Volunteers Assist with Preparedness, Response and Recovery

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies are highlighting the critical roles volunteers play in disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts as part of a month-long focus on volunteers in disasters.

 “Volunteers play a key role in disaster preparedness, response and recovery,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “Before disaster strikes, volunteers can encourage personal preparedness to help people stay safe during emergencies. When a disaster strikes, voluntary organizations spring into action to help people in their community, region or across the country. Volunteers even play a vital role in ensuring the long-term recovery of a community affected by a disaster.”

One nationwide volunteer initiative, the Citizen Corps Program, was launched after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to encourage public involvement in efforts to make communities safer, stronger and better prepared to respond to emergencies.

In addition to efforts to encourage personal preparedness, Citizen Corps Councils in Illinois communities have established volunteer response teams known as Community Emergency Response Teams (CERTs). Volunteer CERT members train and practice response skills such as locating, transporting and providing basic medical treatment to injured people in order to be prepared to support local first responders during disasters

More information about Citizen Corps Councils, including how to establish a local council, is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

Disaster volunteer opportunities vary from community to community. People interested in learning more about how to volunteer to help before, during or after a disaster can contact local voluntary organizations or their local emergency management agencies for information about opportunities in their area.




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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
Simple templates for Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Contact Cards as well as Emergency Kit checklists are available at www.GearUpGetReady.org


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.

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