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City of Warrenville
28W701 Stafford Place
Warrenville, IL 60555
Ph: 630-393-9427
Emergency Preparedness Month
Emergency Preparedness

What is Preparedness? For that matter, what does this mean to you? Every year September is designated as National Preparedness Month and is intended to provide the opportunity for various organizations like FEMA, Red Cross and even your state and local emergency management groups to bring awareness to the public about being prepared, but shouldn’t every month be preparedness month?

Preparedness is not difficult and even simple steps can help start you on the way to being prepared. What do you need to prepare for? In most cases you're actually preparing to either "get out of the way beforehand" or to deal with the aftermath as opposed to the actual event itself. The goal of being prepared is to have the ability to be self sufficient for a period of time. This allows the disaster and emergency groups to focus on those truly in need while you and others, like you, are able to take care of yourselves and your families.

The reasons for preparing could include storms (tornadoes, high winds, flooding, heavy snow fall, etc.), transport and industrial accidents and even terrorist activities, just to name a few. If you lose power at your home for a week, do you have the supplies to get you through that period? How about if you had to evacuate for a few days, where would you go? Did you consider including your pets in your evacuation plan?

What happens when a tornado siren goes off in your community? Does your family know where your safe area is? If your house catches fire has everyone practiced getting out and is there an agreed upon meeting point?

Situations like these are why a preparedness plan and an emergency kit are important to put in place. The web site, www.ready.gov, promotes three steps. First, be informed, second, make a plan and third, build a kit.

An emergency kit. Isn't that a bunch of expensive stuff I'll probably never use? Consider the recommendations for a basic kit. Water, food, weather radio, flashlights, first aid kit, whistle, some dust masks, moist towelettes, a garbage bag, a wrench, local maps and a cell phone. If you just look around your house or apartment I'll bet you already have many items on the list. Gather it all together and keep it in one place, preferably in one emergency bag, and you've just established a basic emergency kit. Of course you can go way beyond the basics if you want and the web site mentioned above gives many good options to consider.

Ultimately, being prepared means taking personal responsibility for yourself and your family. It means the difference between going without a few meals or knowing that your kids have a full stomach. It means leaving your family pet to an uncertain fate or having a list of nearby hotels that allow for pets. It means getting everyone safely out of the house in the event of a fire or... well; let's just say it's better to be prepared.

For more information, contact Warrenville Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Chet Wiencek at: 630-918-5118 or see www.ready.gov, www.redcross.org/prepare and www.illinois.gov/ready/Pages/default.aspx.