Illinois Emergency Management offers holiday safety tips

With the holiday season in full swing, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and local emergency management agencies are offering tips to help people stay safe before and after the start of the new year.

“December can be a fun, but hectic time of year,” IEMA Director James Joseph said in a press release. “Throughout the month we’ll be offering tips to help people stay safe, as well as provide ideas on gifts that can help friends and family stay safe during all types of emergencies.”

Joseph said people can purchase all sorts of preparedness gifts, such as a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather alert radio, flashlight and extra batteries, and a first-aid kit with sterile bandages and assorted gauze pads, antiseptic, latex gloves, tweezers, scissors, soap, towelettes and thermometer.

Another gift suggestion is a home emergency preparedness kit stocked with a three-day supply of bottled water and non-perishable food; battery-powered radio, weather radio and flashlights with extra batteries; first-aid kit; shut-off wrench (to turn off household gas and water); manual can opener; and fire extinguisher.

Vehicle preparedness kits are also important and should include a flashlight with extra batteries; first-aid kit; water and non-perishable snacks; blankets; windshield scraper and brush; booster cables; sack of sand or kitty litter; tool kit; and shovel.

Most preparedness gift items can be found in hardware and department stores.

Joseph added that it’s important to be careful when setting up and using holiday decorations.

Candles should never be left unattended and should be placed on stable furniture in fire-safe holders that will catch dripping wax. Holiday lights and electrical decorations should bear the name of an independent testing lab to prove they were safety tested.

Throughout the month of December, IEMA said it will be posting holiday safety tips on the Ready Illinois website, www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

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