Emergency Preparedness Committee

The Emergency Preparedness Committee (EPC) is Minnesota’s principal organization for promoting, coordinating, and standardizing GIS use across all levels of the state's Emergency Management community. EPC membership is open to all individuals with an interest in using GIS for emergency preparedness and response.

Most-Requested Links

Committee chair:

Steve Swazee (chair), Captain, U.S. Navy (Retired), 612-239-6981 (direct); 651-285-5015 (main); 888-877-7GEO (436) (toll-free); sdswazee@sharedgeo.org

Randy Knippel (vice-chair), 952-891-7080, randy.knippel@co.dakota.mn.us

Join us!

The EPC is ALWAYS seeking GIS and EM professionals, as well as concerned citizens, who understand the revolutionary impact GIS can have on saving lives and reducing suffering during a disaster. You can contribute as little or as much time as you would like to this effort! There are three basic levels of participation.

  • Receiving informational emails from the EPC
  • Participating in EPC meetings and sponsored training
  • Serving on an EPC Work Group

Get started by creating a user account on this system in three easy steps. Once you have a user account, you will be linked to a form that allows you to set your level of involvement with the Emergency Preparedness Committee. If you change your mind, you can modify or delete your account at any time. Register now!


EPC member login

Already have an account? Sign in here to update your user account information or EPC Personal Information Form, delete your EPC account, or to sign up or drop attendance from an upcoming EPC meeting or training. To view a Power Point that will show the required steps to update your EPC user account personal contact information and sign up for a meeting or training event, click here.


Work plan

2017 Work Plan  and  Prioritization Matrix

The EPC is led by a chair. The chair is assisted with leadership activities by two co-chairs from each of the EPC's five work groups. A steering committee comprised of the EPC chair, work group co-chairs and, if not already included, a representative from MnGeo, U.S. Geological Survey, Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota National Guard, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and other government agencies as may be appropriate from time to time, manage overall EPC direction and work plan management. Work group co-chairs are responsible for work plan accomplishment in their respective areas. Correspondingly, there are five work plan areas:

  • Outreach: Promotes awareness of EPC efforts, arranges a quarterly EPC meeting featuring topics appropriate for both the Emergency Management (EM) and GIS communities, and works with local EM entities to develop GIS support for their response plans.
  • Education: Develops training standards and programs for the Minnesota GIS and EM communities that will promote productive interaction, provides training to those communities, and facilitates state and national training opportunities.
  • Data: Works to ensure accuracy and appropriateness of Minnesota GIS data needed for EM planning on the local, state and federal levels.
  • Go Team: Working hand-in-hand with EM agencies, develops suggested GIS standards and enterprise solutions that will facilitate Emergency Operations Center situational awareness and interoperability, stands ready during disasters to augment the GIS capabilities of various city, county and state response organizations, and develops and updates the vision for the Minnesota Common Operating Picture (COP).
  • NG911: Focusing on developmental issues related to deployment of Next Generation 9-1-1 systems in Minnesota, works to provide GIS training, documentation, guidance and data standardization in support of the state’s 9-1-1 community.



  • Upcoming EPC quarterly meetings and sponsored events: The EPC normally meets: 2:00-4:30 p.m., second Thursday, of the last month of each quarter. From time to time, the EPC also arranges training events designed to bring together the EM and GIS communities. Events currently scheduled are listed below:

    DateDescriptionLink to full record

    • If you are interested in attending any of the EPC events listed above, please use either the Join Us! or EPC Member Login features to register (see top of this page for further explanation about these features).
    • After signing on, each event listing above will include a "register" option. To view a Power Point that will show the required steps to create an EPC user account and sign up for a meeting or training event, click here
    • All meetings are open to the public, and visitors are always welcome. Note: If you have trouble with the online registration or with logging in to your account, please email Steve Swazee directly at: sdswazee@earthlink.net to let him know which event you would like to register for and your contact information.

  • Offsite participation: To ensure availability of committee meetings and sponsored training in greater Minnesota, the EPC currently uses the following technologies:

    • Teleconferencing. EPC events are normally available via teleconference. Use the procedures described at this link to participate by teleconference.
    • Videoconferencing. EPC events are normally available via videoconference. Use the procedures described at this link to participate by videoconference. Information about the facility you will be using must be submitted using MN Videoconferencing Off-Net Facility Profile form in either PDF or DOC format.
    • Webcasting. The EPC is experimenting with this technology. If an EPC event is available via real-time webcast, this link will be active at the meeting start time. Your computer must have "Real Player" to view the meeting.
  • Relevant training opportunities: Formal emergency management and GIS training related to the EPC’s efforts can be obtained from:
    • HSEM. The Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management provides emergency management training throughout the year. Use the link to access a list of upcoming courses and associated dates. Most training is provided free of charge.
    • HAZUS. FEMA provides training for its primary GIS software, HAZUS-MH, at its Emergency Management Institute (EMI) in Emmitsburg, Maryland. These courses are either available at no cost or at a minimal cost depending on organizational affiliation. Use the link to access a list of upcoming courses and associated dates. Scroll up from the course list to learn more about the courses.
    • Other educational opportunities. Additional formal and online offerings can be found in Links.


Committee activity reports and meeting minutes

These reports and minutes cover committee activities from 2006 - May 2009 and 2012.

  • Committee status report, Nov. 7, 2012 (p. 5-7)
  • Committee activity reports:  Starting in November 2006, council committees submit a summary report of their activities a week prior to the council meetings -- these reports are compiled and posted for timely public notice of committee activities. Please see the Committee Reports webpage.
  • Committee meeting minutes:  Click on a meeting date to view the minutes for that meeting (minutes after November 24, 2004 are in PDF format).
    Scroll through the list for older meeting dates that are not displayed (minutes for June and October 2005, and March 2006 are not available).


Publications, links, downloads and forms

  • Publications: Articles and lectures that discuss the use of GIS for emergency management
  • Links: Software, training opportunities, agencies, and other links related to EM and GIS
  • Downloads: U.S. National Grid and other GIS resources
  • Forms: Instructions and forms to join an EPC Work Group and to apply for access to the SharePoint site used by EPC members to share information.

Return to MnGAC committee page