July is Heat Safety Month

The hottest days of summer are just around the corner, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies are offering heat safety tips to help people play it safe when temperatures rise. “Warm weather is a welcomed relief after the long, cold winter we endured this year,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “But summertime comes with its own hazards, many related to excessive heat. We want to help people avoid these risks and enjoy a fun, safe summer.”
Joseph said one of the important safety tips when temperatures rise is to never leave children, elderly people, disabled adults or pets in parked cars, even for a short time. Temperatures inside a parked vehicle can rapidly rise to dangerous levels even if the windows are slightly open, and can lead to brain damage or death. The effects can be more severe on children because their bodies warm at a faster rate than adults.

“Twenty years ago a heat wave led to the deaths of more than 1,000 people in the Midwest during a single week. The July 1995 heat wave tragically demonstrated that heat and humidity are a deadly combination,” said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Lincoln.  “Hot and humid conditions put a lot of stress on the human body and can lead to serious health conditions such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke or even death.”
Hot weather tips include:
  • Always lock car doors and trunks, even at home, and keep keys out of children's reach.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking at least 1½ to 2 quarts of fluids daily, even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and those containing caffeine.
  • Avoid overexertion and strenuous outdoor activities if possible.
  • Take advantage of cooling centers, public pools and air-conditioned stores and malls during periods of extreme heat. Even a few hours a day in air conditioning can help prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • Don’t forget your pets. Offer pets extra water and place the water bowl in a shaded area if outdoors. Make sure pets have a shady refuge where they can escape direct sun exposure.
  • If you or someone around you begins experiencing dizziness, nausea, headache, confusion and a rapid pulse, seek medical attention immediate, as these could be the symptoms of heatstroke.
Additional tips on how to protect yourself and others from heat-related illnesses are available on the state’s Ready Illinois website (​).  


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


211 Service Launched 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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