While emergencies are often impossible to predict, preparation for emergencies can make all the difference.

On this page, you’ll find helpful information about planning for various emergency conditions which may impact Chicago.  We encourage you to develop a safety plan for your household.  To learn more about emergency planning visit http://www.state.il.us/iema/disaster/general.htm.

  • Extreme Heat Preparedness
  • Fire Preparedness
  • Flood Preparedness
  • Severe Storm/Tornado Preparedness
  • Winter Preparedness

You should also develop a family emergency plan, build an emergency kit and consider volunteering during and after emergencies. To find out more, please click on the links.

Make a family plan and review it with family members  (http://ready.illinois.gov/before/familyplan.htm)

Build emergency kits (http://ready.illinois.gov/before/emergencykit.html)

Volunteer (http://ready.illinois.gov/volunteers/)


We have been working with residents of the 47th Ward to develop block clubs in an effort to build the Ward Council. But block clubs can also help our ward during and after disaster events. Communities that are organized are more resilient to disaster. Resilient communities are ones where people know their neighbors. If you know your neighbors, you can help one another during times of crisis. Please consider creating a block club. In addition to having a voice in your government, a block club can help save lives. If you are interested in creating a block club, please contact Dan Kleinman at dan@chicago47.org.

Extreme Heat Preparedness

To be advised by the City when extreme heat is expected, visit http://www.alertchicago.com or call 311 to sign up yourself, a friend, or a neighbor for the Extreme Weather Notification System.  Registered members will receive a recorded phone message noting official warnings and available City services.

Follow these tips to stay safe in hot temperatures:

  • Stay hydrated – avoid alcoholic beverages, coffee, and soft drinks
  • Stay in the shade or air conditioning whenever possible
  • Wear loose, light colored clothing, hats, sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Cut down on exercise – limit outdoor activity to morning and evening hours
  • Check on elderly neighbors to make sure they are safe, especially those living alone

If you or anyone you know has limited access to air conditioning, most public buildings such as libraries, park facilities, and Department of Aging regional senior centers are available as Cooling Centers.  To find the nearest library, field house, pool, or regional senior center, call 311.

To learn more, visit: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/oemc/AlertChicagoPDFsImages/Heatbooklet.pdf

Fire Preparedness

Follow these tips to avoid fires, and to stay safe when they do happen:

  • Place smoke alarms on every floor, near stairwells and bedrooms – check batteries monthly
  • Be careful when cooking, heating homes, or using electrical outlets
  • Have an escape plan – designate a meeting place outside the home
  • Call 911 – determine if everyone is out of the building

To learn more, visit:

Home Fire & Burn Prevention Guide http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/oemc/AlertChicagoPDFsImages/Illinois_Fire_Safety_Alliance.pdf

10 Steps to Fire Safety: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/oemc/AlertChicagoPDFsImages/10_Steps_To_Fire_Safety.pdf

Flood Preparedness

  • Before heavy rain, remove debris from sewers
  • Store important documents in a waterproof container
  • Green space with native plants can help slow down the rush of water
  • Consider disconnecting your downspout to keep water out of the sewers and help prevent basement flooding
  • Do not enter flooded basements – electricity could be present
  • Do not try to drive over a flooded road

To learn more, visit: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/oemc/general/Brochures/Flood_Brochrue.pdf

Severe Storm/Tornado Preparedness

  • Stay updated on changing weather conditions
  • Listen for the early warning siren system – if heard, seek indoor shelter immediately
  • Stay away from windows and glass – move to the basement or an interior room or hallway
  • Have an emergency plan and a designated “safe place” to meet

To learn more, visit: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/oemc/AlertChicagoPDFsImages/Tornado_Brochure_Final.pdf

Winter Preparedness

Follow these tips to stay safe during winter storms and extreme cold:

  • Stay updated on changing weather conditions
  • Carefully follow instructions given by local emergency management officials
  • Avoid unnecessary travel
  • Make sure your home and plumbing system is well-insulated
  • When traveling outside is necessary:
    • Wear several layers of lightweight clothing – use a windbreaker
    • If you absolutely must drive, let someone know your destination and route, and when you expect to arrive

To learn more, visit: http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/oemc/AlertChicagoPDFsImages/Winter_Safety.pdf