Scot Olson has begun his new position as Emergency Management Director and Environmental Services Administrator for Kittson County, taking over for Barb O’Hara, who retired in May.
“My job is basically to manage any event if there was a natural or manmade disaster in our county,” Olson said of his position, which the state requires each county to have.
“Planning is a huge thing with us. With emergencies, it’s never good to be reactive; you want to try and be as proactive as possible,” Olson explained.
One of the major plans in place for the county is called the Emergency Operations Plan, which Olson calls the “textbook” of plans for emergencies. The plan ranks the top hazards the county could face: floods, winds, and tornadoes. The potential threats to the county include hazardous spills from a train derailment, and more recent types of threats: cyber attacks and terrorism.
“By doing this planning, we can get a handle on it and not feel so overwhelmed,” he said of emergency preparedness.
“One of the things that I find fascinating about living here in this county is that we border Canada and North Dakota,” Olson said.
For more, see this week’s North Star News!