Don’t Wait, Evacuate: State Officials Ask Downstate Residents to Prepare for Possible Evacuations

Rivers, especially flooded rivers, can be a force of nature – capable of sweeping a car off a roadway and taking lives.  Already this year, the State of Illinois has seen the devastating effects of river flooding, cutting off major transportation thoroughfares, resulting power outages, and emotional hardship.  As river levels continue to rise in the Metro-East and parts of southern Illinois, state officials continue to urge residents in river communities to prepare for potential evacuations. Due to prolonged flooding and recent precipitation, levee saturation levels in critical condition along the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.  Emergency Management officials and first responders are advising residents in river communities to have a family evacuation-plan in place, in the event you need to quickly evacuate. The American Red Cross has identified shelters across the state to house residents who need a place to stay.  Currently, there has been a need identified in Jersey and Monroe County. These two facilities are currently open and operational.  More locations can and will be open upon request.Whether it is a flood, tornado, or winter storm, every family should have a disaster supply kit.  After an emergency or disaster, you may need to survive on your own for several days.  Being prepared means having your own food, water, and other supplies to last for at least 72-hours.  When building your kit, remember to include all members of your family, including pets.  Flooding has been a factor in 49 deaths across Illinois since 1995. That is more than the number of people killed by tornadoes during the same period.  By waiting to evacuate you put not only yourself at risk, but also the lives of the first responders who are called to assist in an emergency In an effort to encourage everyone in Illinois is prepared for emergencies, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency’s public preparedness website, Ready Illinois, is available in multiple languages, including Spanish, French, German, Filipino and more.  To learn more about emergency preparedness for all hazards, man-made or natural, visit www.ready.illinois.gov.

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