State urges earthquake preparednessJacksonville Journal-Courier, Ill. — Nick Draper Jacksonville Journal-Courier, Ill.
Feb. 13--It's been a while since an earthquake last rocked Morgan County, but the state still is encouraging residents to have a rock-solid preparedness plan in case of an emergency.
So is Morgan County Emergency Services Director Phil McCarty, who said having a preparedness plan could be an actual lifesaver.
"We don't have a lot of events such as earthquakes and natural disasters such as hurricanes, so sometimes our preparations fail us," McCarty said. "It's not always in front of us ... (and) that sometimes leads us to a lack of preparedness, so I'd like to caution people. It's always important to have a family emergency plan."
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency asks that families take some time as part of Earthquake Preparedness Month this month to ask questions that will improve preparedness. For instance, how can one be prepared to be self-sufficient for up to 14 days? Are there two escape routes from each room in your house? What are the areas of the home that could be dangerous?
Also important is having on hand essential items such as potable drinking water and nonperishable food, a first aid kit and a disaster supply kit, which could include things such as flashlights and emergency radios.
IEMA also suggests reviewing what to do during an earthquake and what to do immediately after, when dangers such as post-earthquake fires, gas-line breaks and falling debris could be a real threat. A thought-out family plan could minimize risk.
"Preparedness, in general, is always important," McCarty said. "The main thing to have is water and some nonperishable foods, stuff like that. We are on the edge of being affected by an earthquake in Illinois. The downstate folks are at a lot higher risk for an earthquake, but that doesn't rule it out."
Nick Draper can be reached at 217-245-6121, ext. 1223, or on Twitter @nick_draper.
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