February 25, 2024

Emergency Management

Union County Office of Emergency Management

Jason Westcott, Emergency Management Director

31312 473rd Avenue, Elk Point, SD 57025

Cell Phone:  605-670-1548

EMAIL:  [email protected]

Facebook:  Union County SD Emergency Management



Our purpose is to protect Union County residents and their property from the effects of natural, manmade, and technological disasters.  To fulfill our charge, we recognize the four phases of emergency management:  Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Mitigation.

Union County has chosen Hyper-Reach as our county wide emergency alerting system.

Hyper-Reach will bring the citizens of Union County immediate alert notifications via land line, cell phone, email, and TTY.
Hyper-Reach will automatically send alerts for the following types of hazards and weather conditions. 911 Telephone Outages, Administrative Messages, Blizzard Warnings, Child Abductions, Civil Danger and Emergency Warnings, Evacuation Warnings, Fire Danger Warnings, Flash Flood Warnings and Watches, Flood Warnings and Watches, Hazardous Material Warnings, High Wind Warnings, Ice Storm Warnings, Law Enforcement Warnings, Local Area Emergency Notifications, Radiological Hazard Warnings, Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, Shelter in Place Warnings, Tornado Warnings and Watches, Wind Chill Warnings, and Winter Storm Warnings and Watches.

Hyper-Reach will be utilized by Union County Dispatch and also Union County Emergency Management to alert the citizens of Union County about emergency situations within Union County.

By signing up for Hyper-Reach you will receive alerts 24/7 365 days a year when community hazards are taking place.
Please follow the following link to sign up for Union County SD Hyper-Reach emergency and weather alerts.

This sign up page will allow you to choose the types of alerts you would like to receive and also signup for a Hyper-Reach account that you can control at anytime.

Just a friendly reminder if you do choose the voice only option Hyper-Reach will call your landline phone or cellular phone 24/7 365 days a year with a recorded announcement when a emergency alert takes place.

You can also download the Hyper-Reach Anywhere application to your cellular device that will allow you to receive Hyper-Reach alerts from Union County and any other location you may be using your cellular phone.

Android devices:

Apple IOS devices:

COVID-19 Information:

COVID-19 Information in South Dakota.

South Dakota COVID-19 Dashboard.

Mayo Clinic South Dakota COVID-19 Map.





The Individual Assistance (IA) Program provides financial assistance up to $33,300 for FFY 2017 (dollar amount adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index) through grants to individuals and families who sustain damage or develop serious needs due to a Presidential declared disaster. Serious needs and necessary expenses include:

  • Housing
  • Personal Property
  • Transportation
  • Medical and Dental
  • Funeral

The grants do not need to be repaid and are provided only after verification of the serious needs and the necessary expenses cannot be met by insurance, another federal program or other sources of assistance. The program is not intended to provide for the purchase of non-essential, luxury or decorative items or return the recipient to his/her pre-disaster status.


Individual Assistance Links

Help After a Disaster: Applicant’s Guide to Individuals and Households Program



Public assistance includes supplemental financial resources to state, local governments and certain non-profit organizations for response and recovery activities required as a result of a disaster. Assistance can aid in the management of any natural disaster, which includes floods, tornadoes, winter storms, wildfires and many others.

If the county managing a disaster event determines it to be beyond its capability to manage, the county commission can request help from the state of South Dakota. The state will assist as needed and then work with local officials to assess damages and determine whether to request a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

Once a Presidential disaster is declared, the South Dakota Public Assistance Program is initiated. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grants funds to the state of South Dakota to help rebuild damaged or destroyed publicly owned and certain private non-profit infrastructure and facilities to pre-disaster condition.


Qualifying for Public Assistance

To qualify for federal assistance, the state must document more than $1.261 million for FFY 2020 (dollar amount adjusted annually according to the Consumer Price Index) of damage to public infrastructure statewide, and the county must meet the current FEMA per capita dollar amount of damage.


Public Assistance Links

FEMA Public Assistance Grant Program

FEMA Public Assistance Program Overview

FEMA Presidential Declared Disasters


FEMA Forms & Handbooks

FEMA Schedule of Equipment Rates

2020 FEMA Public Assistance Guide


The SBA provides low-interest, long-term loans to homeowners, renters, businesses and private, non-profit organizations to repair or replace real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, inventory and business assets that have been damaged or destroyed in a Presidential declared disaster.


Five Situations for SBA Disaster Loans

SBA publishes notice of any disaster declaration in the Federal Register. The published notice will identify available assistance, the date, nature of the disaster, location for filing loan applications and the deadline. Policy is subject to change.


Presidential Declaration: Individual Assistance

The President declares a major disaster or declares an emergency and authorizes federal assistance, including individual assistance.


