No one wakes up thinking disaster will befall them that day, but it happens every day across the country and right here in the Quad Cities. A disaster doesn’t have to affect the whole community like a derecho or a tornado; a house fire can affect a family, but have devastating consequences for them. Taking the time to plan ahead can help families and communities prepare for unexpected emergencies. That’s why the University of Illinois Extension is hosting a series of five workshops scheduled for August that will outline proactive steps to take before, during, and after a disaster.
“Knowing where to start with an emergency preparedness plan can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but being prepared can also save lives,” says Illinois Extension educator Kristin Bogdonas.
The free online workshops begin August 1 and will take place weekly at noon throughout the month. Registration is mandatory before each workshop and can be completed by clicking here. Anyone requiring reasonable accommodations to participate should contact Bogdonas at [email protected]
“The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that individuals and families prepare to be left alone for at least 72 hours after a disaster strikes,” Bogdonas says.
Workshop topics and dates include:
- Creation of an emergency kit and a family communication plan: August 1
- Securing emergency food and water: August 8
- Identification of emergency food aid programs and resources: August 15
- Management of storm-damaged trees: August 22
- Prepare financially for emergencies: August 29
“In an emergency, it can take days or weeks for power to be restored,” says Bogdonas. “Tornadoes, floods, fires, blizzards, pandemics, and earthquakes all pose a risk to a safe and secure food supply in Illinois. Having an emergency supply of food and water on hand is important so that you and your family are fed and hydrated until help arrives. Temperature control, sanitation and shelf life affect food safety after a power outage, flood or fire. “Hunger does not discriminate,” says Bogdonas. “Many people in America are only one job loss, illness, or missed paycheck away from hunger. There are local, state, and national programs available to meet the needs of the population in the event of an emergency. emergency.
Illinois Extension also recommends documenting financial information and contacts before an emergency to streamline the recovery process and protect families from financial fraud.