Preparing for emergencies in Bismarck

One of the few emergency shelters in Bismarck.

BISMARCK, N.D. - Earlier this week we heard how fallout shelters were used to protect people from Nuclear missiles in the 1950s and 60s.

Two weeks ago in Hawaii a false alarm for an incoming nuclear missile sent thousands of people scrambling for cover. A few public places in Bismarck have a designated shelters for emergency situations.

The Governor’s residence, The War Memorial Building, and the emergency operation center at Fraine Barracks are three places that have a shelter in place in case of an emergency situation. But the city of Bismarck doesn't have a specific place for citizens to go to. If there was an emergency in the city of Bismarck, citizens would need to find shelter themselves.

"There aren't any city or county or community owned shelter locations that are owned and operated by city, county, or other facilities," says Gary Stockert, Emergency Manager.

The War Memorial Building is part of the Red Cross Shelter, which means if there was an emergency such as a tornado, victims could stay in that building. Stockert says people should take cover before an emergency happens.

"Go to the lowest level and put as many walls between you and the outside as possible, and avoid doors and windows," says Stockert.

The North Dakota Department of Emergency Services has a State Emergency Operation Center to help coordinate an emergency response team.

"It's key to have people face to face having those discussions. It's key to have an environment set so they can focus on at the end of the day, taking care of the people in the State of North Dakota," says Sean Johnson, Emergency Services Plans Chief.

The SEOC has been used multiple times, especially during the 2011 flood. For more information on how to prepare for an emergency situation, you can go to http://bismarcknd.gov/495/Emergency-Management