MnWARN is a statewide Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (WARN) of “utilities helping utilities” assists members with:
- Emergency assessment, emergency response, and recovery
- Mutual Aid Agreement for sharing emergency resources with members
- Resources to help recover from a disaster
- Emergency contact network
- Voluntary participation
To promote and support a statewide response to utility emergencies and disasters through mutual assistance for water, wastewater, and stormwater utilities in Minnesota.
What is a WARN?
Leaders in the water/wastewater community and state agencies have joined together to create the Minnesota Water/Wastewater Utilities Agency Response Network. MnWARN is a formal emergency response program in Minnesota.
MnWARN is a mutual aid agreement to provide a program whereby water, wastewater, and storm water utilities sustaining physical damage from natural or man-made disasters in the state of Minnesota can obtain emergency assistance, in the form of personnel, equipment, and materials and other associated services necessary to protect the health and welfare of the utilities' customers.
Law enforcement and fire departments have been organized for many years. MnWARN is an initiative to organize the water and wastewater professionals to be prepared to respond to water, wastewater, and storm water entities in a professional and timely manner.
A pre-established agreement among a network of utilities can complement and enhance local capabilities to prepare to respond to a broad range of threats, both natural and man-made.
This initiative is not meant to compete with any existing mutual agreements that your utility may already have in place with neighboring communities or counties. This initiative is meant to enhance the abilities of utilities to help utilities.
It is essential that all partners in the water, wastewater, and storm water community work together to support this concept.
What is a MnWARN Event?
MnWARN can be activated only when there has been a formal declaration of an emergency issued by a community's authorized official or alternate, whose name is listed as such on the MnWARN Web site (Mutual Aid Agreement, Article II, Subpart D and Article IV, Subpart A). Once activated, both parties would be acting under the provisions of the Mutual Aid Agreement.
While services may be exchanged among parties who are both MnWARN members, without the formal declaration of an emergency, such activity would not qualify as a MnWARN event and would occur outside of the MnWARN response network.
What is an Emergency?
Any occurrence that is, or is likely to be, beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, or facilities of a Party's utility (Article II, Subpart D). Emergencies are generally unforeseen events.
Participation in MnWARN does not create any duty to respond to a request for assistance. When a Member receives a request for assistance, the Authorized Official shall have absolute discretion as to the availability of resources. An Authorized Member’s decisions on the availability of resources shall be final.
Requests for Assistance
Any water or wastewater utility in Minnesota can request assistance from MnWARN by calling the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798.
The Duty Officer will call the appropriate Regional Director. The Duty Officer is for MnWARN events only - all questions regarding MnWARN should be directed to the MnWARN directors. Assistance can be in the form of equipment, supplies, or trained personnel. During an emergency, MnWARN will match equipment, resources, and personnel with those best available within the MnWARN network. MnWARN will coordinate relief efforts for the donating and receiving utility through the incident command center. MnWARN will work with the corresponding local, state, and federal agencies as necessary.
How Does My Utility Participate?
Participation in MnWARN is voluntary and membership is free. To participate in MnWARN, simply fill out the Membership Information Form and Membership Application Questionnaire and submit to MnWARN along with the Mutual Aid Agreement and Resolution. The governing entity must adopt the Mutual Aid Agreement and Resolution. MnWARN also recommends that a sample equipment schedule of fees be adopted by your governing entity. In the event of a MnWARN response, if a schedule of charges is not agreed upon, the default will be FEMA rate of reimbursement.
Members must identify Authorized Officials and alternates, provide contact information including 24-hour access, and maintain resource information made available by the utility for mutual aid and assistance response. This is done in the application process and should be updated annually.
MnWARN Region Directors
Minnesota Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (MnWARN) consists of nine voting members. Voting members consist of a director from each of the following Regions and Organizations:
Region 1 - Paul Eisenmenger (City of Mankato)
Region 2 - Dave Isaacson (City of Kettle River)
Region 3 - Marc Pritchard (Moorhead Public Service)
Region 4 - Tim Hewett (City of St. Cloud)
Region 5 - Justin Ahlers (City of Lismore)
Region 6 - Todd Karels (City of Waconia)
Minnesota Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (MnWARN) consists of the following supporting advisory members:
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
- League of Minnesota Cities
- Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Association of Minnesota Emergency Managers
- Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association