SPRINGFIELD – With Halloween just around the corner, people throughout Illinois are pulling together costumes for their kids or themselves, buying candy for trick-or-treaters and preparing for a zombie apocalypse. Wait….a zombie apocalypse?
October was designated “Zombie Preparedness Month” by a resolution approved earlier this year by the Illinois House of Representatives. The resolution, sponsored by state Rep. Chris Welch, urges Illinoisans to educate themselves about natural disasters and take steps to create a stockpile of food, water and other emergency supplies that can last up to 72 hours.
“One of our top priorities is encouraging people to be prepared for all types of emergencies and disasters,” said Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Director James K. Joseph. “TV shows and movies about zombies are very popular today, particularly with young adults. Focusing on zombie preparedness is a fresh way to call attention to the importance of personal preparedness.”
“This is a great opportunity to bring awareness to an important issue like disaster preparedness,” said Rep. Welch. “As we have seen recently in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a disaster can happen at any time. When it does, it's best to be as prepared as possible. And we know, if you are prepared for zombies, you are prepared for a natural disaster."
Preparing for an emergency, whether it be a tornado, flood, ice storm, earthquake, even a zombie apocalypse, includes having an emergency supply kit to help you stay safe and well until power is restored or you’re able to evacuate. The kit should include items to sustain your household for at least three days, including the following:
- Water – one gallon per person per day
- Food – non-perishable items that don’t require cooking or refrigeration
- First aid supplies
- NOAA Weather Alert Radio with AM/FM radio (with battery back-up or crank-style)
- Extra batteries
- Copies of important documents (driver’s license, insurance papers, birth certificates, etc.)
- Pet supplies (food, water, litter, etc.)
It’s also important to have a family emergency plan that includes home evacuation procedures, as well as meeting locations and ways for family members to contact each other if separated when an emergency arises. However, having a plan alone isn’t enough – the plans should be reviewed and practiced regularly so everyone is familiar with it.