When natural or man-made disasters occur the local government has the responsibility to respond and recover from such incidents. In Illinois the Chief Elected Official in each county has the ultimate responsibility for ensuring that the county’s response is adequate and that necessary resources from outside the county are requested and coordinated. In Douglas County this has been delegated to the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency by the Chairman of the Douglas County Board. Our mission is “To strengthen Douglas County’s ability to readily, effectively and efficiently prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against all types of natural and man-made emergencies and disasters through coordinating resources of the County, State and Federal agencies.” We take a lead role in each of the four phases in Emergency Management Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Mitigation.
Should a disaster occur the response phase moves to the forefront. The Douglas County EMA is responsible to coordinate resources and information flow for the incident(s). This is accomplished through the staffing of an Emergency Operation Center. This center is the central coordination point for disasters. A full activation would require over 20 city and county agencies to sit at the same table to coordinate resources to ensure the most efficient use and to avoid duplication of effort. The transition from response to the recovery phase may seem transparent, however, recovery is the clean-up and rebuilding efforts to return to normalcy. As in the response phase the Douglas County EMA remains the coordination entity and works with local organizations state agencies and FEMA to provide assistance to local governments, businesses, and individuals. The Douglas County EMA has created within its organization three volunteer divisions to assist with the response and recovery phases. The communication support function is amateur radio operators who assist with providing back-up or supplementary communications. Temporary facilities such as shelters, command posts, staging areas or reception centers may require Amateur radio operators also assist with severe storm spotting allowing for real-time information from the field enabling prompt decisions for early warning of the public. The second division is the Volunteer Management Support Team. They will operate a volunteer reception center to coordinate the spontaneous volunteers that come from the community in times of disaster. Their goal is to match the volunteer’s skills with a need in the community with the process taking 5-10 minutes. The last volunteer division is a Management Assistance Team. This division encompasses a variety of tasks and general support of the Douglas County EMA’s mission. They provide manpower for search and rescue and incident command management assistance. The Douglas County EMA is a multi-faceted agency with volunteer opportunities within the community.
We believe that engaging individuals within the community will help prepare us for catastrophic events. However, in order to effectively respond every individual must be prepared to some level. We hope that this guide helps you prepare you and your family for emergencies and disasters. Included in this guide is a listing of hazards that we face her in Douglas County. It will also present agencies and organizations that work together to respond in disasters; but remember that even though there is a good response network assistance may not be able to reach you for many hours or even days. Therefore, we have included information on what to consider in becoming prepared in your home and at work. We appreciate your time in doing your part in preparedness. If you have any questions or concerns about disasters or anything contained in this guide please contact the Douglas County Emergency Management Agency. Douglas County EMA (217) 253-9538
Citizen Preparedness Courses
IS-7 – A Citizen Guide to Disaster Assistance
Ever wonder what you are actually supposed to get from Federal Disaster Aid? Check out this course and get the facts. It’s not what you heard in the media.
IS-22 – In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
Another course that helps you prepare your family for the worst. An excellent preparation for the CERT courses.
IS-317 – Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
This course gives you the skills to respond to disasters within your neighborhood. It gives you information on how to be prepared to assist others. It starts with individual and family awareness, such as how to have your own family disaster plan and supplies. Once you are sure that your family is safe it goes further by teaching you how to assist your neighbors. Some communities even have Community Emergency Response Teams which work for your emergency services to assist them in their efforts. You can take a 20 hour class in this topic but this is a good preparation for the in class material.
How to Better Protect Your Family
IS-55 – Household Hazardous Materials – A Guide For Citizens
Do you really know the contents of your home? How many dangers are present that you never really thought of?
Taking Care of Animals in Disaster
IS-10 – Animals in Disaster Module – An Awareness and Preparedness
Have pets? How do you protect them in times of disaster? Check out this course and give Kitty or Poochie a fighting chance in disaster situations.
IS-11 – Animals in Disaster Module B – Community Planning
An excellent follow-up to the Pets in Disasters Awareness Course. Learn how your community can help your best friend.
IS-111 – Livestock in Disaster
Are animals more then just your best friend? Are they your livelihood? Learn how to protect your investment in livestock during a disaster.
Hyper-Reach was built for emergency response. Our first customers were 911 operators and they continue to be our biggest market. Emergency response has a much more stringent set of requirements than non-emergency uses. Hyper-Reach was designed to meet this set of requirements.