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Back-to-School Is Time to Review Emergency Preparedness Plans
July is Extreme Heat Safety Month
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is sharing tips to beat the heat because July is Extreme Heat Safety Month. “We’ve already had 100 °+ temperatures for several days in June, and it’s clear that extreme heat is dangerous,” said IEMA Deputy Director Scott Swinford. “Take precautions and reduce your risk to avoid heat exhaustion by staying cool and well hydrated.”
High temperatures paired with significant humidity can lead to increased risks of heat cramps, heat illness, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion.
- Take breaks in the shade
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid overexertion and strenuous outdoor activities
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing that covers the skin to prevent sunburn
- Use sunscreen
- Don’t leave children or pets in a vehicle
- Look before you lock! Keep curtains and shades closed at home
- Take cool showers or baths
- Avoid using your oven
- If you don’t have air conditioning, visit a cooling center, store, or mall
- Check on family members, seniors, and neighbors
- Follow our five NWS offices that cover Illinois (Chicago, Quad Cities, Lincoln, Paducah, and St. Louis)
Extreme heat is high heat and humidity with temperatures above 90 degrees for at least two to three days. Be better prepared for the weather and learn about specific heat terms.
More tips on extreme heat safety can be found here. Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): www.Ready.Illinois.gov
April is Hazardous Materials Safety Month
April 01, 2022
SPRINGFIELD – April is Hazardous Materials Safety Month, and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) wants you to learn about the potential hazards in your community. “Being proactive and safety conscious is key,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “If released, hazardous material may pose a threat to public health and safety.”
IEMA offers citizens the ability to track chemical spills and incidents and maintains an inventory-type database to monitor businesses and organizations that have chemicals onsite. Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to help prevent problems and quickly reduce danger in the case of an emergency.
IEMA coordinates shared efforts with the Illinois Fire Service Institute (ISFI) to provide guidance and hazardous materials training to businesses and organizations, with updates every four years or less. Federal funds are used to provide hazardous materials training to all first responders in the State of Illinois, including public employees who may come across a hazardous material during their workday.
“The State of Illinois has proactive and well-trained regional and local responders, which reduces risk,” explained IEMA Hazardous Materials Unit Supervisor David Martin. “Illinois has just under 8,600 active Tier II chemical facilities. Chemicals are necessary for thousands of businesses to operative effectively in Illinois, and those chemicals are safe when utilized under proper conditions and utilized by responsible parties.”
Under the federal Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA), the State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) has designated IEMA to implement the requirements. IEMA works closely with Local Emergency Planning Committees, first responders, and emergency managers to ensure local communities have knowledge and access to information on hazardous materials located within their communities and are prepared in the event of a chemical release.
IEMA, American Lung Association Encourages Home Radon Testing
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is urging residents to take time in the coming weeks to test their home for radon as part of Radon Action Month. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Radon related health risks are preventable with a simple home detection test.
Radon comes from the natural breakdown of uranium and radium in the soil. This odorless, colorless, tasteless gas is found in the air that we breathe in buildings, homes, offices and if not properly mitigated can reach drastically high levels causing major health concerns. It’s estimated more than 1,100 people in Illinois develop radon-related lung cancer each year.
“With more people staying home, working and learning remotely, this is a great time to test your home for radon,” said IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Radon enters our homes through cracks and other holes in the structure’s foundation or crawl space. Homes trap radon where it can build up once inside. It’s important to note that radon can be found in older buildings and new constructions. A simple home test is an inexpensive and easy way to know if you and your family is at risk of exposure.”
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the American Lung Association in Illinois (ALAIL) are teaming up to increase public awareness of radon risks and ways to reduce radon exposure. IEMA and ALAIL announced the continuation of two statewide contest that encourages students to use their creative talents to promote radon awareness. The Radon Video Contest asks Illinois high school students to create a 30 second commercial style video, while the Radon Poster Contest asks middle school students to create a poster that will encourage people to test their homes for radon.
|||Radon Poster Contest||Radon Video Contest|
|Eligibility||Students Age 9-14||All High School Students|
|Registration Status||Now Open||Now Open|
|Submissions Due||March 18||March 18|
|First Prize||$200||$1000 (student), $300 (school)|
|Second Prize||$150||$750 (student), $200 (school)|
|Third Prize||$100||$500 (student), $100 (school)|
|Honorable Mention||n/a||$250 (student)|
All contest prizes are funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Both contests are sponsored by IEMA, ALAIL and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5.
The top posters and videos from the 2021 state contests can be viewed on IEMA’s radon website at www.radon.illinois.gov. The website also includes information about radon and lists of licensed measurement and mitigation professionals. Information is also available through IEMA’s Radon Hotline at 800-325-1245.
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