CRYSTAL LAKE - McHenry County Emergency Management Agency and the McHenry County Department of Health are encouraging residents, businesses and communities in the County to prepare and plan for emergencies as part of September’s National Preparedness Month (NPM). The event, now in its ninth year, is a month-long campaign sponsored by Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Ready Campaign.
This campaign, in conjunction with the Ad Council, aims to educate and empower Americans during NPM and throughout the year to prepare for and respond to all types of emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks. During the month of September, weekly campaign messages from “Gear Up, Get Ready”, courtesy of the Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin Regional Catastrophic Planning Team, will be released to media, shared on the County website and its social media pages.
When a disaster strikes, it is sudden
and frightening. Disasters can range
from a blizzard to pandemic flu to a terrorist attack. Over
the past several years, Illinois has seen dozens of natural disasters, ranging
from blizzards and severe storms to tornadoes and flooding that disrupt or even
destroy homes and entire communities.
These events usually happen without warning, changing lives in an
instant. No matter what time of year it is, being safe and ready is always a good idea.
While emergency responders will react
to community-wide crises, it is not possible to reach everyone impacted by a
disaster right away. Preparing
in advance can insure your safety and just might save your life. Take steps now
to prepare your family to go for three days without electricity, water service,
access to a supermarket or local services. Follow these simple steps:
Make a Plan: Think about where your family members will meet if there is a
disaster. Think of who you and your
family (both locally and out of the area) will contact to let them know you are
all safe. Discuss, agree on, and write down an
emergency plan with your family. Sample plans are available at http://gearupgetready.org/where-will-you-reconnect-with-your-family/.
Build a Kit: Keep enough emergency
supplies on hand for you and your family to last 3 days – water, non-perishable
food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, and battery-powered radio, etc. –
for a checklist of supplies visit http://gearupgetready.org/what-will-you-need/.
Be Informed: Local emergency
officials have information on emergencies that might impact your community, how
to get information if a disaster happens and how to evacuate if necessary http://gearupgetready.org/will-you-know-where-to-go/. Since April 2012, wireless
emergency alerts (free informational text messages) are available on mobile
devices from over 100 service providers. All-hazard radios (formerly weather
radios) will keep you informed of emergency situations in your area.