August is School and Campus Preparedness Month in Illinois
Students from kindergarten through college soon will head back to school. As families prepare for the new academic year, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies 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. 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.
Here are some tips for parents to consider:
•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 unavailable immediately 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, too, can be aware potential dangers on campus. In addition, make sure your student knows the emergency plans for their dorm or apartment building.
In addition, a great resource for both parents and college students is the FEMA Weather app. This free app provides fast and reliable alerts from the National Weather Service (NWS). Best of all, the app can be tailored to offer alerts for up to five different locations. This convenience can provide peace of mind for parents who have kids that have moved away to college.
Additional preparedness information is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov. You can also follow Ready Illinois on Facebook and Twitter.
July is Youth Preparedness Month
July 08, 2019
SPRINGFIELD -- Emergencies and disasters can happen at any time. Disaster planning, response and recovery efforts should always take into account the unique needs of children, who make up roughly a quarter of the United States population. That is why this month, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, and county emergency management agencies, are taking steps to promote youth preparedness. Starting or getting involved with a youth preparedness program is a great way to enhance a community’s resilience and help develop future generations of prepared adults.
“Each year, millions of children are impacted by natural disasters,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “By empowering communities to make preparedness a priority we are building safer, stronger and more resilient communities before, during and after a disaster.”
Studies have shown, children are positive influencers in their households. Children can effectively bring the message of preparedness home to their families. Participating in youth preparedness programs empowers children to become leaders at home and in their schools and communities.
Tips for incorporating children into disaster preparedness:
Promote Interactive activities within your family. One way to do this is by involving children in the development of a family emergency plan.
Use real world events to teach about emergency situations and disasters. Using media coverage of current disasters (Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, power outages), talk to children about how your family would respond if this happened to you. Utilizing your family emergency plan, discuss where would you go, what would you do and how you will ensure their safety during an emergency. Children who are prepared experience less anxiety and feel more confident during actual emergencies and disasters.
Introduce older children to ways to be proactive about disaster preparedness. FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council offers youth leaders an opportunity to serve on a national council. During their two-year term, the youth leaders complete both a local and national-level project to share ideas regarding youth disaster preparedness.
For younger children, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has collaborated with the American Red Cross to produce a disaster preparedness activity book, Prepare with Pedro. This booklet is designed to encourage youth and their families to be better prepared for disasters by offering safety advice alongside crosswords, coloring pages, matching games and more.
For more information about youth preparedness, visit Ready.Illinois.gov.
IEMA, local emergency management agencies to focus on pet preparedness throughout June
SPRINGFIELD – Pets are cherished family members in many Illinois homes, so it’s important for pet owners to have plans to keep their pets safe during and after emergencies. Throughout National Pet Preparedness Month in June, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will provide tips and information on pet emergency preparedness.
“More than half of homes in Illinois have at least one pet,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Emergency situations can be very stressful, particularly for pets who don’t understand what is happening. If your family includes a dog, cat, hamster or other furry, feathered or scaly friends, don’t forget to include their unique needs in your home emergency plans.”
Home emergency supply kits for people should include a three-day supply of such items as food, water, first aid kit, weather alert radio, flashlights, spare batteries and other items. Pet owners should also have a pet preparedness kit stocked with items such as:
•At least a three-day supply of food and water
•Extra supplies of pet medicines
•Copies of pet registration, vaccinations and other important documents
•Photo of your pet in case you are separated during an emergency
•Collar with ID tag, harness or leash
•Crate or other pet carrier in case of evacuation
•Pet litter and box, newspapers, paper towels, plastic trash bags and household chlorine bleach for sanitation
•Toys, treats or other familiar items to reduce your pet’s stress during the emergency
A disaster may require you to evacuate your home, sometimes with little notice. It’s important to take pets with you, as an evacuation could last several days, even weeks, and your pets likely cannot survive without care. Plan now for places you and your pets can stay following an evacuation, as many public shelters do not allow animals inside.
It’s also important to have a back-up emergency plan in case you can’t care for or evacuate your animals yourself. Talk to neighbors, friends and family to make sure someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so.
Additional pet preparedness and general emergency preparedness information is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov, the Ready Illinois Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois and on Twitter at Twitter.com/ReadyIllinois.
IEMA Warns Recent Rains May Lead to Additional Flooding in Illinois
River levels expected to rise along parts of the Mississippi River and its tributaries
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The National Weather Service is forecasting another round of showers and thunderstorms that will bring additional precipitation to Illinois. This precipitation could lead to urban and flash flooding, as well as further aggravate already swollen rivers, creeks throughout our state. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency would like to take this time to remind residents that good preparation and knowing what to do in a flood can increase chances of survival when flooding occurs in your area.
