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December is 

Holiday Preparedness Month


What You Should Know about the Holidays

Stay off the road during and after a winter storm.

Keep candles away from flammable materials.

Keep an eye on food when cooking.

Turn off holiday lights at night or when you leave the house.

Keep your tree watered, don’t let your holiday tree dry out.

Shop securely online over the holidays.

Make a communications plan with your family while you’re together for the holidays.


Holiday Gifts

Giving or getting a new tablet or smartphone? Download emergency preparedness apps and set up the emergency contact feature on your phone.

Grab a flashlight and batteries to start an emergency supply kit.



Talk with family about who to call, where to meet and what to pack for an emergency this holiday season.

If you’re packing for a flight, consider a small emergency kit: flashlight, batteries, & spare USB power bank.

Prepare your car for winter weather before hitting the road for the holidays.

Are you taking your pets with you for the holidays? Add a few emergency items for your pets, like water and food.



Watch what you heat! Most house fires start in the kitchen.

Cooking is the leading cause of all winter home fires.


Fire Safety

Nearly 60% of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.

Make sure to have working smoke alarms close to where anyone may be sleeping.

Keep candles 12 inches away from things that can burn throughout the holiday season.

Turn your holiday lights off before leaving home or going to bed. Every. Single. Time.

Remember during the #holidays, don't overload extension cords.

Check the water and unplug lights on your Christmas tree before you go to bed. A dry tree is more flammable.

Water your Christmas tree every day. A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.

Keep your Christmas tree at least 3 feet away from heat sources.

Consider using flameless candles during celebrations.

Hanging holiday lights can be a fun family activity. Stay safe by avoiding potential fire dangers.



While family is together celebrating the holidays decide on an emergency safe meeting place.

Talk to your family over the dinner table about where to meet during an emergency!

Give the gift of emergency preparedness. Teach kids what do before, during, and after a disaster. 


Cyber Safety

Connect with care. Do your online shopping at home, and make sure your home wireless network is protected.

Be cautious online. During the holidays, scammers may send fake emails that are too good to be true. Don't click on links!

Set strong passwords and change your password often. Do not set passwords that will be easy for cyber criminals to guess.

Too good to be true?  It probably is.  Shop online through trusted retailers to avoid getting scammed.




McHenry County EMA APP


 qrcode-for-Apple-App-Store              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.

 Featuring:       Event Calendar


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.

2-1-1 Illinois


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