Be Ready - Is the County Prepared for Disaster?
DuPage County has a responsibility to help all residents protect themselves from disaster, and to be able to operate at some level under any disaster condition. Without preparedness, the County risks a loss of life, damage to property, inability to serve residents, and loss of revenue when residents and businesses choose or are forced to leave the County.
As a former FEMA employee, I have seen firsthand the importance of every step in the cycle of disaster management. It is critical for all agencies and departments in our communities to actively participate in Preparing for potential disaster, Mitigating against risks, and Responding to and Recovering from disasters when they happen.
This month is National Preparedness Month. I applaud DuPage County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (OHSEM) for sharing some info from FEMA on their social media (follow them at @ProtectDuPage!) on actions people can take to prepare themselves. I’d like to see increased outreach and engagement year-around to promote protectdupage.org and ready.gov and focus on reaching disadvantaged and underserved communities, This will enable more residents to understand how individuals, families, and small businesses can prepare themselves if we are faced with any kind of disaster.
As a member of the County Board, I would work with the Director and staff of OHSEM to increase the reach and variety of audiences in getting the word out on what people need to know to protect themselves. I will also work with OHSEM and all departments to ensure that the entire County government and their critical community partners are prepared for all threats and risks and is prepared to ensure the continuity of operations of the County. Its important that all staff and departments know their role in a variety of threats so that the County will be able to function. These threats and risks can be anything from economic downturn, to natural disasters like tornadoes and floods, to cyber security attacks.
With a strong, well-communicated, and rehearsed plan at the County, operations can be minimally impacted by disaster. Increasing outreach will help keep residents and businesses safe and minimize the damage and losses they experience. During National Preparedness Month, let’s all take a little time to check out ready.gov and look how we can build our own preparedness plan. Meantime, I will keep working on my plan to #BuildaBetterDuPage through disaster preparedness and a variety of issues.
Stay tuned to my blog for more of my platform, or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to receive updates! This month on social media, I will be sharing preparedness ideas from my former employer, FEMA!