Created on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 12:01
Thanksgiving Holiday Travel Advisory
Illinois State Police Urge Driver Safety
Pestoum, IL – The Illinois State Police (ISP) is urging the motoring public to drive safe and avoid the Fatal Four moving violations; Speeding, DUI, Seatbelts, and Distracted Driving, this holiday season.
Traditionally, the Thanksgiving holiday marks the beginning of the busy holiday driving period. Beginning on Wednesday, November 25 through Sunday, November 29, high traffic volumes are expected on roadways throughout the state. As traffic volume increases, so does your chance of being involved in a traffic crash. Avoiding the Fatal Four can help to decrease your chances of being involved in a serious traffic crash.
ISP troopers will be extra vigilant during the holiday travel period. Officers will be conducting road side safety checks and participating in additional traffic enforcement details to identify the Fatal Four moving violations. Officers will also be available to provide assistance to motorists who are experiencing mechanical issues on their way to and from their holiday celebration.
District 10 Commander Captain Louis Kink adds, “We want drivers to focus on the drive. Holiday travel means crowded roadways, especially with lower gas prices. Buckle everyone in, obey the speed limits, and report impaired drivers to 911. Stay alert while driving to ensure you get to spend time with friends and family once you arrive at your destination. Move over and slow down for stopped emergency vehicles so they can get home safely to their families too. Our troopers will be out looking for impaired and distracted drivers to help make your travel on our roadways safe.”
Along with avoiding the Fatal Four, the ISP would also like to remind motorist to “move over.” The “move over” law requires motorists approaching an emergency vehicle stopped along the roadway to reduce their speed, change lanes if possible, and proceed with due caution.
The safety of everyone on Illinois roadways is important. Please remember: Don’t Drink and Drive, Always Buckle Up, Limit Distractions, Slow Down, and “move over!” The Illinois State Police would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Thanksgiving weekend.
Created on Thursday, 12 November 2015 09:11
Get Prepared for Winter Weather
Brrr! Cooler temperatures are setting in, which means winter is on its way. Before winter weather hits your area, talk with your family about how to stay safe and take action to get prepared! Planning and preparing can help you manage the impact of severe winter weather.
The How to Prepare for a Winter Storm guide from s PrepareAthon! outlines steps you can take now, including:
• Gather emergency supplies;
• Make a family emergency communication plan;
• Install battery-powered or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors;
• If you have access to an outside generator, have an electric cord long enough to keep the generator at least 20 feet from any door, window, or vent;
• NEVER use a generator inside your home or in any partially enclosed area; and
• Be alert to changing weather conditions using local alerts, battery-operated radios, and other news sources for information and instructions.
To learn more about preparing for winter weather, take a look at this animated video, and see what to do “When the Sky Turns Gray.”
Created on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 16:04
IEMA Encourages People to Stay Aware, Be Prepared
for Potential Severe Storms Wednesday
Dangerous thunderstorms, straight-line winds, tornadoes possible
SPRINGFIELD – With widespread severe weather predicted for most of Illinois Wednesday afternoon and evening, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today encouraged people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued.
“Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can happen any time of the year,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We’re keeping an eye on the storm system predicted for Wednesday, and encourage everyone to stay aware and be prepared to seek shelter if a storm warning is issued.”
Joseph said people should have multiple ways to receive notifications and updated information about severe weather warnings, such as through a weather alert radio, Wireless Emergency Alerts, weather alert apps, TV and radio broadcasts, the Internet, outdoor warning sirens and more.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radios can be programmed to issue a tone alarm and provide information about a warning that has been issued for your county. The tone alarm provides a 24/7 alert to approaching hazards, even during overnight hours when many people are sleeping.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are available on most smartphones. Check your phone’s notification settings under ‘Government Alerts’ to ensure ‘Emergency Alerts’ is turned on. With a WEA-enabled phone, you will receive tornado and flash flood warnings issued for your location, even if you’re traveling outside your home county or state. Other smartphone alerting apps also are available, including the tornado app by the American Red Cross.
In addition, many communities have outdoor warning sirens, which can alert people outdoors of an approaching hazard. Don’t rely on these sirens to alert you when you’re inside a building or asleep.
If a tornado warning is issued for your area, seek shelter immediately, preferably in a basement underneath the stairs or a sturdy piece of furniture. If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway or a small interior room without windows, get under sturdy furniture and use pillows or cushions to protect your head and neck.
