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Emergency Response Unit

Parkersburg Tornado 2008The Emergency Response & Homeland Security Unit was formed to provide 24-hour technical assistance to local, state, and federal response agencies, regulated industries, and interested public. Since forming the unit has taken on additional roles assigned by the department. These roles include;

  • serving as the Department of Natural Resource's Homeland Security Point of Contact,
  • serving on a variety of planning and regulatory groups,
  • providing technical support to rule making committees, other divisions within the Department of Natural Resources, and other state departments,
  • providing technical support to local government entities, public groups, and commercial and industrial parties, and
  • serving at the State Emergency Operations Center during disasters.

In 2013 the unit was charged with coordinating the department's Environmental, Health and Safety program.

Planning Groups & Committees
Committee/Group Emergency Response Unit Contact

The Quad Cities Sub-area Contingency Plan Committee began meeting in 1997 to facilitate a timely and effective cooperative response to a substantial spill by representatives of local, state and federal agencies in the Quad City geographic area.

The Upper Mississippi River Basin Association is a regional interstate organization formed by the Governors of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin to help coordinate the states' river-related programs and policies and work with federal agencies that have river responsibilities.
The State Hazard Mitigation Team is made up of representatives from federal agencies, state agencies, local government entities, and private sector groups with a direct or indirect involvement in disaster planning, disaster response, and post disaster recovery. The purpose of the team is to develop a State Hazard Mitigation Plan designed to identify hazards in the state, reduce the risk from identified hazards, and plan for the response to and recovery from a hazardous event.
The Iowa Emergency Response Commission was created to implement the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).

The Regional Response Team (RRT) is responsible for regional response, planning, training, and coordination within the region. EPA Region 7 RRT membership consists of a designated representative from each Federal agency participating in the National Response Team, with representatives from each of the four States: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. A member of the Emergency Response & Homeland Security Unit is the state of Iowa's representative on the RRT.

The State Exercise Group meets monthly to share information about training exercises being held throughout the state.
The Region VII LEPC/TERC Conference Planning Committee develops a bi-annual regional conference designed to provide low cost training to emergency planners and first responders in the four states of EPA/FEMA Region IV.

Each year members of the Emergency Response and Homeland Security Unit are asked to participate in short term committees as subject matter experts.