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IEMA facilitates disaster planning resource for deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens

A recent initiative in Illinois will extend disaster preparedness information to deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens
A recent initiative in Illinois will extend disaster preparedness information to deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens

When municipalities are engaged in continuity of operations planning, it is extremely important to ensure that resources related to disaster preparedness and recovery are available to all members of the community.

This means that initiatives must be spearheaded in order to provide education and assistance to everyone regardless of factors such as age, socioeconomic status or disability.

Understanding the importance of this issue, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission (IDHHC) recently announced a new series of 11 videos with full captioning that serve as a valuable disaster preparedness resource for deaf and hard-of-hearing citizens. The videos reportedly cover topics such as creating a household emergency plan, acquiring valuable emergency supplies, planning for evacuation and more.

As IEMA director Jonathon Monken stated in a release, "We want to make emergency preparedness information. Our Ready Illinois website is a one-stop shop for preparedness information that can be translated into six languages and increased in font size to aid the vision impaired. Now we can also offer crucial emergency preparedness information to the deaf and hard of hearing."

While some municipalities are cutting disaster-related budgets due to the down economy, this initiative illustrates a responsible allocation of funds to optimally protect all citizens. In order to learn more about valuable disaster planning and recovery tools, it would be wise for municipalities to send representatives to attend the World Conference on Disaster Management, taking place on the morning of Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

At this event, representatives can enjoy an in-depth look into why disaster recovery is just as important during a recession, how to deal with a compromised supply chain and how to procure funding in spite of a poorly-performing economy.