common time is from March to August. Some important tornado terms are:

1. Tornado Watch: This means that tornadoes are possible. Listen to radio, and television for updates.
2. Tornado Warning: This means a tornado has been sighted. Take shelter immediately. A good place to take shelter is in a basement.
3. A good idea is to have a flashlight, and battery operated radio in your safe location in the event you need to take cover.
4. If you're in your car during a tornado and you can't seek shelter any place else, drive the car into a ditch.

 Winter Storms

In Central Minnesota commonly occur, and storms also bring snow and very cold temperatures. Remember that the cold temperatures can be very dangerous if you are not dressed correctly. It is always a good idea to have in the trunk of your car a winter survival kit, in the event you get stranded on the road during a winter storm. This kit might contain, a candle, toilet paper, a coffee can, food items, blankets, matches, playing cards and other items you think might be needed. Remember if you do become stranded in your car during a storm, it is always a good idea to stay with the vehicle. Frequently check your tailpipe to keep it from becoming plugged. Some important winter storm terms are:

1. Winter Weather Advisory: Cold, ice, and snow are expected.
2. Winter Storm Watch: Severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
3. Winter Storm Warning: Severe wind conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
4. Blizzard Warning: Heavy snow and strong winds will produce blinding snow, near zero visibility, deep drifts and life threatening wind chill.


While thunder won't hurt you - lightening will! So it's important to pay attention when you hear thunder. Every thunderstorm has lightening and lightening can strike people and buildings and is very dangerous. Despite their small size, all thunderstorms are dangerous. Lightening kills more people each year than tornadoes. When a thunderstorm is occuring it is important to take cover indoors. Some important terms to know are:

1. Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Issued by the National Weather Service when the weather conditions are such that a thunderstorm may occur.
2. Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Issued when a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or is currently occuring.
Official Website of the City of Perham, MinnesotaPO Box 130 125 Second Ave NE Perham, MN 56573218-346-4455 (phone) 218-346-9364 (fax)24 Hour Public Works Utility Emergencies: 1-888-262-3837The City of Perham is an equal opportunity provider and employer.