- Blankets or sleeping bags
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- A First aid kit
- Non-perishable snack food
- Sand or cat litter
- A shovel
- Booster cables
- A cell phone charger
IEMA Encourages People to Prepare for Earthquakes
February 04, 2019
SPRINGFIELD, IL -- On November 30, residents of Anchorage, Alaska experienced a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. To this day, residents continue to experience significantly powerful aftershocks. The event served as a stark reminder that earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world and at any time of day. In fact, records indicate Illinois and several other states in the central United States were rocked by some of the largest earthquakes ever measured in North America.
Illinois is flanked on its western and eastern borders by two active seismic zones: the New Madrid Seismic Zone and the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone. An earthquake similar to what was recently experienced in Alaska could have devastating effects on our state. “Creating an environment of education, awareness and preparedness will save lives in Illinois,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Acting Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “While we cannot predict when the next major quake will occur, we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”
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. Most casualties result from falling objects and debris caused by the earth shaking.
There are several steps people can take to help prevent injuries and property damage at home, including:
• Strapping water heaters and large appliances to wall studs
• Anchoring overhead light fixtures
• Fastening shelves to wall studs and securing cabinet doors with latches
• Strapping TVs, computers and other heavy equipment to prevent tipping
• Learning how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged
Each year the Illinois Emergency Management Agency leads an initiative to register homes, businesses, schools and organizations in the world’s largest earthquake drill. This year’s earthquake drill will take place on Thursday, October 17 at 10:17 a.m. It’s never too early to register your participation in this potentially life-saving event. Register today at www.shakeout.org.
Learn more about how you can prepare your home, business and family for an earthquake at www.Ready.Illinois.gov. Earthquake safety tips will also be posted throughout February on the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages.
January is Radon Awareness Month
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas. It is recognized as the 2nd cause of lung cancer in the U.S. With greater awareness, we can save lives.
Learn How: http://takeactiononradon.illinois.edu.
IEMA Highlights Holiday Safety in December
Tips offered for travel safety, holiday decorating, preparedness gifts
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.
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.
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 risks.
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.
Preparedness Gift Ideas
While you are out shopping this holiday season, consider gifts that can help friends and family stay safe during all types of hazards and emergencies.
“Disasters can happen at any time and often with little to no warning,” said Acting IEMA Director William Robertson. “Safety gifts are not only practical but they provide the gift-giver peace of mind knowing your loved one will be safe during an emergency.”
Preparedness gift ideas include:
• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radio with battery backup, a tone-alert feature and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology. In addition to alerting for weather warnings, these radios also broadcast warnings and post-event information for all types of hazards, including natural, environmental and public safety hazards, such as earthquakes, chemical spills and AMBER alerts.
• Flashlight with extra batteries.
• First aid kit with sterile bandages and gauze pads in assorted sizes; antiseptic; latex gloves; tweezers; scissors; soap and moistened towelettes; and thermometer.
• Home emergency preparedness kit stocked with a three-day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food; battery-powered radio, weather radio and flashlights with extra batteries; first aid kit; shut-off wrench (to turn off household gas and water); manual can opener; and fire extinguisher.
• Vehicle emergency preparedness kit stocked with a flashlight with extra batteries; first aid kit; water and non-perishable snacks; blankets; windshield scraper and brush; booster cables; sack of sand or kitty litter; tool kit; and shovel. The items can be packed in a backpack or rubber tub.
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.
IEMA will be posting holiday safety tips throughout December on the Ready Illinois Facebook (www.Facebook.com/ReadyIllinois) and Twitter (twitter.com/ReadyIllinois) pages. Additional information on emergency preparedness is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
November is Winter Weather Preparedness Month
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Most people spend several hours each day online for work, pleasure or both. The widespread usage of computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets offers countless opportunities to connect with information and people around the world. It also provides myriad opportunities for cyber criminals. During October, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) is joining with the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), as well as county and municipal emergency management agencies, to increase awareness of online risks and provide tips on what people can do to prevent problems.
“We place a high priority on cyber security in Illinois and many improvements are being achieved to strengthen the state’s defense and build awareness against this growing public safety issue,” said Kirk Lonbom, Acting Secretary for the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT). “Illinois is making impressive progress toward the goals detailed in the state’s first cybersecurity strategy.”
The Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov provides links to information and tips to help people minimize the risk of being a cybercrime victim. Some of those tips include the following:
• Configure your computer securely
Use privacy and security settings in your software, email system and web browsers. Regularly update your anti-virus software to identify and thwart new strains of malicious software.
• Keep software and operating systems updated
Install all software updates as soon as they are offered; using the “auto update” setting is the best way to ensure timely updates.
• Use strong passwords
Cybercriminals use automated programs that will try every word in the dictionary in a few minutes. When creating a password, use at least 10 characters, with a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
• Be cautious about links and attachments
Even communications you receive that appear to be from friends and family may contain links to malicious sites, so be careful when clicking on links in those messages. When in doubt, delete it.
Additionally, radio and television spots are airing statewide as part of the Ready Illinois broadcast preparedness campaign, which is aired in cooperation with the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA) Public Education Partnership program. The spots will air on more than 200 Illinois radio stations and more than 30 Illinois television stations.
The spots feature Abraham Lincoln outside the White House reviewing his five-step battle plan for the nation’s current cyber security war. Mr. Lincoln reminds viewers and listeners of the following steps:
1.If it’s too good to be true, it probably is;
2.Hover your cursor over the links to determine the true web address;
3.Look for misspellings and poor grammar, which are warning signs of fraud;
4.Be suspicious of emails requesting urgent action;
5.Never give away sensitive personal information.
To see the latest cyber security public service announcement or learn more about tips cyber safety, visit www.ready.illinois.gov.
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