Presidential Declaration: Public Assistance Only

If the President declares a major disaster limited to public assistance only, a private non-profit facility (which provides non-critical services under guidelines of FEMA) must first apply to SBA for disaster loan assistance before it could seek grant assistance from FEMA.


Physical Disaster Declaration

The SBA makes a physical disaster declaration, based on the occurrence of at least a minimum amount of physical damage to buildings, machinery, equipment, inventory, homes and other property. Such damage usually must meet the following:

  • In any county or other smaller political subdivision of a state or U.S. possession, at least 25 homes or 25 businesses, or a combination of at least 25 homes, businesses or other eligible institutions, each sustain uninsured losses of 40% or more of the estimated fair replacement value or pre-disaster fair market value of the damaged property, whichever is lower;


  • In any such political subdivision, at least three businesses each sustain uninsured losses of 40% or more of the estimated fair replacement value or pre-disaster fair market value of the damaged property, whichever is lower, and, as a direct result of such physical damage, 25% or more of the work force in their community would be unemployed for at least 90 days.


Economic Injury Disaster Declaration: Secretary of Agriculture

SBA makes an economic injury disaster declaration in response to a determination of a natural disaster by the Secretary of Agriculture.


Economic Injury Declaration: State Certification

SBA makes an economic injury declaration in reliance on a state certification that at least five small business concerns in a disaster area have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster and are in need of financial assistance not otherwise available on reasonable terms. The state certification must be signed by the Governor, must specify the county or counties or other political subdivision in which the disaster occurred, and must be delivered with supporting documentation to the Disaster Assistance Field Operations Center serving the jurisdiction within 120 days of the disaster occurrence.


SBA Disaster Loan Resources

Disaster Loan Program : Federal Code of Regulations

How are Disaster Declarations Made?



Disasters can happen quickly, with or without warning. But unlike a fast-striking emergency, recovering from a disaster is a gradual process.

Safety is a primary issue, as are mental and physical well-being. If assistance is available, knowing how to access it can make the process faster and less stressful.

Recovery Links & Resources

Recovering from Disaster

Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide


Union County Office of Emergency Management Information

In South Dakota, all organized counties are required to have an emergency management organization and develop an emergency plan that is accordance with the state emergency management plan and program (SDCL 34-48A). As part of this organization, each county is required to have an emergency manager who is appointed by the executive officer or governing board. All 66 counties in South Dakota have, as a minimum, an emergency manager appointed to perform the duties associated with emergency management.

The Union County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is charged with the overall mission of protecting Union County’s citizens and their property from the effects of natural, manmade and technological disasters. To accomplish this mission, the OEM recognizes and utilizes the four phases of emergency management:

  • Preparedness : Actions taken in advance of an emergency or disaster, to develop operational capabilities and facilitate response operations. Such measures may include the development of plans, procedures, warning and communications systems, mutual aid agreements and emergency public information.
  • Response : Action taken during or after an emergency or disaster, to save lives, minimize damages and enhance recovery operations. These measures include activation of the emergency operations center, plans, emergency communications system, public warning,. mass care, shelter, search & rescue and security measures.
  • Recovery : Actions taken after the short or long term, to return vital life support systems to minimum standards or return life to normal or improved levels. Such measures include damage assessment, economic impact studies, supplemental assistance and mitigation of damages sustained.
  • Mitigation : Actions that can be taken to eliminate or reduce the degree of long term risk. Such measures include building codes, public education, hazard vulnerability analysis, zoning laws and resolutions.

In all phases, the OEM works with Federal, State and Local partners to ensure a comprehensive emergency management system.

Examples Of The Duties Carried Out By The OEM

  • Develop and maintain the County Emergency Operations Plan, testing this plan yearly through operational exercises.
  • Develop, establish and maintain a warning system for the county.
  • Maintain an inventory and utilization record of county equipment secured through emergency management sources.
  • Prepares and presents a department budget to the appointing authority.
  • Maintains liaison with county and state regional offices.
  • Directs training of staff and volunteers and assists local jurisdictions with its training programs.
  • Prepares informational material for dissemination to the public.
  • Meets with interested groups to explain the emergency management program and to enlist their support and cooperation.



Severe Weather Guide


National Weather Service Sioux Falls Union County Forecast


SD 511 Roadway Information


NWS Sioux Falls Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service for Union County Area


Grassland Fire Danger Statement from NWS Sioux Falls for Union County

Union County Roadways, Land Owner, Missouri River Mile Markers,  and Railroad Information


Union County Roadway Map


Union County Roadway Restrictions


Union County Roadway Closures


South Dakota State Highways and Interstate Restrictions and Closures Information


Union County Railroad Map and Information


Union County Beacon Search “Land Owner Information” by Address


Missouri River Mile Markers Map


FEMA Flood Maps