IEMA preparedness for whole community
Encourages families, businesses, schools and other organizations to
develop emergency plans that address all needs
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[April 04, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD — In the past 12
months, Illinois residents have endured flooding, tornadoes,
snowstorms, a polar vortex and other public safety emergencies.
While these and other disasters can' t be prevented, their impact can
be reduced when people, businesses, schools and others in a
community are properly prepared.
With that in mind, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will
focus on "Preparedness for the Whole Community" throughout April as
part of its 2014 preparedness campaign.
"Whole community means everyone in a community needs to be
prepared for disasters, not just emergency response agencies," said
IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. "Individuals, families, businesses,
schools, faith-based groups and other community organizations should
develop and practice emergency plans that address the needs of
everyone in our community. This should include seniors, children,
those with health concerns or disabilities, non-English speaking
residents, and others."
The state of Illinois has several resources available to assist
with whole community preparedness, including an upcoming webinar, a
preparedness guidebook for people with functional needs, American
Sign Language videos, information available in six non-English
languages and links to information available from other
On April 8, the Illinois Department of Public Health' s Disability
and Health Program will sponsor a webinar entitled "Partnering with
People with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness Activities." The
webinar, which will be presented from 1 to 2 p.m., is designed to
help emergency preparedness professionals include people with
disabilities in emergency planning and exercises.
The webinar will feature Jessica Mitchell, disabilities
integration specialist with FEMA Region V, who will provide
information on the concept of whole community planning, why it is
important to include people with disabilities in emergency exercises
and how to plan inclusive exercises.
In addition, a panel of speakers from agencies serving people
with disabilities will discuss specific populations of people with
disabilities, how to recruit people with a variety of different
disabilities and how their agencies can assist local planners to
include people with disabilities.
The webinar is aimed at local health department and emergency
management agency preparedness staff, local community-based
organizations, and others serving people with disabilities.
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The program is in collaboration with the Great Lakes ADA Center
at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
To register for the webinar, visit
In addition, the Ready Illinois website
guidebook, "Emergency Preparedness Tips for Those with
Functional Needs" (PDF), with preparedness tips for people with
visual, cognitive or mobility impairments; people who are deaf or
hard of hearing; those who use service animals or life support
systems; and seniors.
For each functional need, the guidebook provides a list of
supplemental items for a disaster kit, tips on developing an
emergency plan, suggestions on how to be better informed about
community emergency planning and a checklist of preparedness
The Illinois Department on Aging provides preparedness
information specific to seniors on its website at
and on the Ready Illinois website (Seniors).
The Ready Illinois website also offers more than two dozen
emergency preparedness videos produced in American Sign Language
with closed captioning. A function on the website also enables most
preparedness information to be translated into Spanish, Polish,
Chinese, Italian, German and Filipino.
Emergency Management Agency file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]