While every home should have a disaster preparedness kit and family communications plan, emergency preparedness is particularly important for households with members who have disabilities, functional needs or may need assistance during an emergency.
Throughout May, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) will highlight information and tips to help people and their caregivers be better prepared for emergencies.
“An ice storm, tornado or other disaster can leave people without power, heat or water for several days,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “For those who may need some type of assistance, these conditions can be even more dangerous if they aren’t prepared.”
Joseph said the Ready Illinois website (www.Ready.Illinois.gov) offers preparedness information for people with visual, cognitive or mobility impairments; people who are deaf or hard of hearing; those who utilize service animals or life support systems; and senior citizens.
The Ready Illinois website also includes more than two dozen preparedness videos in American Sign Language (ASL) with full captioning. ASL is a natural, visual, non-spoken language extensively used within and among the deaf community.
The videos cover such topics as how to make a household emergency plan, build an emergency supply kit, plan for evacuation and sheltering in place and preparedness for specific hazards, such as tornadoes, severe storms and floods.
In addition to the Ready Illinois website, preparedness tips for people with access and functional needs will be highlighted throughout May at www.facebook.com/ReadyIllinois and at twitter.com/ReadyIllinois.