Disaster and Emergency Services
20 4th Avenue SW, Conrad, Montana 59425-2340
(located on the lower level of the Courthouse)
Melinda Burns, DES Coordinator
(406) 271-4084 fax
(406) 271-4084 fax
Monday - Friday; 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Emergency management in the United States is, by function and by law, a cooperative effort on the part of all levels of government and the private sector. Local, state, and federal governments all have responsibilities in carrying out public safety. Private business and industry, voluntary organizations, and the general public have responsibilities to assure safe industrial practices and to maintain a level of awareness and understanding about the hazards and emergencies that exist in their communities.
The Office of Disaster & Emergency Services (DES) is responsible for maintaining an emergency services system which includes all four phases of emergency management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Mitigation is activities that prevent an emergency or disaster, reduce the chance of an emergency or disaster happening, or reduce the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies or disasters. Mitigation activities take place before and after emergencies and disasters.
Preparedness is the development of plans and preparations made to save lives and to help response and rescue operations. Examples of preparedness activities are emergency exercises and training, evacuation plans, resource inventories, mutual aid agreements, public information/education, development of family emergency plans and kits. Preparedness activities take place before an emergency or disaster occurs. Response is the action taken to save lives and prevent further property damage in a disaster or emergency situation. It is putting your preparedness plan into action. These activities take place during an emergency or disaster.
Recovery is defined as actions taken to return to a normal or an even safer situation following an emergency or disaster. Short term recovery returns vital life support systems to minimum operating standards. Long term recovery may continue for months or even several years after a disaster or emergency. Recovery often includes mitigation measures against repeat of the disaster. Recovery takes place after an emergency or disaster.