SPRINGFIELD – More than 100 employees of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) today practiced the tornado plan for their office building as part of the first-ever nationwide America’s PrepareAthon!
The five-story office building at 1035 Outer Park Drive in Springfield houses more than half of IEMA’s staff. The facility’s tornado plan directs employees to designated locations on the lowest level of the building in areas without windows and away from outside walls.
“This same building was damaged by a tornado in March 2006,” said IEMA Director Jonathon Monken. “While that tornado thankfully occurred on a weekend when no one was here, it illustrates the need for tornado plans at workplaces as well as at home.”
Monken said having a plan is important, but practicing that plan regularly is crucial to ensure employees know what to do in case of a real emergency.
April 30 marks the first America’s PrepareAthon!, a national day for preparedness actions sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). More than five million people across the U.S. registered to participate in some form of preparedness activity related to floods, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes, depending on hazards in their region.
FEMA plans to conduct two PrepareAthons! a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The fall 2014 PrepareAthon! national day of action is set for September 30 and will focus on earthquakes, hazardous materials, pandemic flu and severe winter weather.