IEMA Highlights Emergency Preparedness for People
with Access and Functional Needs in May
Ready Illinois website offers preparedness tips for
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[May 10, 2017]
– Most emergencies occur with little or no warning, such as the
flooding currently impacting more than two dozen Illinois
While most disasters can’t be prevented, the
stress of such situations can be reduced significantly through
personal preparedness. This is particularly important for households
with members who have disabilities, functional needs or may need
assistance during an emergency.
Throughout May, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and
local emergency management agencies will highlight the importance of
disaster preparedness for people with functional and access needs.
“A flood, tornado or ice storm can cause power outages, force people
to evacuate their homes or create other dangerous situations for
people in the affected communities,” said IEMA Director James K.
Joseph. “That’s why we encourage everyone to be prepared, especially
those who may have medical, functional or access needs. We have
resources that can help people and their caregivers be better
prepared for emergencies.”
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Joseph said the Ready Illinois website offers a guidebook with
preparedness tips for people with visual, cognitive or mobility impairments;
people who are deaf or hard of hearing; those who utilize service animals or
life support systems; and senior citizens. The guide, Emergency Preparedness
Tips for Those with Functional Needs, is available at
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 activities.
The Ready Illinois website also offers more than two dozen preparedness videos
in American Sign Language on such topics as what to do before, during and after
tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and flooding, how to build an emergency supply
kit, and what to do if you’re instructed to evacuate.
The videos were developed in collaboration with the Illinois Deaf and Hard of
[Illinois Emergency Management