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IL Emergency Management Agency offers holiday safety tips

12/6/2016, 9:52 a.m.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency offers tips for staying safe in the coming new year.
Illinois Emergency Management Agency IL EMA

With the holiday season in full swing, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies are offering tips to help people stay safe now and into the new year.

“As we saw with the flooding last December, disasters can happen at any time and without much warning.” Said IEMA Director James Joseph. “Giving friends and loved ones items that will help them be better prepared for the unexpected shows how much you care about their safety.” Joseph offered several ideas for preparedness gifts including:

• National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather alert radio with battery backup, a tone-alert feature, and Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) technology. These radios provide warnings and critical post-event information for tornadoes and other severe weather, natural, environmental and public safety hazards.

• Flashlight with extra batteries.

• First aid kit with sterile bandages and gauze pads in assorted sizes; antiseptic; latex gloves; tweezers; scissors; soap and moistened towelettes; and thermometer.

• Home emergency preparedness kit stocked with a 3-day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food; battery-powered radio, weather radio and flashlights with extra batteries; first aid kit; shut-off wrench (to turn off household gas and water); manual can opener; and fire extinguisher.

• Vehicle preparedness kit stocked with a flashlight with extra batteries; first aid kit; water and nonperishable snacks; blankets; windshield scraper and brush; booster cables; sack of sand or kitty litter; tool kit; and shovel. The items can be packed in a backpack or rubber tub.

Most preparedness gift items can be found in hardware and department stores.

Whether decorating for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve, candles and strings of colored lights create a festive atmosphere but it’s important to be careful when using them. Candles should never be left unattended and should be placed on stable furniture in fire-safe holders that will catch dripping wax. Holiday lights and electrical decorations should bear the name of an independent testing lab to prove they were safety tested.

For additional information on emergency preparedness, visit the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.