IEMA Highlights Preparedness for People with Access and Functional Needs in May
SPRINGFIELD – The minutes and hours following a disaster can be scary and stressful for anyone. Emergency preparedness, such as a home emergency supply kit and a plan for how family members will communicate in a disaster, can ease post-disaster stress. For households with members who have disabilities, functional needs or may need assistance during an emergency, disaster preparedness can be a matter of life or death.
Throughout May, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will highlight the importance of disaster preparedness for people with functional and access needs.
“Illinois is susceptible to many types of hazards, such as tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, floods, and ice storms, that can create dangerous situations, particularly for those who may need some type of assistance,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We have information that can help people and their caregivers take actions to help them stay safe during and after a disaster.”
Joseph said the Ready Illinois website offers a guidebook with preparedness tips for people with visual, cognitive or mobility impairments; people who are deaf or hard of hearing; those who utilize service animals or life support systems; and senior citizens. The guide, Emergency Preparedness Tips for Those with Functional Needs, is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
For each functional need, the guidebook provides a list of supplemental items for a disaster kit, tips on developing an emergency plan, suggestions on how to be better informed about community emergency planning and a checklist of preparedness activities.
The Ready Illinois website also offers more than two dozen preparedness videos in American Sign Language on such topics as what to do before, during and after tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding, how to build an emergency supply kit, and what to do if you’re instructed to evacuate.
The videos were developed in collaboration with the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission.
Severe Weather Preparedness
Are you Prepared?
McHenry County Emergency Management Agency would like to remind you that now is the perfect time to review your Family’s Emergency Plan and check the supplies in your Emergency Kit or to take some time and create these life-saving tools. We all know first-hand the impact severe weather can have, whether it is flooding, winter weather or heat advisory. No matter what the disaster is, there are simple preparedness steps that anyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones in a time of need. To assist the community with this effort the Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (IL-IN-WI RCPT) has launched Gear Up, Get Ready campaign to encourage households to take key steps in family preparedness. This mission encompasses 19 counties and communities in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
By taking a few simple steps ahead of time, you and your family can be ready when disaster strikes:
- Make a Family Emergency Plan decide how you will reconnect with each other, list important information and phone numbers and discuss the plan with all members and post it in your home where visitors can view it.
- Gather supplies for an Emergency Kit and put them in one place to meet your family’s needs for three days. You may already have three days of food already within your home. Top five items include, water, non-perishable food, battery powered radio, flashlight & extra batteries and a first aid kit. Be sure to meet the specific needs of your family and pets.
211 in McHenry County
The 211 service streamlines access to health and human services for McHenry County residents. When an individual needs information or referral services for which they have little or no prior knowledge or experience, dialing 211 is a simple option. Once the individual dials 211, they will be connected to a call center where they will speak to a professional information and referral specialist who will refer or connect the caller to the appropriate agency.