Information & Resources
There are many programs and organizations designed to provide information and opportunities for service. Your local Emergency Management Agency (EMA) or Emergency Services Disaster Agency (ESDA) is a wonderful resource to help you in your planning and to advise you about community services available to you. The American Red Cross (ARC), the American Heart Association (AHA), and the American Safety and Health Institute (ASHI) offer classes in disaster preparedness and training in CPR/AED, First Aid, When Help is Delayed, Wilderness, and Pet First Aid.
In every situation, you and your family will cope best by preparing for a disaster before it strikes. One way to prepare is by following Red Cross’ and Homeland Security’s training to “Be Informed, Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Get Involved”. Once a disaster hits, you won’t have time to shop or search for supplies or run out for a CPR class. However, if you have gathered supplies in advance, developed a family emergency plan, gotten trained and stayed informed about community resources, your family will be better able to endure an evacuation or home confinement (also known as sheltering in place.)
Know Your Community Resources
Amateur Radio Relay League (ARRL): The ARRL was founded in 1914 and is the national membership association for Amateur Radio operators in the United States. The Amateur Ration Emergency Service (ARES) is one of many community service programs offered by the ARRL. It is for licensed ham radio operators who voluntarily use their communications skills to serve the public in times of emergency. http://www.arrl.org
American Red Cross: Clinton County is now covered by the Red Cross for the Central and Southern Illinois Region: http://www.redcross.org/local/illinois/central-and-southern/about. The National Website is: http://redcross.org
Citizen Corps: For more information, contact the Homeland Security and Citizen Corps Program Manager, Illinois Terrorism Task Force, Illinois Emergency Management Agency, 2200 S. Dierksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62703 (217) 588-1334; firstname.lastname@example.org Illinois Council Website: http://www.ready.illinois.gov/citizencorps
Center for Domestic Preparedness: Located in Alabama, the Center for Domestic Preparedness provides training for hospital, public health, healthcare professionals, first responders and emergency volunteers in disaster preparedness and response. (http://www.cdp.hhs.gov)
Clinton County Community Organizations Active in Disaster (COAD): If your faith organization, business or community group (Rotary, Lions, Optimists, etc.) would like to help in a disaster or other emergency, please join our local COAD to get involved. Call Pastor Mike with the First United Methodist Church in Trenton at (618) 224-7364. For training, information, contact 618-594-2723, ext. 330
Emergency Management Agency (EMA): For more information about emergencies in Clinton County, contact the EMA Director, 431 21st Street, in Carlyle (618) 594-4455 email@example.com
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA): For more information visit http://fema.gov and click on the “Are You Prepared” information section
Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA): For more information visit http://iema.illinois.gov and visit the Disaster Preparedness, Response and Recovery page
Medical Reserve Corps: For more information, contact the Emergency Preparedness and Response Coordinator for the Clinton County Health Department, 930 A Fairfax Street, Carlyle, IL 62231 (618) 594-2723, extension 330 or the National Website: http://www.medicalreservecorps.gov
You may also follow us on Facebook at: https://facebook/SouthCentralIllinoisMedicalReserveCorps
Ready America: For more information visit: http://www.ready.gov
Weather Information: National Weather Service and All Hazards NOAA Weather Radio Alerts sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: http://www.weather.gov/nwr
Know Your Emergency Communications
The South Central Illinois Medical Reserve Corps sponsors an Amateur Radio Club for Clinton County. In order to use a ham radio and join the Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), you must have an FCC license. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio in the USA and offers books, news, support, clubs, continuing education, training and tools to help you get licensed. (http://www.arrl.org)
The Clinton County ARES Club meets as needed for training, exercises, and special events. ARES volunteers may help with communications during a parade, a marathon or other community event and will receive ongoing training in emergency services and communication procedures. In a disaster situation, ARES volunteers are activated under the direction of our local EMA Director to support emergency communications within the county.
Know How to Make Your Home Safe
(San Francisco Department of Emergency Management, Illinois Terrorism Task Force)
- Be sure your home’s street number is visible from the street.
- Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors outside each sleeping area and on each level of your home, test every six months, and replace or recharge batteries at least annually.
- Move beds away from windows and out from under ceiling fans.
- Clear hallways and exits for easy evacuation.
- Make sure window safety bars have emergency releases.
- Discuss all possible exit routes from each room (there should be at least two). Have an “escape” plan and practice it every six months.
- Keep an ABC type fire extinguisher on each level of your home, know how and when to use them, and recharge at least annually.
- Store flammable or highly reactive chemicals (i.e. bleach, ammonia, gasoline etc.) securely and separately from each other.
- Check for hazards around your home (i.e. bring patio furniture inside; make sure outside shutters are securely nailed down; install anchors or safety straps to securely attach bookcases, filing cabinets or heavy furniture to the walls; move heavy objects to lower shelves and install cabinet door latches, etc.). Have a home hazard “hunt” with your children.
- Label and/or color code utilities (water, gas and electricity) at the main switches.
- Brace your water heater so it won’t tip over in an earthquake.
- Review expiration dates and replace water and food supplies as needed (don’t consume any food from cans that are rusted or bulging).
- Store food in airtight, pest-resistant containers in a cool, dark place and rotate regularly.
- After a power outage, refrigerated and frozen foods will stay cold longer if you keep the door closed (refrigerated foods should generally be consumed within 4 hours; frozen foods will normally remain safe for 2 days.)
- Store tap water in food grade, plastic containers such as clean 2-liter soft drink bottles (do not use empty milk containers or reuse commercially-bottled drinking water containers.)
Know How to Help Friends and Neighbors
Get to know your neighbors and neighborhood resources BEFORE a disaster strikes. Develop a support network and a neighborhood plan:
- Work out a system for contacting one another during a crisis. Signals can be whistles, shouting, knocking, or visual signs. Do not count on telephones as the only means of communication.
- Select a way to communicate to let the members of the network know that you are safe.
- Develop a system for letting each other know when you will be traveling.
- If you have animals, make sure that they are familiar with network members.
- Show the members how to operate and move any assistive devices or specialized medical equipment. Attach laminated labels to equipment with operating instructions.
- Give copies of keys to get into your home or office to a trusted person in case of an emergency.
- Make a commitment to get together periodically to review the plan.
AFTER the disaster and when it’s safe, assess the damage
Check for injuries. Determine if anyone is injured. If so, call for help and provide simple first aid measures.
Wear protective clothing and sturdy shoes. Disaster areas and debris contain many hazards. The most common injury following a disaster is cut feet.
Help your neighbors. Maintain a list of contacts (names, addresses, phone numbers and other essential information) for family members and neighbors who may need your assistance:
- Immediate family members no longer living at home
- Extended family members who will need to know your status
- Family members entrusted to group homes, nursing homes or other facilities
- Neighbors who may have pets that they (your neighbors) are unable to get to
- Neighbors with small infants in the home or who may be elderly, live alone, or struggle with special challenges
Look for hazards.
- Gas: If you smell gas or suspect a leak, open a window and get everyone outside quickly. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve.
- Electrical system: If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell burning insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. Getting damaged utilities turned off will prevent further injury or damage. Stay away from downed power lines.
- Water: If the water pipes are broken, turn the water off at the main valve. Tip: For all the utilities―gas, electric, and water―find out where shutoff valves/switches are before a disaster strikes. Do not walk or drive onto flooded streets
- Structural problems: Watch for objects that could fall. Evacuate structures that are not stable and do not run into buildings
- Spills: Stay away from areas that contain spilled chemicals or other hazardous materials.
Often, during the initial period of a crisis, our safety depends on helping each other. Most of us are very willing to help those who may need assistance. Our actions may be limited by not understanding how best to offer help. Building a personal support network is an old-fashioned concept of neighbors helping neighbors. By establishing a personal support network, we know who we can count on and who counts on us and we will be ready to help! (FEMA training, IS 909-Community Preparedness: Implementing Simple Activities for Everyone)