Created on Monday, 02 May 2016 15:33
IEMA Highlights Preparedness for People
with Access and Functional Needs in May
Ready Illinois website offers emergency preparedness tips for people
with functional needs and their caregivers
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.
Created on Friday, 15 April 2016 08:20
FEMA Launches New Preparedness Feature to Smartphone App
FEMA recently launched a new feature to its free smartphone app that will enable users to receive push notifications to their devices to remind them to take important steps to prepare their homes and families for disasters. The reminder feature allows users to receive pre-scheduled safety and preparedness tips, including testing smoke alarms, practicing a fire escape plan, updating emergency kits and replacing smoke alarm batteries.
The app also provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and open recovery centers, and tips on how to survive natural and manmade disasters. The FEMA app offers a feature that enables users to receive push notifications of weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations across the nation.
The latest version of the FEMA app is available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices. Users who already have the app downloaded on their device should download the latest update for the reminder alerts feature to take effect. The reminders are available in English and Spanish and are located in the “Prepare” section of the FEMA App.
Created on Monday, 21 March 2016 15:42
IEMA Reminds People About Weather Alert Radio Contest
Tuesday night tornadoes highlight need for warning devices
SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 50 weather warnings were issued Tuesday evening across the northern half of Illinois, including 19 tornado warnings. Several tornado touchdowns were reported, resulting in damage to dozens of structures. Fortunately, it appears no serious injuries or deaths resulted from the storms.
James K. Joseph, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA), said yesterday’s severe weather outbreak serves as a vivid reminder that people need to have a way to receive severe weather warnings any time of the day or night, such as with a weather alert radio. Joseph added that Illinois residents currently have an opportunity to win one of 100 weather alert radios to be awarded through an online contest.
The ‘Weather Alert Radios Save Lives’ contest, sponsored by IEMA and the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA), is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov. Participants will be registered for a random drawing for the radios after reading information about weather alert radios and successfully completing a five-question quiz.
The contest runs through March 31. Winners will be announced in April. The radios were purchased by IESMA as part of an effort to increase the use of the devices in communities throughout Illinois.
“Weather alert radios can be a real lifesaver when tornadoes or severe weather strike,” said Joseph. “Just like a smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector, a weather radio puts out a loud, distinctive tone that alerts you to the approaching hazard and give you time to get to a safe place.”
More information about severe weather preparedness is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
Created on Wednesday, 17 February 2016 16:13
Search and Rescue Orientation
March 10, 2016
Discover the thrill of saving someone’s life. Well, it may not always be that dramatic but you can certainly make a difference. If you love the outdoors and want to make a difference in your community, join the Champaign County Search and Rescue (SAR) team. An informational meeting will be held Thursday, March 10, 2016 at 6:00 pm at the Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) Training Center, 1701 E. Main St, Urbana. You must be at least 18 years old and able to pass a background check, but do not need to live in Champaign County.
Searchers are called to find missing persons, often elderly people with dementia or children. Trained searchers are two to four times more likely to locate a missing subject than someone without training. The team has monthly instructional meetings discussing everything from how to use maps and compasses to the behavior different types of subjects display when they are lost. There are regular outdoor exercises to hone search skills and to practice the management of a scene.
Created on Friday, 26 February 2016 09:13
IEMA Urges People to Prepare for Severe Weather
Contest will promote use of weather alert radios to receive warnings
SPRINGFIELD – With communities throughout Illinois still recovering from severe storms and record and near-record flooding in late December, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is joining with the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency management agencies in efforts to help people stay safe when severe weather threatens.
Those efforts include an online contest sponsored by IEMA and the Illinois Emergency Services Management Association (IESMA) that offers Illinois residents a chance to win a weather alert radio. The ‘Weather Alert Radios Save Lives’ contest will begin on Feb. 28, the first day of Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois, and continue through March 31.
“We can’t stop severe weather from occurring, but we can help people better understand severe weather hazards and how they can stay safe when storms threaten their area,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “A key to being prepared is having a way to receive warnings issued by the National Weather Service. Weather alert radios can provide you with these alerts day or night, even when you’re sleeping.”
Joseph said 14 flood-related fatalities occurred in 2015, the highest annual number since records have been kept, according to the NWS. All of the fatalities were the result of vehicles traveling on flooded roadways. Illinois also experienced 69 tornadoes in 2015, which resulted in two fatalities and 27 injuries.
"Recent storms in Illinois and across the Midwest have proven how quickly flooding can develop at any time of the year," said Chris Miller, warning coordination meteorologist with the NWS office in Lincoln. "We can't stress the dangers of flooding enough, particularly for motorists. Driving into a flooded area with any type of vehicle can be deadly. The best advice is simply 'Turn around, don't drown!’”
The weather alert radio contest will be available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov beginning Feb. 28 and will run through March 31. A total of 100 weather alert radios will be awarded to randomly selected participants who register after reading information about the radios and successfully completing a five-question quiz. Winners will be announced in April. The radios were purchased by IESMA as part of an effort to increase the use of the devices in communities throughout Illinois.
“IESMA’s mission is to help protect the lives and property of the people we serve, and we’re proud to partner with IEMA on efforts that enhance the safety of people throughout the state,” said IESMA President Curtis Hawk. “This contest highlights a key component of preparedness – having a way to receive warnings from the National Weather Service. The weather alert radios awarded through this contest will help protect many people. We are proud to again sponsor this important program.”
IEMA and the NWS developed a Severe Weather Preparedness Guide, which provides information about tornadoes, severe storms, lightning and flooding along with recommended actions to take before, during and after each of these weather events. It is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
Preparedness tips and information are also available through the Ready Illinois Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter Page (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois).
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