SPRINGFIELD – A mobile disaster preparedness classroom and a community text alert service are just two of the local community preparedness projects being funded with grants recently awarded by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA).
Eight local Citizen Corps Councils were selected to share in grants totaling $78,590 funded through the state’s federal homeland security grants. Projects announced today must be completed by June 30.
“Citizen Corps Councils play key roles in emergency preparedness and response in their communities,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “The grants will enable these volunteer organizations to further enhance preparedness and safety in their areas.”
The Citizen Corps program began in 2002 as a way to bring volunteers and first responder organizations together to help communities better prepare for, and respond to, all types of emergencies. Today there are more than 1,200 local Citizen Corps councils throughout the U.S., with 95 active councils in Illinois.
Citizen Corps Councils from the following areas were selected to receive grants based on their applications (grant amounts in parentheses):
Clay County ($9,412.80) will recruit and train volunteers for the Clay County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), a volunteer team of medical professionals and support staff.
City of Elgin ($10,000) will establish a Mobile Community Resilience Classroom that can travel to schools, large retail outlets, businesses, parks and neighborhoods to promote disaster planning. In addition, during June the City of Elgin will host a Community Resiliency Expo to teach residents about disaster preparedness.
Kankakee County ($10,000) will work to increase safety in local school districts by attending training courses and then providing training to school personnel.
Lake County ($9,177.40) Citizen Corps Council and Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) members will implement a community preparedness outreach program that will include public displays of preparedness educational materials, public presentations, and assisting individuals and communities with development of family and community emergency preparedness plans.
LaSalle County ($10,000) will conduct, in cooperation with Walgreens, a three-month Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign about weather alert radios. The county also will update its website by posting monthly preparedness topics and safety messages, adding a scrolling marquee for emergency messages and implementing a function for translating web content into several languages. More than 850 personal preparedness books will be purchased for distribution at public events and employer-sponsored safety fairs.
Milton Township (DuPage County) ($10,000) will expand its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program into other townships within DuPage County to ensure more citizens have access to a 20-hour preparedness training course.
City of Springfield ($10,000) will implement an text alert service to provide residents with critical information about how to more effectively mitigate the effects of, prepare for, respond to and recover from a disaster or other emergencies.
Will County ($10,000) will host a training and exercise symposium for Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) within Will County.