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September 6, 2007

Blagojevich administration unveils Ready Illinois disaster preparedness Web site
New Web site provides easy access to comprehensive information about what to do before, during and after disasters

SPRINGFIELD – Disaster preparedness information is just a mouse click away with a new state Web site unveiled by the Blagojevich administration during a statewide emergency management conference today in Springfield.  The Ready Illinois Web site (www.Ready.Illinois.gov) offers comprehensive information on steps people can take before emergencies happen, what to do once a disaster has occurred, and tips for recovery after the event.  In addition, during a large-scale disaster, current information about the situation and details about such things as shelters and road closures can be posted on the site to help people access needed information.
“Recent disasters like Hurricane Katrina have taught all of us an important lesson - personal preparedness is critical.  And, the new Ready Illinois Web site provides the information people need to build a disaster kit, develop a family communications plan and get emergency training, which can help them be better prepared for any type of disaster,” said Governor Rod R. Blagojevich.   
Col. Jill Morgenthaler, the Governor’s deputy chief of staff for public safety, unveiled the new preparedness Web site to more than 800 emergency management, fire, law enforcement and public health officials from throughout Illinois who were in Springfield this week for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s annual conference in Springfield.
“I’m very excited to present this Ready Illinois Web site because it’s an easy-to-use tool that can help people prepare for the unexpected and better cope with disasters once they occur,” Morgenthaler said.
The Ready Illinois Web site’s “Before an Emergency” section offers a variety of information on how to prepare for emergencies before they occur, including information on animals and pets, business safety, cyber safety, preparing an emergency kit, guides for family emergency planning and more.
In the “During an Emergency” section, people can check the site for information on how to stay safe, including details about disease outbreaks, earthquakes, fires, hazardous materials, nuclear power plant accidents, evacuations and weather emergencies and other disaster situations.
The “After the Emergency” section provides information to help people navigate through the disaster recovery process, including explanations about types of assistance that could be available if the affected area is declared a federal disaster area.  The section also contains information about mental health issues following a disaster, including Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Throughout the Web site there are links to dozens of state and federal Web sites that contain additional helpful information for emergency preparedness, response and recovery.
The Ready Illinois Web site also provides the state with a valuable tool for providing up-to-date information to the public during an actual disaster.  An additional section, “Current Emergency Information” can be activated to allow state emergency management officials to post status reports and other public information on the situation, including the location of shelters, road closures and contact information for assistance.


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