Created on Monday, 03 October 2016 16:31
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
Governor Rauner issues proclamation encouraging Illinoisans
to stay safe online
SPRINGFIELD – Reports on computer hacks and online information breaches are in the news almost daily. While the news stories come and go, the effects of having your personal information compromised can be long-lasting. To highlight the importance of understanding and avoiding cyber risks, Governor Bruce Rauner has proclaimed October National Cyber Security Awareness Month in Illinois.
“Cybercrime is a very real threat across the globe,” Gov. Rauner said. “Here in Illinois, our new Department of Innovation and Technology is spearheading efforts to keep the state’s networks safe from the continual barrage of attacks. It’s equally important for individuals, schools, businesses, organizations and others to work to keep their online information secure.”
“Cybersecurity threat impacts all of us, and is truly a citizen safety issue,” said Hardik Bhatt, State CIO and Secretary Designate of the Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT). “Through Governor Rauner’s leadership, the state of Illinois is securing our technology infrastructure through partnerships with different levels of government and critical infrastructure partners. For a truly cyber-secure Illinois, we believe that the most important cybersecurity partnership for us is with our citizens."
During the month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies are joining to increase awareness of online risks and provide tips on what people can do to prevent problems.
“The Internet touches nearly every aspect of our daily lives,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “From computers and laptops at homes, schools and workplaces to smartphones and tablets, the ability to instantly connect with information and people around the world offers countless opportunities for everyone, including criminals. Fortunately, there are steps everyone can take to stay safe online.”
Joseph said the Stop. Think. Connect. Campaign is a global safety awareness campaign to help people stay safe online. The campaign offers many tips and information for online security, including:
• Keep security software current to defend against viruses, malware and other online threats.
• Protect all devices that connect to the Internet, including computers, smartphones, gaming systems and other web-enabled devices.
• Use security software to scan USBs and other external devices for viruses and malware.
• Make passwords long and strong by combine capital and lowercase letters with number and symbols.
• Have unique passwords for every account.
• Avoid suspicious links in emails, tweets, posts and online advertising, which can be the way for cybercriminals to access your computer.
• When banking and shopping online, check to be sure the site is security enabled (https:// means the site takes extra measures to secure your information).
• Protect your work, music, photos and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.
More information about cyber security is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
Created on Monday, 12 September 2016 12:16
To honor the great work and accomplishments of Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors, NOAA/NWS will formally recognize those Ambassadors who have made significant contributions to building a Weather-Ready Nation during National Preparedness Month (September). NOAA/NWS would like to congratulate the following Ambassadors for their great work this past year! By serving as a change agent and leader in their community, they have inspired others to be better informed and prepared, helping to minimize or even avoid the impacts of extreme weather, water and climate events.
NOAA’s Weather-Ready Nation focuses on building community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather, water and climate events, and the National Weather Service has many great partners to aid in accomplishing this goal. This collaborative work includes working with NOAA’s/NWS’s partners and public, but requires the participation and commitment of a vast nationwide network of Ambassadors. Everyday, Weather-Ready Nation Ambassadors serve a pivotal role in affecting societal change - helping to build a Weather-Ready Nation!
For more information on the Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador program or how to become an ambassador, visit: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/ambassadors.html
Bossier Parish (LA) Library
Brooks Elementary School (KY)
Center for Sustainable Communities (Atlanta)
Champaign County Emergency Management
City of Austin Watershed Protection
DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Fire Rescue TV
Florida International University - International Hurricane Research Center
Johnson County (KS) Emergency Management
Kentucky Mountains Amateur Radio Club
Milwaukee Area Skywarn Association
Occupational Health & Safety (OSHA)
Polk County (IA)Health Department
Sacramento Office of Emergency Services
USDA Farm Service Agency
Created on Thursday, 01 September 2016 13:55
IEMA Joins Nationwide Campaign to Encourage Disaster Preparedness
‘Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today’ is Theme for National Preparedness Month in September
SPRINGFIELD – September is National Preparedness Month and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is joining with emergency management agencies throughout the state and across the U.S. to encourage people to spend a few moments during the month on disaster preparedness.
The campaign’s theme, ‘Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today’, urges people to set aside time to discuss emergency plans with family members and develop a plan to stay safe when disaster strikes. The month-long preparedness drive will conclude on September 30 with ‘American’s PrepareAthon,’ a national day of action.