For more information about severe weather preparedness, visit www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
Created on Thursday, 01 October 2015 12:40
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Governor Rauner issues proclamation encouraging Illinoisans
to stay safe when online
SPRINGFIELD – The Internet touches nearly every aspect of our daily lives. From computers and laptops at homes, schools and workplaces to smartphones and tablets that can be used anywhere, the ability to instantly connect with information and people around the world offers countless opportunities for everyone, including criminals.
Governor Bruce Rauner has proclaimed October National Cyber Security Awareness Month to highlight the importance of understanding and avoiding cyber risks. During October, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is joining with local emergency management agencies to increase awareness of online risks and provide tips on what people can do to prevent problems.
“Cybercrime is a serious problem throughout the world,” said Gov. Rauner. “Every day, criminals find new ways to steal valuable information from governments, businesses and individuals for financial gain or actions that could imperil our safety. Each of us has a responsibility to help maintain the security of cyberspace.”
Each week in October, IEMA will post information and tips on various cyber security topics on the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov) to help people avoid cybercrimes. Tips and links to cyber security information also will be posted on the Ready Illinois Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter page (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois).
• Oct. 1-4 – Protect yourself against cybercrime
• Oct. 5-11 – Be mobile, but not a victim
• Oct. 12-18 – Don’t reuse passwords
• Oct. 19-25 – Don’t be too social
• Oct. 26-31 – Don’t take the bait on phishing scams
“Cybercrime can range from malware on a single computer to large-scale hacks of large corporations and governments,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We want to help people understand the risks and provide simple ways they can reduce the chance of being a victim of cybercrime.”
Joseph offered a few tips to help people minimize the risk of being a cybercrime victim including:
• Configure your computer securely Use privacy and security settings in your software, email system and web browsers. Regularly update your anti-virus software to identify and thwart new strains of malicious software.
• Keep software and operating systems updated Be sure to install all software updates as soon as they are offered; using the “auto update” setting is the best way to ensure timely updates.
• Use strong passwords Cybercriminals use automated programs that will try every word in the dictionary in a few minutes. When creating a password, use at least 10 characters, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
• Be cautious about links and attachments Even communications you receive that appear to be from friends and family may contain links to malicious sites, so be careful when clicking on links in those messages. When in doubt, delete it.
• Protect your personal information Be aware of financial and sensitive information you give out. Personal information on your social networking pages can be clues to answers to website and bank security questions. Use privacy settings to limit who can see the details of your social network pages and be smart about what you decide to share online.
• Review your financial statements regularly Cybercriminals can find loopholes and your accounts may get hacked through no fault of your own. Review financial statements regularly and contact your financial institution immediately if you see any suspicious looking activity.
• What to do if you are a victim? Notify your bank and any other entities with which you have accounts to inform them that someone may be using your account fraudulently. Contact all three major credit bureaus to request a credit report and have a fraud alert and credit freeze placed on your account. Internet-related crime should be reported to appropriate authorities, including your local police department and the Illinois Attorney General’s office.
Created on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 09:32
Illinois Residents Encouraged to Register for ‘The Great ShakeOut’ Earthquake Drill
‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ Drill Set for October 15
SPRINGFIELD – At 10:15 a.m. on October 15, millions of people across the U.S. and in several countries around the globe will take a few minutes to practice actions that could save their lives in the event of an earthquake. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies are encouraging people in Illinois to take part in the annual Great ShakeOut drill.
“The ShakeOut drill is a quick, easy way to practice earthquake preparedness,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “It takes very little time, so it works well for schools and office buildings. You simply drop down to the ground, take cover under a table or other piece of heavy furniture and hold on.”
Illinois has participated in ShakeOut drills for the past five years. In October 2014, nearly 578,000 Illinoisans took part in the nationwide earthquake drill. To date, more than 534,000 people in Illinois are registered for the October ShakeOut event.
Joseph noted that some of the most powerful earthquakes to ever occur in the U.S. happened a little more than 200 years ago in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which reaches into southern Illinois. That series of earthquakes lasted for several months and shaking was felt as far away as the East Coast.
Schools, businesses, government agencies, families and others can register to participate in the drill at www.shakeout.org/centralus. Registered participants will receive additional information about the drill and earthquake preparedness. While the international drill will take place on Oct. 15, individual drills can be conducted anytime within two weeks of that date.
The drill focuses on the “Drop, Cover and Hold On” protective actions people should take when an earthquake begins: “Drop” down to the floor, take “Cover” under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and “Hold On” to the furniture item and be prepared to move with it until the shaking stops.
Additional information about the earthquake risk in Illinois and steps to take before, during and after an earthquake is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
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