This week’s storms along with severe weather forecasted in the coming days is a reminder to area residents of the kind of damage a weather event can cause. A number of natural hazards like flooding, snowstorms and even tornadoes impact Cook County.
That is why the County’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) is updating the Cook County Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) to prepare for natural disasters and their impacts. And they want residents’ input.
DHSEM is hosting a series of public meetings to share details about the planning process with residents. The meetings will be held:
Tuesday, June 4
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Orland Park Public Library
14921 S Ravinia Ave.
Orland Park, IL 60462
Wednesday, June 5
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Oak Park Public Library – Dole Branch
255 Augusta St.
Oak Park, IL 60302
Monday, June 10
7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Skokie Public Library
5215 Oakton St.
Skokie, IL 60077
DHSEM is also asking residents to take a 10-minute survey about natural hazards in Cook County. This voluntary and confidential questionnaire will assist DHSEM in identifying which hazards are of greatest concern to residents and businesses as well as which services the community may need during an emergency.
Survey questions include:
- Please indicate those activities you have done to prepare for emergencies and disasters.
- What might prevent you from leaving your place of residence if there was an evacuation order?
- In an evacuation, would you or anyone in your household require special assistance?
Residents will have the opportunity to complete the survey at the public meetings. They can also visit https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4967666/2019-Cook-County-Community-Preparedness-Survey-copy .
Survey responses will be collected through June 10.
The HMP is designed to reduce the impact of natural hazards with the goal of protecting the health, safety and welfare of all residents; and to mitigate damages to property and infrastructure by identifying cost-effective strategies intended to eliminate or reduce the negative impact of those hazards. The public meetings will help the County identify and prioritize the services, disaster-related projects, and capabilities the community may need during an emergency.
Currently, more than 100 of the County’s 134 municipalities and 30 townships have partnered with DHSEM on this important initiative.
The federal government requires local and state governments to have a FEMA-approved HMP to qualify for Pre-Disaster Mitigation and Hazard Mitigation Grant Program project grant funds. Updates to the plan are required every five years.
For more information about the HMP, future meeting locations and plan updates, visit www.cookcountyhomelandsecurity.org.