“Severe weather and other disasters can’t be prevented, and many occur without much warning,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We saw that happen last December with heavy rains and widespread flooding that claimed 10 lives and drove many people from their homes with little notice. Taking a few minutes now on your emergency plan could be a true life saver during an emergency.”
Throughout September, IEMA will offer tips and information on how to develop a family emergency communication plan, assemble an emergency supply kit, as well as ways to receive critical emergency warnings.
IEMA offers disaster preparedness information on the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov), a one-stop resource for detailed information about what to do before, during and after disasters.
In addition, throughout September IEMA will post daily preparedness tips on the Ready Illinois Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (@ReadyIllinois).
During disasters, IEMA uses the Ready Illinois website, Facebook and Twitter pages to provide critical information about the incident, including shelter locations, road closures, safety information, photos and more.
Created on Monday, 01 August 2016 16:23
Parents Encouraged to Include Emergency Preparedness in Back-to-School Plans
August is School and Campus Preparedness Month in Illinois
SPRINGFIELD – In the next few weeks, students from pre-kindergarten through college will be headed back to school. As parents prepare their students for the new academic year, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies across the state are encouraging parents to include emergency preparedness in their back-to-school plans.
“Emergencies can occur any time of the day or night, including when children are in school,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “The start of a new school year is the perfect time to make sure you know your school’s plans for keeping students safe during an emergency and then talking to your child about those plans.”
Joseph offered several back-to-school planning tips for parents of school-aged children, including:
• Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours.
• Ensure your current emergency contact information is on file at your child’s school.
• Pre-authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency and make sure the school knows who that designated person is.
• Teach children with cell phones about ‘Text First, Talk Later.’ Short, simple text messages, such as “R U OK?” and “I’m OK,” are more likely to get through than a phone call if phone service is disrupted following an emergency. As phone congestion eases, you can follow up with a phone call to relay more information.
Students headed off to college also need to be prepared for emergencies. Many college campuses offer email and text messages to alert students of potential dangers, such as severe weather and other threats. Encourage your college student to sign-up for such alerts. Some colleges also provide alert messages for parents so they also are aware of potential dangers on campus. In addition, make sure your student knows the emergency plans for their dorm or apartment building.
Additional preparedness information is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
Created on Wednesday, 20 July 2016 15:26
Illinois Department of Public Health Safety Tips for Heat
SPRINGFIELD - With high temperatures expected over the next couple of days, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D. is urging Illinoisans to take preventive actions to avoid heat-related illness like heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
“High heat and humidity can lead to serious health problems. It’s important for people to recognize the signs of heat-related illness and take action to prevent becoming sick,” said Director Shah. “To help your body cope with high temperatures, take steps to stay cool, increase your fluid intake, decrease your activities and wear appropriate clothing.”
• Stay in air-conditioned buildings. Cooling centers can be found by logging onto http://www.illinois.gov/KeepCool/SitePages/CoolingCenters.aspx.
• Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
• Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.
• Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
• Check on at-risk friends, family, and neighbors at least twice a day. These may include seniors and people with chronic health conditions.
• Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to hydrate.
• Drink two to four cups of water every hour while working or exercising outside.
• Avoid alcohol or beverages with high amounts of sugar.
• Check the local news for extreme heat warnings.
• Visit www.dph.illinois.gov for heat related information.
Normally, the body cools itself by sweating. However, if temperatures and humidity are extremely high, sweating is not effective in maintaining the body’s normal temperature. If the body does not cool properly or does not cool enough, a person may suffer a heat-related illness, which can become serious or even deadly if unattended.
People most vulnerable for heat-related illness include the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with a chronic medical condition.
The Illinois Department on Aging encourages relatives and friends to make daily visits or calls to senior citizens living alone. When temperatures and humidity are extremely high, seniors and people with chronic health conditions should be monitored for dehydration and other effects of extreme heat. Additionally, seniors should eat lighter meals, take longer and more frequent rests, and drink plenty of fluids.
Never leave anyone, including pets, alone in a closed, parked vehicle. The air temperature inside a car rises rapidly during hot weather and can lead to brain damage or death.
Log onto www.ready.illinois.gov for more heat safety information and updates on statewide weather watches, warnings, and advisories.
IDPH Safety Tips For Heat
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