Interested in our Search and Rescue Team?
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 9, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency, 1905 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.
IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes
Preparedness actions can prevent injuries, reduce property damage
“While we don’t experience major earthquakes with the same frequency as the western U.S., some of the most powerful earthquakes to ever occur in the continental U.S. happened along the New Madrid seismic zone about 200 years ago,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We can’t predict when the next major earthquake will occur, but we can help people learn how to stay safe and reduce damage to their homes.”
In conjunction with Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois, IEMA is adding a new 30-second TV spot to the Ready Illinois broadcast preparedness campaign, which is aired in cooperation with the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) Public Education Partnership (PEP) program. The new spot directs people to the Ready Illinois website for information on how to prepare their homes for an earthquake. It will air on IBA member TV stations serving residents of southern Illinois, where the greatest risk of earthquakes in Illinois exists. The spot is also available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
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, such as anchoring bookshelves, overhead light fixtures, wall hanging and large appliances, learning how to shut off gas, water and electricity and placing heavy objects on lower shelves.
More information about earthquake preparedness is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
IEMA, ALAIL Release Video to Help Real Estate Agents Inform Home Buyers about Radon Risks
Will help sellers comply with Illinois Radon Awareness Act
SPRINGFIELD – Real estate professionals and home sellers in Illinois have a new tool to help them meet state legal requirements regarding radon in homes. A three-minute video developed by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the American Lung Association in Illinois (ALAIL) is now available to ensure home buyers receive information about radon as required by the Illinois Radon Awareness Act.
The act, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2008, requires home sellers to provide anyone buying a home, condominium or other residential property in Illinois with information about indoor radon exposure and the fact that radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers and the second leading cause overall.
The law doesn’t require homes be tested for radon prior to the sale or that radon remediation work be conducted if test results show high levels of radon. However, if a radon test has been conducted on the home, those results must be provided to the buyer.
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that can seep into homes from the soil beneath the foundation. It’s estimated more than 1,100 people in Illinois develop radon-related lung cancer each year, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes radon as the leading cause of home-related deaths in the U.S.
“With more than 100,000 home purchases each year in Illinois, the Radon Awareness Act has significantly increased public awareness of radon hazards and how that risk can be reduced through installation of a radon reduction system,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “This video is a quick, simple way for real estate agents and home sellers to provide this important required information.”
The video, “Homebuyer’s Guide: What you need to know about radon and your new home,” is available on the IEMA website at www.radon.illinois.gov and on the ALAIL website at www.healthhouse.org. Additional information about radon is also available on those websites.
“We spend a majority of time in our homes and since radon is the leading cause of death in the home, it’s important to know what levels are present,” said Angela Tin, Vice President Environmental Health of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.
January was proclaimed Radon Action Month in Illinois by Governor Bruce Rauner to encourage residents to test their homes for radon.
Governor Rauner Proclaims January ‘Radon Action Month’
It’s estimated more than 1,100 people in Illinois develop radon-related lung cancer each year, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes radon as the leading cause of home-related deaths in the U.S.
A display on radon risks, testing and mitigation currently is on display in the SIU medical library to educate medical students and medical professionals about the naturally occurring health hazard. In addition, IEMA radon program staff will provide a presentation on radon during a “Lunch and Learn” for SIU employees on Jan. 27 in the medical library.
Addressing the impact radon has on health, Tracey Smith noted, “We are aware that where a person lives affects their health more than what we often do in the health care setting. It has been well-documented that radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after tobacco for those who smoke and the leading cause of lung cancer for those who are non-smokers. Therefore, as we provide training to future health care providers on how to provide general preventive messages to patients to reduce the risk of cancer, we must include education on the impact of radon exposure on lung cancer risk.”
IEMA Encourages People to ‘Resolve to be Prepared’
Will Highlight Preparedness, Safety Topics Each Month in 2017
SPRINGFIELD – Each year, people around the world welcome the start of a new year by making personal resolutions. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies throughout Illinois are encouraging people to ‘Resolve to be Ready’ for emergencies in 2017. The agencies will offer year-long support to help people attain the goal of better preparedness for themselves and their families.
“Being prepared for emergencies involves understanding the types of hazards you may experience and then taking steps that will help you stay safe and quickly recover if a disaster occurs,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “We’re encouraging people to work toward better preparedness throughout the year, so by the end of 2017 they will be prepared to handle whatever emergencies they experience.”
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:
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 on how to prepare for emergencies, the Ready Illinois website also provides guidance on what to do during and after a disaster. A list of the 2017 monthly preparedness topics is also available on the Ready Illinois website.
Preparedness information is also available through the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages.
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