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
|Students Age 9-14
|All High School Students
|$1000 (student), $300 (school)
|$750 (student), $200 (school)
|$500 (student), $100 (school)
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.
Champaign County Broadband Survey
Champaign County is developing a plan to cover the entire county with affordable, accessible broadband service. The county is asking folks to complete two short surveys regarding current internet access at your home or at your business. Here are links for the two surveys to complete - the one labeled speed test and the other one either the residential or business survey. Your responses will help us identify gaps in current broadband coverage and potential solutions to facilitate good access to every county resident.
Speed Test https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S36BKS8
OR Business https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SFN5KFQ
Good internet connections are an important element of emergency preparedness and response.
Thank you for your time.
IEMA Highlights Holiday Safety in December
Tips offered for shopping, travel, winter heating and more
December 01, 2021
SPRINGFIELD – With the holiday season in full swing, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is offering tips to help people stay safe now and into the new year. From decorating the tree to traveling to grandma’s house with a sleigh full of new toys, be sure to take simple steps to keep your family safe.
Holiday Shopping Safety
Whether shopping online or in the store, be sure to utilize smart shopping techniques this holiday season. If shopping online, connect with care. Make sure your home wireless network is password protected and set strong passwords that make it hard for cyber criminals to guess. Increase online traffic has made it more lucrative for cyber thieves to trick buyers into scams and steal personal information for financial gain. Remember the old adage, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. During the holidays, scammers may send fake emails requiring you to click a link for a special offer. Shop online through trusted retailers to avoid these scams, and do not click on links from unknown senders.
Online shopping best practices recommended by the National Cyber Security Alliance:
Think before you click: Beware of ads encouraging users to click on links, account warnings and shipping notifications. If you receive notice or an enticing offer, do not click on the link. Instead, go directly to the company’s website to verify the offer is legitimate.
Do your homework: Cyber thieves are fond of setting up fake e-commerce sites. Prior to making a purchase, read reviews to hear what others say about the merchant. In addition, look for a physical location and any customer service information. It’s also a good idea to call the merchant to confirm that they are legitimate.
Consider your payment options: Using a credit card is often recommended over a debit card, as there are more consumer protections for credit cards if something goes awry.
Watch what you give away: Be alert to the kinds of information being collected to complete your transaction. If the merchant is requesting more data than you feel comfortable sharing, cancel the transaction. You only need to fill out required fields at checkout and should never save your payment information in your profile.
Keep tabs on your bank and credit card statements: Be sure to continuously check your accounts for any unauthorized activity. Good recordkeeping goes hand-in-hand with managing your cybersecurity.
While the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, be sure that your fireplace is ready for the winter heating season. Chimneys, fireplaces and wood and coal stoves should be regularly inspected and cleaned when necessary. Additionally, furnaces should be checked every year by professionals to ensure mechanical parts are functioning properly and that nothing is blocking the flue. Malfunctioning furnaces increase both the fire and carbon monoxide (CO) risks.
CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it. Under Illinois law, homes should be equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors within 15 feet of each sleeping area. The detectors should be tested monthly to ensure they’re functioning, and the batteries are still good. Never use a gas or charcoal grill inside your home or attached garage because of the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
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 placed far away from flammable materials. Candles should also 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.
When traveling over the river and through the woods, whether by car, train or plane, be sure to utilize smart travel tips.
If traveling by car, remember to pack an emergency supply kit with essentials for all your passengers. Fill out an emergency communications plan and let your in case of emergency (ICE) contact know your plan. Also, before you hit the road, check local road conditions and avoid traveling during winter storms.
If traveling by plane for the holidays, be sure to review the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) security screening tips. When packing for your flights, consider a small emergency kit that includes a flashlight and spare USB power bank.
For additional #HolidaySafety preparedness information, visit Ready.Illinois.gov.
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