Illinois Emergency Management Agency focuses on preparedness for people with disabilities

The state of Illinois said on April 1 that the focus for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency will be "Preparedness for the Whole Community" 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" IEMA Director Jonathon Monken said. "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."

During the past 12 months, Illinois residents have endured weather disasters and public safety emergencies. Officials said that they are not able to prevent the disasters, but the state can assist the public in preparing for the situations to lessen the impact.

The state will offer a preparedness guidebook, provide American Sign Language videos and provide emergency preparedness information in eight non-English languages.

The Department of Public Health's Disability and Health Program will hold a webinar on April 8 to help the public learn how to assist people with disabilities during an emergency and in preparedness activities. FEMA Disabilities Integration Specialist Jessica Mitchell will lead the webinar and discuss how to include people with disabilities in emergency exercises.

The information will be targeted to local health departments, emergency management agencies, community-based organizations and those who work with people with disabilities.

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Illinois Emergency Management Agency

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