Retired Director Valentine

Updated February 20, 2020

It comes with heavy hearts and great sadness that we announce the passing of Retired Director Barry Valentine. Director Valentine retired from McHenry County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) on May 6, 2011, after serving McHenry County for 32 years of dedicated service.

Visitation: February 29, 2020

Sacred Heart Catholic Church

323 N. Taylor

Marengo, Illinois

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM

11:00 AM Mass


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February is Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – While some hazards such as storms, tornadoes and floods can be forecasted in order to provide advance noticed to residents in an area of danger, other hazards such as earthquakes cannot be predicted.  Recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean are perfect examples that earthquakes can happen anywhere and at any time, including while you are at work, at home or on vacation.  The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimates that 500,000 detectable earthquakes occur in the world each year.  The National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year, or about 55 earthquakes each day.

Records indicate Illinois, and several other states in the central United States, experienced some of the largest earthquakes ever measured in North America.  In recognition of the earthquake risk still posed today by the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies will promote earthquake preparedness throughout February.

“Creating an environment of education, awareness and preparedness will save lives in Illinois,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Acting Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.  “While we cannot predict when the next major quake will occur, we can help people learn how to protect themselves and reduce damage to their homes.”

Learning how to “Drop, Cover and Hold On” can help people prevent injury during an earthquake.  The phrase reminds people to drop down to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk, table or other furniture, and hold on to that object and be prepared to move with it until the shaking ends.  Most casualties result from falling objects and debris caused by the earth shaking.

There are several steps people can take to help prevent injuries and property damage at home, including:

      Strapping water heaters and large appliances to wall studs

      Anchoring overhead light fixtures

      Fastening shelves to wall studs and securing cabinet doors with latches

      Strapping TVs, computers and other heavy equipment to prevent tipping

      Learning how to shut off gas, water and electricity in case the lines are damaged

Each year the Illinois Emergency Management Agency leads an initiative to register homes, businesses, schools and organizations in the world’s largest earthquake drill.  This year’s earthquake drill will take place on Thursday, October 15 at 10:15 a.m.  It’s never too early to register your participation in this potentially life-saving event.  Register today at

Learn more about how you can prepare your home, business and family for an earthquake at  Earthquake safety tips will also be posted throughout February on the Ready Illinois Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.

Resolve to be Ready in 2020 

  • Make an emergency plan: choose a safe place to meet, learn evacuation routes, and establish an out-of-town contact.

  • Take a current photo of you and your pet together in case you get separated during a disaster.

  • Get to know your neighbor and invite them to be a part of your emergency plan.

  • Snap photos of important documents and save them in a secure place or online.

  • Set up group text lists so you can communicate with friends and family during emergencies.

  • Take a class in CPR and first aid.

  • Keep and update emergency supplies; remember to include cash.

  • Have back-up power sources available to charge devices in case of a power outage.

  • Snap pictures of your property for insurance purposes.

  • Check your insurance for coverage on disasters like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.

  • Sign up for alerts and warnings. Download the FEMA app to get real-time alerts, safety tips, and locate open shelters.

  • Save for a rainy day! Start and grow your emergency fund.

  • Financially prepare for the New Year. Find out how with the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit.

  • Spend within your means. Use a personal budgeting worksheet to help plan for holiday expenses and beyond.

  • Build up your savings. Put a small amount in your account the first of every month beginning January 1.  



McHenry County EMA APP

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Apple QR Code


Up your preparedness- add the app today! Available on Google Play and the App Store FREE.

The McHenry County EMA app is a tool that can be used to assist residents becoming more aware of potential hazards. App features include information on how to prepare before, during, and after certain types of disasters. The app also has Social Media Integration, customizable preparedness checklists, and the ability to notify EMA of personal property damage to name a few. This app is intended to provide you with everyday information about our office and the services we provide, as well as the ability to provide emergency notifications and information to your phone.


Google QR Code

Twitter & Facebook Integration
Local Weather Alerts
Road Conditions
Damage Reports
Emergency Information


**This app is not intended to replace your primary means of emergency notification




Are you Prepared?


McHenry County Emergency Management Agency would like to remind you that now is the perfect time to review your Family’s Emergency Plan and check the supplies in your Emergency Kit or to take some time and create these life-saving tools. We all know first-hand the impact severe weather can have, whether it is flooding, winter weather or heat advisory. No matter what the disaster is, there are simple preparedness steps that anyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones in a time of need. To assist the community with this effort the Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin Regional Catastrophic Planning Team (IL-IN-WI RCPT) has launched Gear Up, Get Ready campaign to encourage households to take key steps in family preparedness. This mission encompasses 19 counties and communities in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.

By taking a few simple steps ahead of time, you and your family can be ready when disaster strikes:

  1. Make a Family Emergency Plan decide how you will reconnect with each other, list important information and phone numbers and discuss the plan with all members and post it in your home where visitors can view it.
  2. Gather supplies for an Emergency Kit and put them in one place to meet your family’s needs for three days. You may already have three days of food already within your home. Top five items include, water, non-perishable food, battery powered radio, flashlight & extra batteries and a first aid kit. Be sure to meet the specific needs of your family and pets.

Simple templates for Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Contact Cards as well as Emergency Kit checklists are available at


211 in McHenry County

The 211 service streamlines access to health and human services for McHenry County residents. When an individual needs information or referral services for which they have little or no prior knowledge or experience, dialing 211 is a simple option. Once the individual dials 211, they will be connected to a call center where they will speak to a professional information and referral specialist who will refer or connect the caller to the appropriate agency.

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