Preparing and Responding to an Emergency

As an agency, we work closely with partners such as local leaders, first responders, schools, hospitals and emergency management agencies in order to create and test strategies that will allow us to better protect suburban Cook County residents during a public health emergency. Just as we need to be prepared, so do our residents. The information supplied on this page will help you and your family Be Aware. Get Prepared. and Take Action. so you too can be ready when faced with a public health emergency.

Be Aware

The first step in being prepared for an emergency is to know what could happen. Listed are types of emergencies with public health implications that could potentially happen...

Learn more about Being Aware

Get Prepared

Learn what steps you can take to achieve a basic level of preparedness for you and your family. This can be as simple as creating a family communication plan or creating an emergency supply kit. The CCDPH has developed a list of tools to help you get prepared for emergencies. 

Learn more about Getting Prepared

Take Action

Learn ways you can assist your community during a public health emergency. Volunteer help is a source of assistance to those in need.

Learn more about Taking Action

 

Be Aware

Potential Public Health Emergencies

The first step in being prepared for an emergency is to know what could happen. Listed are types of emergencies with public health implications that could potentially happen:

Natural Emergencies:
Flu and other Novel agents:
Bio terrorism:

A bioterrorism attack is the deliberate release of viruses, bacteria, or other germs (agents) used to cause illness or death in people, animals, or plants. Below is a list of Category A agents that pose the highest risk to the public.

Resources
 

Get Prepared

CCDPH encourages individuals and families to be prepared for emergencies whether they are natural or man-made. Achieving a basic level of emergency preparedness is easy to do and can make the difference between getting hurt and staying safe. Individuals and families should plan for protecting themselves for up to 72 hours. Recommendations include:

Prepare a Supply Kit

Have a 3-day supply of important items in a supply kit for your home, office and car stocked with the following items:

  • 3 gallons of purified water for each person;
  • Ready-to-eat foods that do not require cooking or use of a can opener;
  • Flashlight, battery-operated or hand-crank radio and batteries;
  • First aid supplies including necessary medications and prescriptions;
  • Supplies for children, the elderly, people with disabilities and pets; and
  • Cash.
Have a Communication Plan

Develop a family communications plan to help locate and identify each family member during an emergency.

In case local phone lines become jammed, include an out-of-state contact for each person to call and say that they are safe. It may be easier to call out-of-state than to call in-state.

Designate a meeting place

Plan to meet inside the home if it is safe. Otherwise, plan to meet outside at a tree, mailbox or on the corner.

Decide ahead of time who will be responsible for getting young children and pets out of the home. If your home and the community are not safe, plan to meet somewhere else like a family member or a friend’s home.

Training Materials

Request a training or attendance at a health fair

 

Take Action

Learn ways you can assist your community during a public health emergency. Volunteer help is a source of assistance to those in need.

Join the Cook County Medical Reserve Corps (CCMRC):

The Cook County Medical Reserve Corps (CCMRC) is an organized volunteer group of medical, non-medical and public health professionals willing to assist the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) during public health emergencies. CCDPH is the state certified public health agency for suburban Cook County with the exception of Chicago, Evanston, Skokie, Oak Park, and Stickney Township, and we are currently recruiting volunteers for the CCMRC program to assist in our emergency response actions. We greatly appreciate your willingness to volunteer your valuable time.

Steps for Completing the Volunteer Registration
  1. CCMRC Volunteer Agreement and EMA Oath (download, sign, notarize & return)
  2. Volunteer Registration (on-line submission)
For More Information

Email: Cookcountymrc@gmail.com

Return Signed and Notarized Forms To

Cook County Department of Public Health
Oak Forest Health Center
15900 S. Cicero Avenue. Bldg. B
Oak Forest, Il 60452
Attn: CCMRC Coordinator

Community Communications Network:

The Community Communication Network (CCN) is an initiative by the Cook County Department of Public Health and Chicago Department of Public Health Special Needs Advisory Panel (SNAP). It is a means to disseminate health information to clients of agencies serving functional needs populations. This system will work to ensure that hard to reach populations are receiving important messages, the message is unified, and agencies are receiving information pertinent to the needs of the populations they serve.

Join the CCN