Disaster can strike quickly and without warning. It can force you to evacuate your neighborhood or confine you to your home. What would you do if basic services – water, gas, electricity or telephones – were cut off? Local officials and relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster, but they cannot reach everyone right away.

Families can – and do – cope with disaster by preparing in advance and working together as a team. Knowing what to do is your best protection and your responsibility.

Illinois has designated March 2024 as Severe Weather Preparedness Month is observed to increase preparedness for disasters and raise awareness for just how important it is to be prepared. Disasters can occur at any time, and with little to no warning. There are many ways to get prepared for disasters. Having a kit, making plans, and being informed are great places to start.
When disasters strike, sometimes you can be without resources like food, water, and power for days. Having a kit filled with supplies can be lifesaving. Each kit should have enough non- perishable food and water for each person (one gallon per person per day) for at least 7 days. Some items to consider including in your kit are:
*Battery powered or hand cranked emergency weather radio
*First aid kit
*Cash and important documents
Having a plan and practicing it regularly can save time, reduce stress, and avoid confusion. Create a plan with all members of your family, with:
*Several evacuation routes out of your home, or places you frequent,
*A location to meet if a disaster occurs when your family is separated
A Family Communication Plan, or who you will contact afterwards to tell that you’re safe. Picking a person who lives out of town, and using text messages rather than a phone call, can increase the likelihood of being able to reach them in a disaster. Practicing your plan regularly will help it become ‘muscle memory’ and reduce confusion in a disaster.
Preparing for emergencies is critical, but if you don’t know when a disaster is happening, it can be for nothing. Signing up for emergency alerts prior to a disaster can give you and your family a heads up to take last minute action, or kick off your emergency plan.
Make sure your phone can receive Wireless Emergency Alerts in its settings, by enabling “Government Alerts” or “Emergency Alert Messages”.
Downloading the FEMA Mobile App will allow you to receive weather and emergency alerts and access resources.
Sign up for Vermilion County Nixle Alerts at


Launched in February 2003, Ready is a National public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement.


Ready Illinois

Ready Illinois

Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, blizzards and other disasters across the U.S. in 2018 highlighted the importance of being prepared for all types of emergencies. As the New Year begins, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies throughout Illinois are encouraging people to ‘Resolve to be Ready’ for emergencies in 2019.

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CDC is the nation’s health protection agency, working 24/7 to protect America from health and safety threats, both foreign and domestic. CDC increases the health security of our nation.

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