SPRINGFIELD – Throughout the year, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) encourages people across the state to prepare for all types of disasters. During May, those efforts will focus on issues related to children and preparedness as part of the agency’s 12-Month Preparedness Campaign. In addition to highlighting steps families, schools and child care providers can take to be prepared, IEMA is also urging kids of all ages to learn more about preparedness.
“Disasters are stressful times for both adults and children,” said IEMA Director Andrew Velasquez III. “Helping children understand how they can prepare for disasters and stay safe when disaster strikes can help them stay calm.”
Velasquez said his agency is working to increase disaster preparedness awareness among children and young adults throughout the state. To make learning about preparedness fun for younger children, IEMA and the Regional Institute for Community Policing developed an activity book entitled, “Get Ready! A disaster preparedness activity book.” The story line follows two young brothers as they learn about preparedness, and uses word searches, mazes, crossword puzzles and other activities to help children learn about emergency supply kits, weather hazards, fire safety and more. The 50-page activity book can be downloaded from the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.
In May 2009, IEMA announced the winner of a statewide contest that challenged high school students to develop a 30-second radio or TV spot promoting disaster preparedness and the Ready Illinois website. The winning spot, created by a high school student from Lanphier High School in Springfield, was produced and is currently airing on TV stations across the state.
IEMA is also working on development of a disaster preparedness video game that it hopes to launch in the near future.
For more preparedness information, check out www.Facebook.com/ReadyIllinois