Structural collapses and failures
Power and utility outages
Ramsey County is highly developed and densely populated. Within it boundaries are many businesses, including those that use or manufacture chemicals or other hazardous materials.
The county also has interstate highways, a river with an international port, an airport and an international airport on its border, several major international rail lines and pipelines, large buildings and major utility systems. It is within 50 miles of two nuclear power plants.
All of these structures and systems can fail or be disrupted by accidents. Most of the time, accidents are small and easily managed, but on rare occasions they can be very large and impact or endanger many people. These types of disasters are called man-made, or technological disasters. They can occur on their own or as a result of another disaster, such as a blizzard that causes a power outage.