City of Minneapolis: Protecting your family and your home

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Protecting your family and your home

Stay inside. Experts agree this is the safest place for you and your family. Calling 911 continues to be the best way to report unlawful activity as it connects directly with dispatchers. If you feel additional measures are needed to protect you, your family and your belongings use these recommendations:

  • Lock your doors and windows.
  • Leave all lights on.
  • Keep watch from the second floor of the building.
  • Put away your trash, recycling, and organics carts, lawn bags, lawn signs and other items that are not secured.
  • Lock up or secure your flammables such as cans or containers of gasoline, propane, kerosene, diesel fuel. It is not safe to leave flammable fluids or materials on the porch, in the yard, or in unlocked garages or sheds.
  • Place your vehicles inside a locked garage if possible.
  • Chain up dumpsters and drench them with water.
  • If strangers are approaching make noise with whistles, noisemakers, or by banging on pots and pans so they know the home is occupied.
  • Pull hoses out for easy access and turn them on.
  • Fill buckets of water.
  • Know your vulnerable neighbors and provide them assistance.
  • Identify medically trained people on your block.
  • Ask people what neighborhood they live in.
  • Get license plate numbers of suspicious vehicles.
  • Charge phones and portable power banks in case the power goes out.
  • Pack a bag and have a plan to leave if you feel your residence has become unsafe:
    • Identify a safe place you can go and stay. This may be the home of family or friends.
    • Identify how can communicate with your loved ones. This should include a location to meet if cell service is interrupted.
    • Pack items you will need while you are away. Be sure to include medications.
    • Plan several routes to your safe place and avoid areas of large crowds. Write them down. GPS may not be available.

Calling 911

Call 911 to report any situation that requires police, the fire department or an ambulance. If you get a busy signal, please continue to call until you get through to dispatch.

When 911 calls are made, they are assigned to first responders by a 911 dispatcher based on the severity of the situation. Be prepared to answer the dispatcher’s questions, which may include:

  • The location of the emergency, including the street address.
  • The phone number you are calling from.
  • The nature of the emergency.
  • Details about the emergency, such as a physical description of a person who may have committed a crime, a description of any fire that may be burning, or a description of injuries or symptoms being experienced by a person having a medical emergency.

Remember, the dispatcher’s questions are important to get the right kind of help to you quickly. Be prepared to follow any instructions the dispatcher gives you, such as instructions to aid someone who needs first aid or CPR. Do not hang up until the dispatcher instructs you to do so.

For some calls, you may be contacted by phone instead of a squad response, or you may be encouraged to call back at another time.

All 911 calls that require a fire or emergency medical response are entered. When a call comes in that requires an emergency medical services response, EMS resources are dispatched by Hennepin EMS or North Memorial dispatch. When the Fire Department or emergency medical services are responding with police, they will stage at a safe location until police have determined the scene is safe.

If the Fire Department is not on site, you can use hoses or buckets of water to put out flames. Do not use fire hydrants. They are a critical resource for the Minneapolis Fire Department. Any interference with the fire hydrants negatively impacts the Fire Department’s ability to respond to fires across the City.

Protecting your commercial property

Businesses and commercial property owners have asked for guidance on protecting private property. While there are not official City regulations for securing private property, here are some tips:

  • Secure the property, such as removing cash drawers and boarding windows.
  • Remove flammable items such as gas and propane tanks.
  • Chain up dumpsters and drench them in water.
  • Put away and secure dumpsters and recycling carts.
  • If you choose to stay at your business or property, please avoid confrontations.
  • Plan a secondary exit in the event of a confrontation and leave the area. Do not engage with anyone breaking in or threatening you. Plan how to connect with loved ones once in a location of safety. Choosing to stay and defend your business property puts yourself, those you encounter, and the general public in danger.

Responding to damaged property

Owners of the damaged properties in Minneapolis can take the action to secure or remove a hazard without checking with our City’s Construction Code Services department (the code allows for emergency action to take place). In most cases, removing hazards or boarding openings will not require a permit. It is in the best interest for Minneapolis residents that the owners take the responsibility to clean up and secure their property. Owners may also hire a contractor to help safeguard a hazardous situation if they choose.

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