Kane County OEM: How To Prepare For Emergency Or Disaster

Kane County OEM: How To Prepare For Emergency Or Disaster

A disaster situation is not expected for the upcoming weather event or the  Flood Warning that is affecting Kane County residents at the Algonquin Tailwater and Fox River at Montgomery.

That said, now is a good time to ask yourself an important question:

Am I prepared in the event of an emergency or disaster?

Kane County Interim Director of Emergency Management Sean Madison is reminding residents that September is National Preparedness Month.

Madison suggests that you take time this month to write or review your plan, gather your supplies or restock your go-kit, and be sure to talk to you family about your plan and what to do in the event of an emergency.

“Over the past week northeast Illinois has received quite a bit of rain and with the uncertainty of what the remnants of tropical storm Gordon will have on the area. It is the perfect time to go over preparedness ideas with your family,” he said. “It’s not as hard as you might think to get better prepared. It really only takes four steps to make a big difference in your families preparedness.”

Create a Plan

Step one is to create a plan.

“No it does not need to be a large and complex plan,” Madison said. “Just something for your family.”

Start by talking to your family and asking the following questions:

  • How do we get information about emergency situations?
  • What do we need if we have to shelter in our house?
  • What do we need if we have to evacuate? What are our evacuation routes?
  • How do I communicate with the rest of my family?

Step two is to make an emergency kit.

Madison said the kit should contain food and water for each person in your household for at least three days. Store items in airtight plastic bags and put all items in an easy to carry duffel bag or backpack.

Your kit should include the following basic items:

  • Water – one gallon of water per person per day
  • Food – non-perishable
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery powered radio with weather radio tone alerts
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask
  • Wrench and pliers to turn off utilities
  • Cell phone an charger
  • Personal sanitation items
  • Additional items you may need include Prescription medication, glasses, infant formula and diapers, blankets or sleeping bags, cash and change, change of clothes, paper and pencil, pet food, water, crates, and leashes,   and other items specific to your family needs.

Step three is to practice and update your plan and kit.

“Make sure every family member understands the plan — that they know your meeting locations and how to communicate with each other,” Madison said. “Each member should know what is in your kit and understand how to use each item.”

Periodically rotate out older items in your kit such as food, water, batteries, medication and sanitation items.

The last step is to learn lifesaving skills and get involved in your community.

Take a first aid and CPR class. Learn how to shut of the utilities in your house. Take a pet first aid class.

Madison said an excellent way to learn preparedness skills is to volunteer with a local group or agency that you can continue learning new skills and give back to the community at the same time.

The Kane County Office of Emergency Management is always looking for new volunteer members.

“We assist the county sheriff and local police and fire departments at emergency scenes throughout Kane County. Some of our functions include traffic control, scene lighting, search and rescue, weather spotting, staffing the county emergency operations center during disasters, damage assessment, mobile command post operations, and many more. If you are interested in joining check out our agency website at www.kcoem.org.

The next new member class will be starting in November.

Check out the FEMA website at www.ready.gov for additional preparedness resources.