IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes
Preparedness actions can prevent injuries, reduce property damage
In recognition of the earthquake risk still posed today by the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones in southern Illinois, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will promote earthquake preparedness throughout February.
“Two hundred years ago, the Central U.S. was sparsely populated,” said IEMA Director James Joseph. “A similar earthquake today would have a devastating impact on millions of people in the region. While we can’t predict when the next major temblor will occur, we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”
Joseph noted that the actual movement of the ground in an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most casualties result from falling objects and debris caused by the earth shaking.
Learning how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” can help people prevent injury during an earthquake. The phrase reminds people to drop down to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and hold on to that object and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.
There are several steps people can take to help prevent injuries and property damage at home, including:
More information about earthquake preparedness is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov. Earthquake safety tips will also be posted throughout February on the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages.
New Initiative Encourages Installation of Active Radon Systems in New Homes
Radon leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the American Lung Association in Illinois (ALAIL) today announced the statewide launch of an initiative to encourage home builders to install activated radon mitigation systems in new homes. The systems reduce levels of radon, a radioactive gas that is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second-leading cause of lung cancer overall.
Today’s announcement of the Radon Excellence Program coincides with national Radon Action Month in January.
“Home builders in Illinois currently are required to install passive radon mitigation systems in all new construction,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “This program encourages builders to provide even more protection for their home buyers by activating those systems. It’s an easy, yet very important step they can take to help families avoid the serious health risk associated with radon.”
Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that comes from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. It is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.
Elevated levels of the radioactive gas have been found in all 102 Illinois counties. IEMA estimates nearly 1,200 Illinois citizens die from radon-related lung cancer each year.
IEMA and ALAIL launched a pilot of the program last year in Savoy with two Champaign builders, Signature Homes and Ironwood Homes who partnered with radon mitigation contractor David Smith Radon Remedies of Heyworth on the project. More than 100 new homes were built as part of the pilot program.
“Radon-induced lung cancer is responsible for the deaths of nearly 1,200 Illinoisans each year and is the leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. “Given that nearly 40 percent of all homes tested in Illinois have radon levels in excess of recommended guidelines, we strongly encourage homeowners to test their homes for radon. There is no safe level for radon, but IDPH and IEMA recommend fixing homes that have levels at or above 4pCi/L.”
For more information about the Radon Excellence Program, visit the ALAIL website at http://www.healthhouse.org. Additional information about radon, including lists of licensed radon measurement and mitigation contractors, is available on IEMA’s radon webpage at www.radon.illinois.gov.
IEMA Encourages People to Resolve to be Prepared in 2016
Will Highlight Preparedness, Safety Topics Each Month
SPRINGFIELD – As communities around the state deal with record and near-record winter flooding, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local emergency management agencies throughout Illinois are encouraging people to ‘Resolve to be Ready’ for emergencies in 2016.
“The floods we’ve seen over the past week are the types we usually expect in spring or summer,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “It shows how important it is for people to be ready for any type of emergency, any time of year. With that in mind, we’re encouraging people to ‘Resolve to be Ready’ for emergencies in 2016 so that when the unexpected occurs, they’re able to stay safe.”
Joseph said IEMA will help people increase their personal preparedness by focusing on a different preparedness or safety topic each month this year, including earthquakes, severe weather, pets, school and campus, cyber security and more.
One of the first steps toward emergency preparedness is having an emergency supply kit stocked with basic survival items that are critical during an emergency, such as:
• One gallon of water per person per day (a minimum of a three-day supply)
IEMA maintains the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov), a one-stop location for preparedness information on a variety of hazards. In addition to information about steps people can take before emergencies happen, the Ready Illinois website also provides guidance on what to do during and after a disaster.
Preparedness information is also available through the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages.
December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
Illinois State Police Urge Motorists to Avoid the “3 Ds;” Drunk, Drugs, and Distractions.
IEMA Highlights Holiday Safety in December
Tips offered for preparedness gifts, holiday decorating
SPRINGFIELD – With the holiday season in full swing, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies are offering tips to help people stay safe now and into the new year.
“December can be a fun but hectic time of year,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “Throughout the month, we’ll be offering tips to help people stay safe, as well as provide ideas on gifts that can help friends and family stay safe during all types of emergencies.”
Joseph offered several ideas for preparedness gifts including:
Most preparedness gift items can be found in hardware and department stores.
Whether decorating for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve, candles and strings of colored lights create a festive atmosphere but it’s important to be careful when using them. Candles should never be left unattended and should be placed on stable furniture in fire-safe holders that will catch dripping wax. Holiday lights and electrical decorations should bear the name of an independent testing lab to prove they were safety tested.
IEMA will be posting holiday safety tips throughout December on the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages. Additional information on emergency preparedness is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
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