“Much of our state is under a flash flood watch because of current and predicted rainfall,” said Acting IEMA Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau. “Heavy rains carry significant risks to families and their homes. Do not let your guard down when it comes to spring flooding. Be aware of the flood risks in your neighborhood and know the steps to take to keep your family safe in the event of an emergency.”
Flood preparedness tips include:
•STAY INFORMED: Learn things you can do now to stay safe from flooding due to large storms. It's important to stay informed about what is happening with the storm as it approaches and always follow the instructions of local emergency management officials. NOAA Weather Alert Radios provide critical information in a timely manner on storms, hazards and emergencies.
•TAKE PHOTOS: If you have contents coverage on your flood insurance policy and you haven't already done so, take photos of clothing, flooring, light fixtures, appliances, furniture, etc.--anything that could be damaged by the flood. Having this can help if you file a flood insurance claim later. If you're not sure what your flood insurance policy covers, call your insurance agent.
•REDUCE FLOODING RISKS:◦Make sure your sump pump is working. Then, install a battery-operated backup in case of power failure.
◦Install a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
◦Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
◦Raise and anchor service equipment and appliances (air conditioning units, water heaters, heat pumps, water meters) onto platforms so they are at least one foot above potential flood waters.
•PROTECT VALUABLE DOCUMENTS: Store copies of irreplaceable documents (such as birth certificates, passports, insurance documents, deeds, etc.) in a safe, dry place. It can also be a good idea to photograph these documents and store the images in a safe place, too.
•PREPARE YOUR FAMILY: Develop a family emergency plan and review it with all family members. Visit Ready.Illinois.gov for step by step instructions on how to prepare for, survive and rebuild after any storm or emergency.
•BE READY TO EVACUATE: Plan and practice a flood evacuation route. Ask someone out of state to be your “family contact” in an emergency, and make sure everyone knows the contact’s address and phone number.
•PLAN FOR PETS AND ANIMALS: Make a pet and animal plan. Many shelters do not allow pets. Make plans now on what to do with your pets if you are required to evacuate your residence.
•CHECK YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE: A flood insurance policy could protect you from the devastating expenses caused by flooding. Standard homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage. A flood policy takes 30 days to go into effect from application to payment, so taking action before a storm is recommended. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) protects policyholders financially even if they live in an area that did not qualify for federal disaster assistance. In fact, statistics show, insured survivors are able to recover quicker and more fully from a flood or other catastrophic event than their uninsured neighbors.
Another important safety tips during a flood is, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” which is intended to remind people to never drive on a flooded road. Most flood-related fatalities involve people in vehicles attempting to drive through a road covered with water. The speed and depth of the water is not always obvious, and as little as two feet of rushing water can sweep away most vehicles, including trucks and SUVs.
For more information about flood preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
IEMA highlights Recovery Preparedness Month
April is Recovery Preparedness Month
SPRINGFIELD -- Mother Nature does not discriminate when it comes to severe weather. Countless residents throughout our state have experienced the challenges of rebuilding their lives after a disaster or other emergency. In these stressful situations, having access to personal finance, insurance, medical and other records is critical for starting the recovery process.
"As severe weather and river flooding threatens our communities, it’simportant for all Illinoisans to take action now, before a disaster," said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Acting Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). "When a disaster strikes, your immediate focus will beon the safety of your loved ones. Building a culture of preparedness today, provides the priceless peace of mind that is needed as you begin the daunting task of rebuilding following a disaster."
During Recovery Preparedness Month, IEMA and local emergency management officials will provide guidance to Illinois residents on how to quickly and efficiently recovery from disasters such as floods, fire, earthquakes or severe weather.
Here are five simple acts that can help you recover from any disaster:
• Get Organized. Secure and organize financial and critical personal, household, and medical information. Having these items in a safe place can expedite insurance claims and other emergency expenses.
• Savings. Saving is the best financial defense against disasters. A little bit at a time can go a long way. A rainy day fund can help you invest in your family’s safety.
• Insurance. Obtain property (homeowners or renters), health, and life insurance if you do not have them.
• Inventory. Make an inventory of your possessions using photographs and/or videos of your belongings.
• Communication. Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes. Develop a Family Communication Plan. This will outline how you will contact one another when a disaster strikes.
You can learn more about Disaster Recovery Month at www.ready.illinois.gov.
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